Great Britain

Boris Johnson waved ‘in gratitude’ at NHS nurses after leaving coronavirus intensive care unit

BORIS Johnson waved 'in gratitude' to the NHS staff that took care of him as he was being moved from intensive care.

The prime minister, 55, is said to be in "very good spirits" after he was discharged from intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital in Lonodon.

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His spokesman said Mr Johnson was "enormously grateful" for the care he received.

He said: "I am told he was waving his thanks towards the nurses and doctors that he saw as he was being moved from the intensive care unit back to the ward.

"Hopefully it was clear to the staff that he was waving his gratitude."

The spokesman said it was too early to say how long the PM would need to remain in hospital.

He added: "The Prime Minister is back on a ward and continuing his recovery which is at an early stage. He continues to be in very good spirits.

"Decisions such as this will be on the advice of his medical team. They have given him brilliant care."

It comes as Mr Johnson's dad today said the prime minster "almost took one for the team" with coronavirus - and he "isn't out of the woods yet".

Stanley Johnson,79, praised the NHS for taking care of the PM and added that his son's illness shows just how serious the killer outbreak is.

The PM's father told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "To use that American expression, he almost took one for the team. We have got to make sure we play the game properly now."

He also played down suggestions that his son would now quickly return to work at Downing Street.

Stanley said: "This is pretty straightforward now. He must rest up. As I understand it, he has moved from the ICU into a recovery unit but I don't think you can say this is out of the woods now.

"He has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment."

It comes as the PM was said to be in “extremely good spirits” and back on a normal ward at St Thomas’ in London.

The PM’s progress came as a massive morale boost to the nation as we enter the key Easter period in the fight against coronavirus.

A No 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery.

"He is in extremely good spirits.

Officials believe the infection rate could peak on Easter Sunday.

But it is critical that Brits observe the lockdown and stay home through 25C (77F) temperatures.


The Government hopes that would enable the country to turn the tide within three weeks.

Mr Johnson, 55, passed a message back to No 10 from hospital yesterday.

His official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister thanks the NHS for the brilliant care which it is ­providing.

“The claps for carers have provided wonderful, unifying moments for the entire country.

“I’m sure that tonight we will once again see people in their millions paying tribute to our fantastic dedicated care workers.”

It also emerged last night that Boris was well enough to make quick calls to his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds, 32, and his family.

Doctors handed his two mobile phones back to him.

The birth of his child with Carrie is only weeks away and the couple have been apart since he went into isolation on March 27.

Relieved fiancée Carrie Symonds posted a picture of a rainbow with clapping emojis after the good news, timing it for the 8pm Clap for Carers this evening.


Senior Tory allies and aides in No 10 were relieved last night with one admitting they had all been “feeling pretty sick with worry” for Mr Johnson.

The PM’s recovery marks an extraordinary turnaround from the dire straits he faced just 72 hours ago.

After a terrifying initial 24 hours in hospital, hope had been growing in No 10 since Wednesday that the PM was on the road to recovery.

Senior aides had feared the worst on Monday night because of Boris’s extraordinarily rapid descent.

He seriously struggled to breathe, with doctors warning it was likely he would have to go on to a ventilator if his condition worsened any more.


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But they held back, after managing to stabilise him with just the use of oxygen.

And two days on, Chancellor Rishi Sunak declared his Downing Street next door neighbour was well enough to sit up in bed.

Donald Trump took to Twitter to pass on his best wishes to the recovering Prime Minister.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said that Boris's vast improvement was "good news" and said he "hoped it was the beginnings of a speedy recovery".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock paid tribute to the NHS as Boris left the ICU.

In a tweet he said: “So good that the Prime Minister is out of intensive care and on the road to recovery. The NHS is there for us all and I know our amazing NHS staff have given him their characteristic world-class care.”

Minutes after the news was announced, US President Donald Trump voiced his delight.

He tweeted to say: “Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care. Get well Boris!!!”

UK politicians from across the divide united to express their relief.

Tory grandee Iain Duncan Smith said: “It really is great news, and is the most wonderful news going into what is likely to be a difficult Easter weekend.

I knew he would pull through, he is a fighter, and the whole country will be smiling and resting easy now that he is OK.

Iain Duncan Smith

“I knew he would pull through, he is a fighter, and the whole country will be smiling and resting easy now that he is OK.

“I would imagine it will be a little while before he’s as strong as before but he can now move on.”

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid simply tweeted: “Thank goodness.”

Trade Secretary Liz Truss added: “Brilliant news PM is out of ICU!”

And Zac Goldsmith, a good pal of his fiancée Carrie, simply said: “Hooray!”

Deputy Speaker and Tory MP Nigel Evans tweeted last night: “Great news Boris — we are all behind you ! Get totally well and back on the job xx”

Labour frontbencher David Lammy said: “Pleased Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care.

“The whole country is willing him on to make a full recovery as soon as possible.”

Mr Johnson could be out of action for several weeks.

Doctors said he was still in the early stages of recovery.

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Opposition leader Keir Starmer says he's 'very pleased' Boris Johnson is out of intensive care

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