On his first day back at work in three weeks after a bout of COVID-19 that left him hospitalized, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged his nation to be patient and argued that easing social and economic restrictions too soon would create a second deadly spike of coronavirus infections.
Speaking outside his 10 Downing St. office on Monday, Johnson said the country was reaching “the end of the first phase of this conflict” but warned that a quick end to a lockdown due to last at least until May 7 was not in sight. “I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the (health system),” said Johnson. The 55-year-old Johnson appeared thinner but healthier than when he was last seen in public earlier this month, after spending a week in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London earlier this month, including three nights in intensive care.
As of Sunday, Britain had recorded 20,732 deaths among people hospitalized with COVID-19, the fifth country in the world to surpass 20,000 deaths. Despite the death toll, Johnson’s government is under mounting pressure to set out a blueprint for easing the lockdown that has sharply curtailed business and daily life since March 23.When he was discharged on April 13, he thanked medical workers at the hospital for saving his life, saying his condition “could have gone either way.”
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