Boris Johnson 'has absolutely recovered' from COVID-19, insists health secretary

Ross McGuinness
·3 min read
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Boris Johnson has fully recovered from coronavirus, the health secretary said. (AP Photo)

Boris Johnson has “absolutely recovered” from coronavirus, health secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The prime minister contracted COVID-19 shortly after the UK introduced its lockdown and was hospitalised in April.

He was treated in an intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and received “standard oxygen treatment”.

Johnson spent last weekend considering whether to introduce a second coronavirus lockdown in England. He is reportedly contemplating a two-week mini lockdown, according to the BBC.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning programme on Monday, Hancock insisted that Johnson is in good shape.

Hancock contracted the virus around the same time as Johnson but did not need to be hospitalised, and self-isolated for seven days suffering from mild symptoms.

Asked by presenter Phillip Schofield how fit the prime minister is, Hancock replied: “He’s fighting fit.

“He’s full of beans. I was lucky – I recovered very quickly.

“But he’s absolutely recovered from it and is as vigorous as always.”

At the end of last month, a diary piece in The Times quoted Sir Humphry Wakefield, the father-in-law of Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings, as saying the prime minister was struggling with his health.

It quoted him as saying: “If you put a horse back to work when it’s injured, it will never recover.”

Watch: Dominic Cummings claims coronavirus affected his eyesight - is poor vision a symptom?

Downing Street denied reports that Johnson had not fully recovered from COVID-19.

Johnson himself said he felt “far better” after having losing 1.5 stone in weight since leaving hospital.

He described the Times report as “absolute nonsense”.

Johnson spent three nights in intensive care and later said there was “no question” the NHS had saved his life, saying things “could have gone either way”.

He hired personal trainer Harry Jameson to help him lose weight last month.

Meanwhile, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said on Monday there would be 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases by 13 October if current trends continue.

He said this would in turn lead to 200 new deaths per day by mid-November.

In a televised address to the nation, Sir Patrick and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty laid out the five biggest warning signs that coronavirus could get much worse this winter.

On Sunday, there was a backlash following reports the government will lift the rule of six for 24 hours on Christmas Day to allow families to see each other.

Hancock said he would report a neighbour to police for breaking COVID-19 self-isolation rules.

Watch: What are the current UK government guidelines on face coverings within schools?

Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter