After three-week battle for his life, Boris heads back to Downing Street

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back at his Downing St office after recovering from COVID-19.

Apr 27, 2020, updated Apr 27, 2020


Johnson arrived back at No.10 Downing St on Sunday evening, after spending a week in hospital and two weeks recovering in his country home.

He returned to a growing chorus of calls from senior Conservative Party figures to begin easing the UK’s lockdown amid mounting economic costs.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted there could be no immediate relaxation, saying the outbreak was still at a “delicate and dangerous” stage.

Johnson is expected to chair a Monday morning meeting of the government’s COVID-19 war cabinet.

Raab said Johnson was “raring to go”.

But the foreign secretary said the government would proceed “cautiously” in order to avoid a second peak in the outbreak.

“We need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed, which is why we are proceeding very cautiously and we are sticking to the scientific advice,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis said while the number of patients in hospital was continuing to fall, it could easily pick back up if the restrictions were relaxed.

“My fear is that those curves won’t continue to be on a downward trend, but will start to go on an upward trend,” Prof Powis said.

His warning came at the end of a weekend that saw the coronavirus death toll in hospitals pass the 20,000 mark – with fears that many more have died in care homes, hospices or in the community.

According to the latest official figures, a total of 20,732 patients had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm local time on Saturday, up by 413 from the day before.

Even before he was back in London, Johnson was facing calls from a series of wealthy Tory backers who have donated millions of pounds to the party coffers to begin lifting the lockdown to allow the economy to start up again.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned she could delay lifting of the restrictions there if she thought the government was moving too quickly.

“If, and it is an if … the UK Government took decisions that I thought were premature in terms of coming out of the lockdown then clearly I would want to make sure that Scotland did what I judged was best to protect the population,” she told The Andrew Marr Show.

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