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Boris Johnson ‘improving’ and ‘sitting up in intensive care bed’

The UK’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Prime Minister has been ‘engaging positively’ with medics.

A man wearing a facemask at a bus stop reading a newspaper outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London.
A man wearing a facemask at a bus stop reading a newspaper outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London.
Image: Kirsty O'Connor via PA

BORIS JOHNSON’S CONDITION is “improving” and he is now “sitting up in bed” after spending two nights in intensive care with coronavirus, the UK’s Chancellor has said.

Rishi Sunak said Johnson has been “engaging positively” with the medics treating him in St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

Downing Street later confirmed Mr Johnson remains in intensive care but is making “steady progress”.

But the boost came as the UK saw its record number of deaths in hospitals, with a rise of 938 taking the toll to at least 7,097, according to Department of Health figures.

Though significantly larger than the previous highest toll of 786, deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Dame Angela McLean said new cases are not “accelerating out of control”.

Mr Sunak said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the PM, will chair an emergency committee tomorrow to discuss the lockdown measures with leaders of the devolved nations.

Earlier, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the lockdown will not end in Wales next week, ahead of the UK-wide review into the restrictions.

At the daily Downing Street press conference, Mr Sunak unveiled a £750 (€856 million) bailout to keep struggling charities afloat in the Treasury’s latest emergency measure.

He said: “The latest from the hospital is the Prime Minister remains in intensive care where his condition is improving.

“I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the development on Twitter, adding: “He will fight through!”

The PM’s three-week review into the lockdown measures had been due on Monday, but Downing Street is now saying it will be “on or around” that mark.

Mr Sunak declined to “speculate about the future”, saying the evidence to inform any review “will only be available next week”.

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