Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson said doctors treating him for coronavirus prepared to announce his death after he was taken to intensive care. These were in his first detailed comments about his illness. “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” he was quoted as saying by the Sun on Sunday newspaper in an interview. “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.
“I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place. The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong.”
Johnson, 55, first announced he had contracted COVID-19 on March 27 but maintained he had only mild symptoms. Yet he failed to shake the illness after a week of self-isolation.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution on April 5 for further tests but within 24 hours was moved to intensive care. The Conservative party leader spent three days receiving “oxygen support”, and admitted after his discharge on April 12 that his fight with the virus “could have gone either way”.
But although he told the newspaper he did think “how am I going to get out of this?”, he did not think at any point he was going to die.
Johnson, who returned to work last Monday and became a father again when his fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth on Wednesday, said he was given “litres and litres” of oxygen in hospital.
He said he felt frustrated he was not getting better but the reality hit home when doctors were deliberating whether to intubate him and put him on a ventilator. “That was when it got a bit… they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally,” he told the weekly tabloid.
Johnson has repeatedly paid tribute to staff of the state-run National Health Service (NHS) for their care. He and Symonds’ baby boy, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, is named in part after two of the doctors who led his care doctors Nick Price and Nick Hart. Both are experts in infectious diseases and ventilation.
Symonds, 32, said in an Instagram post earlier to announce the boy’s name that Hart and Price “saved Boris’ life last month”.
The Sun on Sunday said Johnson was emotional when recalling his treatment and recovery, which he called “an extraordinary thing”.
Meanwhile healthcare workers in the UK continue to struggle as The Guardian reports, half of UK doctors say they have had to source their own PPE. Almost half of Britain’s doctors have sourced their own personal protective equipment or relied on a donation when none was available through normal NHS channels, according to a survey. The British Medical Association said its latest survey was the biggest of frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis.Only 17% of Brits want schools, pubs and restaurants reopened. Fewer than one in five Britons believe the time is right to consider reopening schools, restaurants, pubs and stadiums. The findings, in a new poll for the Observer, suggest Boris Johnson will struggle to convince people to return their lives to normal if he tries to ease the lockdown soon.