Dominic Raab 'confident' Boris Johnson will pull through intensive care admission

7 April 2020, 17:36

By Megan White

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he is “confident” Boris Johnson will pull through after being transferred to intensive care for coronavirus treatment.

Mr Raab, who is deputising for the Prime Minister as first secretary of state, said the Prime Minister “is a fighter" and is "receiving the very best care."

During the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference, Government chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance also said the number of new cases "could be moving in the right direction" but it would not be clear "for a week or so".

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Mr Johnson remains stable and is breathing without assistance in St Thomas’ Hospital, where he was moved to the ICU around 7pm on Monday.

He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.

The PM has been in hospital since Sunday
The PM has been in hospital since Sunday. Picture: PA

Mr Raab said: "I think it is worth remembering that, as will be the case for many people up and down the country who know someone at work who has fallen ill with coronavirus, it is a shock to all of us.

"He is not just the Prime Minister. For all of us in Cabinet, he is not just our boss.

"He is also a colleague and he is also our friend. So all our thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister at this time, with Carrie (Symonds) and his whole family.

"And I'm confident he will pull through because if there is one thing that I know about this Prime Minister is he is a fighter and he will be back leading us through this crisis in short order."

Sir Patrick said there “hasn’t been an accelerated take-off in terms of hospital admissions,” which is a positive sign, but added it is “important we carry on with the measures in place.

Dominic Raab is deputising for the PM while he remains in hospital
Dominic Raab is deputising for the PM while he remains in hospital. Picture: PA

He said: "It's possible that we're beginning to see the beginning of change in terms of the curve flattening a little bit.

"We won't know that for sure for a week or so.

"There hasn't been the accelerated take-off and again it's possible that we're beginning to see the start of a change where we might see numbers flattening off.

"It does begin to suggest that things might be moving in the right direction in terms of numbers and it's important that we carry on with the measures that we have got in place in order to make sure that this does go in the right direction."

Asked when the Government will announce if lockdown measures will continue beyond next week, Mr Raab said: "The critical thing is to take evidence-based decisions and so we've said that we will take any review once we've got the evidence that the measures are working.

"And having the kind of impact taking past the peak which means that they can be responsibly done. We're not at that stage yet."

Prof Whitty said: "It's really important that we get to the point that we're all confident that we're beyond the peak and then at that point start making it clear what combination of things and over what period of time seems a sensible combination to take us through.

"Because as I said yesterday there are a large number of different things we need to take into account here in terms of the impact on health.

"The direct effects of the virus itself and also the indirect effects on the health service more widely."

Sir Patrick said following Italy's death rate trajectory did not mean the UK would end up with the same end result.

He made the comments in response to a question about whether there were any lessons to be learnt given the UK remained three to fours weeks behind Italy's Covid-19 pattern.

"This is a pandemic, which means it is everywhere," he told the press conference.

"That is why we are seeing it across many different countries and across all populations.

"And we are probably three or four weeks behind Italy in terms of the outbreak. It doesn't mean we end up with the same numbers.

"And of course it is important, as the ICU capacity has been built up, the idea of keeping the numbers below the ICU capacity is absolutely critical."

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