Image caption Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “improving” after two nights in intensive care with coronavirus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said. Mr Johnson was now sitting up in bed and “engaging positively” with the clinical team at St Thomas’ Hospital
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “improving” after two nights in intensive care with coronavirus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.
Mr Johnson was now sitting up in bed and “engaging positively” with the clinical team at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, the chancellor added.
Mr Sunak also said a Cobra meeting on Thursday would discuss “the approach” towards reviewing lockdown measures.
It comes as a record 938 daily deaths were reported in UK hospitals.
The total number of UK deaths now stands at 7,097, according to the latest Department of Health figures.
The PM was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday – 10 days after testing positive for the virus – and was then moved to intensive care on Monday.
At the daily coronavirus briefing in Downing Street, Mr Sunak said Mr Johnson was “receiving excellent care from the NHS team at St Thomas'”.
“The prime minister is not only my colleague and my boss but also my friend and my thoughts are with him and his family,” he said.
The chancellor also unveiled a £750m funding package to keep struggling charities afloat during the pandemic.
The measures, which involve cash grants direct to charities providing key services during the crisis, follow concern that some charities are facing collapse because of enforced shop closures.
Mr Sunak added, however, it was “simply not possible” to “save every single job, protect every single business or indeed every single charity”.
Asked by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg whether the crisis would lead to a recession, he said: “I have been very honest that this will have a significant impact on our economy.”
He added that the government had put in place “an enormous amount of support to help as many people as possible to get through this”.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds, who was appointed to the role after Sir Keir Starmer became Labour’s new leader, said the announcement was welcome but fell “far short” of filling the financial “black hole” many organisations were facing.
Mr Sunak also said there would be a Cobra meeting on Thursday to discuss the approach to take to towards reviewing lockdown measures.
A ban on public gatherings of more than two people and the closure of shops selling non-essential goods were among the series of restrictions announced by Mr Johnson on 23 March to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
According to the government’s coronavirus legislation, the health secretary must review the need for restrictions at least once every 21 days, with the first review to be carried out by 16 April.
Mr Sunak said the review would happen “around” the three-weeks point, which would be based on evidence that will “only be available next week”.
“I think rather than speculate about the future, I think we should focus very seriously on the here and now and the present,” he added.