London, 9 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left intensive care for Covid-19 but remains in hospital, a government spokeswoman told dpa on Thursday.
Johnson will be closely monitored in the St Thomas’ Hospital ward in central London, during what the spokeswoman called “the early phase of his recovery.”
“He is in extremely good spirits,” she added.
Johnson, the first head of a European government to confirm a novel coronavirus infection, was moved to intensive care late Monday, one day after he was hospitalized with “persistent” Covid-19 symptoms.
He reported his infection with the new coronavirus on March 27.
Britain has become one of the worst-hit countries worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic.
The country reported another 881 deaths linked to Covid-19 infections on Thursday, taking its total death toll to nearly 8,000. Government experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of people are infected.
The government is urging people to observe a near-lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus over the Easter holiday, after police in one city said they broke up 660 parties in just four days.
“We must keep going,” said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputizing for Johnson.
He urged people to “stay at home, to protect our NHS [National Health Service] and to save lives.”
Greater Manchester Police said they were concerned that more people might ignore the lockdown during the four-day Easter holiday weekend, when fine weather is forecast.
The government has ordered people to stay in their own homes as much as possible, except for trips for food shopping, medical needs, or one form of exercise per day.
Greater Manchester Police said they recorded a “sharp increase” to 1,132 reported breaches of the lockdown from Saturday to Tuesday.
The breaches included 494 house parties and 166 street parties, as well as dozens of sports events and other gatherings in parks.
“We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period, however, it is vital that we follow the government guidelines,” said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.
“I would encourage everyone to enjoy themselves at home with their loved ones but please don’t socialize beyond the immediate people that you live with,” Hopkins said.
Other police chiefs have expressed concern and reportedly urged the government to give them greater powers to enforce the lockdown.
Nick Adderley, chief constable of Northamptonshire Police in central England, said his force was preparing to strengthen its enforcement of the lockdown.
“Sadly, there are a small minority of people in this county who continue to flout the restrictions despite how hard we have tried to engage with them, and, considering what is at stake here, this is hugely disappointing,” Adderley said.
“This is why we will be upping our enforcement activity and fining people who are found to be breaching the Covid-19 restrictions, be it people gathering in public or at other people’s homes, or making journeys that are not essential,” he said.
Northamptonshire Police can issue spot fines of 60 pounds (75 dollars) for breaches of the lockdown rules, rising to a maximum of 960 pounds for repeat offenders.