Farage: Coronavirus Emergency ‘Now Very Real’ with Boris in Intensive Care

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street on October 24, 2019 in London, England. As the government awaits a response from the European Council for a Brexit extension the Conservatives are facing divisions over whether to push their Brexit Bill through parliament or to …
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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s admission to an intensive care unit with coronavirus has made the pandemic crisis “very real”, making totally clear that anyone of any rank can get the illness.

In late March, the prime minister announced that he had “mild” symptoms of coronavirus and was self-isolating whilst continuing to run the country. After ten days of his symptoms — a persistent cough and fever — remaining, he was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in London on Sunday as a “precautionary step”.

However, the situation took a turn for the worse when on Monday night when Mr Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) after reports that he was short of breath. While not on a ventilator, he is receiving oxygen.

After two nights in ICU, Downing Street announced that while the prime minister was still in intensive care, he was “clinically stable and responding to treatment” and was said to be in good spirits.

Watching the story unfold of the most powerful elected official in the United Kingdom fall prey to the Chinese virus, Mr Farage wrote for Newsweek on Tuesday that Johnson’s diagnosis had shone a light on the fact that anyone can contract coronavirus.

“[Monday] night’s news that Boris Johnson had been transferred to an intensive care unit at St Thomas’s hospital, just a stone’s throw from 10 Downing Street, came as a huge shock to the nation. Everybody knows that he is receiving the best medical care, but the collective perception has shifted.

“Suddenly, people have stopped thinking ‘It won’t happen to me’ and started to realise that if the prime minister really is ill, this can strike anybody of any rank. Today we are wholly united in hoping and praying for the deliverance of our prime minister. This emergency has now become very, very real.”

While Downing Street may not be in a position to reveal to the public when Mr Johnson may fully return to work, one medical expert estimates that his full recovery could be anywhere between one and two months.

Infectious diseases specialist at the University of East Anglia Professor Paul Hunter said in comments reported by the Daily Mail: “If you have been sick enough to go on intensive care and you survive — and only about half of patients survive — clearly you will need some time to recover.

“I would expect most people who were that ill, to need at least a month or possibly two to be sufficiently back and to be able to function.”

Delivering an update on the prime minister’s condition at the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that Mr Johnson remains in intensive care but is “improving”.

“He is receiving excellent care from the NHS team at St Thomas’. The latest from the hospital is that 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.”

On a personal note, Mr Sunak continued: “The prime minister is not only my colleague and my boss, but also my friend, and my thoughts are with him and his family.”

“The news about the prime minister reminds us how indiscriminate this disease is. Nearly everyone will know someone who’s been affected: friends, family, neighbours, colleagues. This is a terrible virus that respects no boundaries of status, or geography, or vocation,” he added.

The chancellor also updated the country with the latest figures of cases and fatalities. To date, 232,708 people have been tested for coronavirus of which 60,734 have been diagnosed as positive. 19,438 are currently being treated in hospital. Fatalities crossed the 7,000-mark today, with 7,097 dying from the Chinese virus, a record daily rise of 938.

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