U.K. PM Boris Johnson left hospital Sunday and thanked healthcare staff for saving his life from the novel coronavirus, but his government was forced to defend its response to the outbreak as the nationwide death toll topped 10,000.
The somber milestone came after the U.K. reported two days in a row of hospital deaths growing by over 900. Friday’s death tally of 980 surpassed the highest daily total posted in Italy, the hardest-hit nation in Europe so far.
Reflecting on the depth of the emergency, Queen Elizabeth released the first Easter message in her 68-year reign. “Coronavirus will not overcome us,” the 93-year-old monarch stated in her second address to the country in a week.
Johnson was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on April 5. He thanked nurses who had cared for him, with a particular mention for two of them, Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal, who he stated had stood by his bedside for 48 hours “when issues could have gone either way”.
Johnson dressed in a suit and tie and spoke in his regular upbeat manner. In attribute fashion, he made a joke, thanking the doctors who had cared for him, “several of them for some reason called me Nick”.
He’ll continue his recovery at Chequers, the official prime ministerial nation residence northwest of London, his office mentioned.