Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom was moved out of intensive care Thursday night as he continues to recover from coronavirus, but remains under close monitoring in the hospital, his staff disclosed on Thursday.
The 55-year old Johnson was admitted with persistent high fever and cough to St. Thomas Hospital on Sunday evening and was transferred to intensive care the following day where he spent three nights undergoing treatment.
Downing Street has confirmed that Boris Johnson is in "very good spirits." A spokesperson said in a statement released on Thursday night that Johnson was transferred from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close supervision during the early stages of his rehabilitation.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputy for Johnson, had said earlier that the Prime Minister was taking "strong steps forward."
The news came as the British government initiated a publicity campaign to encourage people to stay at home during the bank holiday break, when the climate is predicted to remain warm and bright.
Earlier, Raab warned that it was still too early for authorities to lift the social distancing guidelines implemented last month.
Immediately after being discharged from ICU, the prime minister called his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds and staff said he was upbeat, despite his fight with the virus.
The birth of his child with Symonds, 32, is also just weeks away, and the couple have been separated since Johnson went into quarantine on March 27.
Johnson became the first world leader to be hospitalized with the disease, prompting him to give Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab control of the world's fifth largest economy, just as the United Kingdom's epidemic nears what experts consider to be its deadliest point.
The death toll from Covid-19 in UK hospitals now stands at 7,978. Thursday saw an 881 rise in a single day, albeit a smaller average spike compared to the 938 seen in figures from Wednesday.
Raab tweeted that the message they all needed to hear "was the improvement in the prime minister's health condition. US President Donald Trump said the development was "great news."
Asked whether the prime minister had been in touch with him, Raab said: "Not yet. I think it is important to let him concentrate on the recovery, particularly while he's in intensive care."
Dr. Paul Cosford, Public Health England's medical director, urged the people to stay home for the Easter "because social distancing strategies are working."