British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left the hospital where he spent several days with a severe case of coronavirus. He will continue his treatment, Downing street said.

“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received,” the statement said.

Johnson’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds took to Twitter to thank the “incredible” medical team who treated her partner, saying: “I will never, ever be able to repay you.” She also confessed that there were some “very dark times” during Boris’s stay at the hospital last week.

That they were able to treat the PM “so effectively” was a great credit to the professionalism of the medical staff, said St Thomas’ Hospital Chief Executive Dr Ian Abbs, who added that his organization was providing “equally high standards” of care to all patients.

Johnson was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March. He was initially undergoing treatment at home in self-isolation, while continuing to head the government remotely.

This approach failed to rid Johnson of the virus, however, and the PM’s condition deteriorated just over a week ago, leading him to require urgent hospitalization. The 55-year-old was delivered to St Thomas’ Hospital and a day later placed in intensive care due to “persistent” coronavirus symptoms.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been standing in for Johnson since he was taken into intensive care, and he will keep doing so until the PM is fit to resume his duties.

Although Johnson found himself under an avalanche of criticism over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis and other policies, the prime minister has received a lot of sympathy – even from his most fierce rivals – after contracting the virus and ending up in intensive care. Among the well-wishers were new Labour leader Keir Starmer and Scottish National Party head Nicola Sturgeon, while the internet launched the #PrayForBoris hashtag.

But while the PM is getting better, the situation with Covid-19 in Britain shows no signs of improvement, with the country already having recorded 9,875 deaths and 78,991 confirmed cases of the disease. On Friday, the UK surpassed Italy’s record for the highest number of fatalities in a single day, with 980 people succumbing to the virus.

British author Theodore Dalrymple says the country’s weekly activity of clapping in public for the NHS reminds him of how party members were forced to enthusiastically applaud Communist despots or face being labeled a dissident.

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