British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to figure on Monday over three weeks after being hospitalised for the coronavirus and spending three days in medical aid.
Johnson, one amongst the highest-profile people to possess contracted the virus, returned to 10 Downing Street on Sunday evening and can chair a gathering on Monday morning of the coronavirus “war cabinet”, his colleagues confirmed.
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary who has deputised in Johnson’s absence, told the BBC on Sunday that his return would be a “boost for the govt and a lift for the country”.
Raab also claimed the prime minister was “raring to go”.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital on April 5 affected by “persistent symptoms” of the deadly disease.
His condition worsened and he later admitted after being put in medical aid that “things could have gone either way”.
He was discharged on April 12 and has been recuperating at his official residence, west of London.
In a video message after leaving the hospital, Johnson thanked “Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal” for helping him recover.
On medical advice, he has not been doing official government work during his convalescence but has spoken to Queen Elizabeth and US President Donald Trump on the phone.
The British leader was diagnosed with the virus late last month but initially stayed at Downing Street and was filmed participating in a very round of applause for physicians within the days before he visited the hospital.
Back but facing problems
Some critics have described the govt as being rudderless in his absence.
Britain has been one amongst the countries worst plagued by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the number of deaths reaching 20,732 within the days before Johnson’s return.
The actual toll can be much higher when deaths within the community are taken under consideration, particularly at care homes.
The rise in fatalities put the spotlight on the government’s approach and led to questions about shortages in protective equipment and a scarcity of widespread testing, particularly for frontline health staff.
One major decision Johnson will face is whether or not or to not relax strict social distancing rules which he introduced on March 23.
This was extended on April 16 and a review is due on May 7, with pressure building from political allies and foes for the govt to create clear its intentions overextending or relaxing the lockdown.
On Sunday, Raab said lockdown rules would “be with us for a few time” and where the “new normal”, adding that ministers couldn’t “allow the coronavirus to urge a position back on the country”.
Johnson faces calls from within his own party to ease restrictions and can also find a letter in his in-tray from new opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer posing for details on a possible lifting of the lockdown.
And he is going to be confronted with a political row over the role played by his chief adviser Dominic Cummings after it emerged he attended meetings of a supposedly independent scientific group advising ministers on the coronavirus.