Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left intensive care as his condition improves

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A sign of support for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seen in Swynnerton, Britain, April 9, 2020.

CARL RECINE / Reuters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was withdrawn from intensive care in a London hospital and his condition has improved.

“The prime minister was transferred from intensive care to the service tonight, where he will be closely monitored during the first phase of his recovery,” said a statement released Thursday by officials from Downing Street. “He is in a very good mood. ”

Johnson, 55, was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas Hospital on Monday nearly two weeks after being tested positive for COVID-19 and fell seriously ill. Several other senior government officials, including High Minister Michael Gove, have also become self-isolated due to their exposure to the virus.

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The Prime Minister’s absence comes at a critical time for the government. The number of confirmed cases in Britain has exceeded 60,000 and the death toll has reached 7,097. Although the double digit has increased, the growth rate has slowed and there are signs that the epidemic may peak.

The government must now consider whether to ease the lockdown imposed by Mr. Johnson two weeks ago to stop the spread of the virus. Schools, shops, restaurants and pubs have been closed and trips outside the home have been limited.

The restrictions are expected to be reviewed in the coming days, but on Thursday Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who took over from Johnson, said the measures would likely be extended.

“The first signs suggest they are having an impact,” Raab told reporters. But he added that it was too early to judge whether the increase in cases had stabilized. The lock will have to stay in place “until we have evidence that we have passed the summit,” he added. “We must not give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people. I know it’s difficult, but it’s a team effort. “

The government is expected to make a final decision on the length of the lockout extension next week. The

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