Coronavirus: Boris Johnson ‘almost took one for the team’, father Stanley says

The prime minister “almost took one for the team”, his father has said.

Stanley Johnson said the Johnson family is “amazingly grateful” for the efforts of the NHS and for the outpouring of support for his son.

Boris Johnson was moved from intensive care on Thursday evening – having first been admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday with persistent symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

He spent three days in intensive care before being transferred back to the ward.

Downing Street has said the PM is in the “early phase” of his road to recovery.

And this was echoed by his father, who told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that his son “has to take time” before returning to work.

Stanley Johnson said his son’s illness underlines the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“To use that American expression, he almost took one for the team. We have got to make sure we play the game properly now,” he said.

“This is pretty straightforward now.

“He must rest up. As I understand it, he has moved from the ICU into a recovery unit but I don’t think you can say this is out of the woods now.

“He has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputising for the PM in his absence.

Addressing the government’s daily coronavirus news conference on Thursday, Mr Raab said it was too early to consider lifting the UK’s lockdown.

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