British prime minister out of hospital after coronavirus treatment

Boris Johnson pays tribute to medical staff after week when "things could have gone either way"

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. London, Britain, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been discharged from hospital after treatment for coronavirus, and said health workers saved his life.

He will recuperate at Chequers, his official country residence in Buckinghamshire, and will not be immediately returning to work on the advice of his medical team, a Downing Street spokesman said.

In a video message, a hoarse-sounding Mr Johnson said he had endured a week in which the national health service “saved my life, no question”.

He paid tribute to two nurses who “stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way”.

“And the reason, in the end, my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed,” Mr Johnson said.

“I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors, leaders in their fields, men and women, but several of them for some reason called Nick, who took some crucial decisions a few days ago for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life.”

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, described the speech as "touching".

"Saved by doctors and nurses of the NHS, his genuine gratitude is both splendid and well deserved," Dr Gargash posted on Twitter.

"In every corner of our world the wonderful work of physicians and healthcare providers is truly epic."

Health officials said that 737 more people had died in Britain from Covid-19, taking the country's death toll to 10,612.

“Today marks a sombre day in the impact of this disease as we join the list of countries who have seen more than 10,000 deaths related to coronavirus,” said Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary.

Italy, France and Spain have all topped 10,000 deaths, and the US has reached 20,000.

A senior UK government health adviser, Jeremy Farrar, told the BBC that Britain was on course to becoming the worst-hit country in Europe.

Mr Johnson's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, was also ill with the symptoms of Covid-19 but did not require hospital treatment and was recovering.

Ms Symonds, who is pregnant, tweeted her thanks to healthcare workers and said there were days last week that were "very dark indeed".

"My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones," she wrote.

Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital last Sunday and spent three days in intensive care after struggling to breathe.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stood in for the prime minister.

"He has to take time," Mr Johnson's father, Stanley, said last week.

"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.”