British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday spoke outside 10 Downing Street on his first day back to work following a recovery from the coronavirus. “The virus brings new sadness every day, and is the biggest challenge since WWII,” he said, adding that “We are beginning to turn the tide.”
The Conservative leader announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27 and had been self-isolating since. He was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in London on April 5, suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, and spent April 6-9 in intensive care before being discharged on April 12.
Earlier in the day, the British Department of Health said that a further 813 people had died of COVID-19 as of 1600 GMT on Friday, bringing the death toll to 20,319 and making the UK the fifth nation globally to pass the grim milestone of 20,000 deaths, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France.
Britain’s interior minister urged Britons to stick to the lockdown rules earlier on Saturday. But many lawmakers want restrictions to be eased to bolster the economy, which budget forecasters say could be heading into its deepest recession in more than 300 years.
The good news is that most of the epidemics in Western Europe appear to be stable or in decline, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). With that in mind, some of these countries are looking to gradually relax restrictions, just to reduce the impact on the economy and society as much as possible.
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