UK PM Boris Johnson rejoins work after recovering from COVID-19

PTI

London:  Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (AP/PTI Photo)

London: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (AP/PTI Photo)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned to Downing Street, a month after being diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus, to take charge of the UK’s response to the pandemic outbreak in the country that has claimed the lives of over 20,000 people.

The 55-year-old has been recuperating at his prime ministerial countryside retreat at Chequers in Buckinghamshire since he was discharged on April 12 and had put UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in charge as his deputy.

Johnson is expected to chair the regular morning Cabinet meeting on Covid-19 on Monday before holding talks with senior ministers and officials, the BBC reported.

Johnson arrived back at No 10 on Sunday evening, a month since he was diagnosed with the virus on March 27.

The prime minister is under immense pressure to start finalising plans to ease the severe social distancing restrictions in place at least until May 7, when the government is legally bound to review the lockdown measures.

The UK on Sunday reported 413 deaths, taking the total number of fatalities in the country’s hospitals to 20,732.

Johnson was admitted for a week in St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on April 5, including three nights in intensive care.

He has not been doing any official government work during his convalescence, although last week he did speak to Queen Elizabeth and US President Donald Trump, as well as meeting senior ministers.

Johnson will now resume full-time duties, although it is unclear at this stage whether he will lead the press briefing on Monday on the country’s fight against the coronavirus, the report said.