Boris Johnson has praised the “exemplary” care he has received from doctors and nurses during his coronavirus treatment, saying: “I owe them my life.”
Hailing the work of medics at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, the prime minister has told friends: “I can’t thank them enough.”
Mr Johnson is spending his seventh night in hospital after being admitted last Sunday, 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Earlier on Saturday, Downing Street said the PM was making “very good progress” in his recovery after being moved out of intensive care and he had been playing games and watching films from his hospital bed.
There has been no update on when he is likely to be discharged.
Mr Johnson’s remarks came after it was confirmed another 917 coronavirus patients had died in hospitals in the UK – including an 11-year-old – bring the country’s total number of deaths to 9,875.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that at least 19 NHS workers were among those to have died after contracting COVID-19.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street news conference on Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “sorry if people feel there have been failings” in providing personal protective equipment to NHS staff.
Fears grew for Mr Johnson’s health when he was transferred to intensive care on Monday after his condition worsened.
The 55-year-old spent three nights there before Downing Street confirmed he was in the “early phase of his recovery” and he had been moved back to a normal hospital ward.
Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant with their first child together, sent him letters and baby scans to lift his spirits during his time in intensive care.
The couple have not seen each other since he was admitted to hospital.
Ms Symonds, who is due to give birth in two months, has also been ill with coronavirus symptoms in recent weeks, but has not been tested for the virus.
Since coming out of intensive care, the PM has been able to take short walks between periods of rest while being treated on a low-dependency ward.
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