UK’s Boris Johnson ‘improving’ as he fights coronavirus in intensive care

A cyclist passes police officers on duty outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 7, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 09 April 2020

UK’s Boris Johnson ‘improving’ as he fights coronavirus in intensive care

  • Rishi Sunak says Johnson has been sitting up in bed and engaging with his doctors
  • Britain's confirmed death toll reached 7,097 on Wednesday

LONDON: Britain’s Treasury chief says Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is improving in the intensive care unit of a London hospital.
Rishi Sunak says Johnson has been sitting up in bed and engaging with his doctors at St. Thomas’ Hospital.
Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, 10 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was transferred to the ICU on Monday when his condition deteriorated.
Johnson’s spokesman said earlier Wednesday that the prime minister was receiving “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without any other assistance.
Johnson, 55, is the first world leader confirmed to have the new coronavirus.
Britain’s confirmed death toll reached 7,097 on Wednesday, an increase of 938 from 24 hours earlier. Italy recorded 969 deaths on March 27 and Spain 950 deaths on April 2.
Not all the deaths reported each day occurred in the preceding 24 hours, and the British total only includes deaths in hospitals.
The number of coronavirus infections and hospital admissions in Britain is beginning to show signs of flattening, Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service, said on Wednesday.
“We are starting to see a plateauing - the first signs of a plateauing of infections and hospitalisations,” Powis told reporters.
“We are beginning to see the benefits I believe but the really critical thing is that we have to continue following instructions - we have to continue following social distancing, because if we don’t the virus will start to spread again.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s economy and people’s livelihoods will take a hit due to the coronavirus outbreak which has forced a lockdown of much of society, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday, adding that the government had taken the right steps to get through the crisis.
“This will have a significant impact on our economy, and not in an abstract way. It will have an impact on people’s jobs and their livelihoods,” Sunak said at a news conference.
“I belive we’re doing the right things,” he added. “I can’t stand here and say there isn’t going to be hardship ahead, there is ... but I’m confident we will get through it.”
Sunak also announced on Wednesday an extra 750 million pounds ($930 million) of funding for frontline charities so they can continue their work during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need,” Sunak said in a statement.
“It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this unprecedented 750 million-pound package of extra funding.”
The finance ministry cited hospices and charities supporting domestic abuse victims as examples of the kinds of charities that will benefit from the new money.
The funds include 360 million pounds to be directly allocated by the government to charities that provide key services and support vulnerable people.
Another 370 million will be directed towards smaller charities operating in local communities.
The government will also match whatever the public donates in a BBC charity appeal on April 23, the finance ministry said.


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 01 June 2020

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.

Protesters hand over to police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into a crowd marching on 35W north bound highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.