The Prime Minister is still in St Thomas’ Hospital’s intensive care unit after being taken there on Monday night, but is sitting up and “engaging positively”, Chancellor Rishi Sunak reported. Number 10 added that he “continues to make steady progress” and is able to speak to those he needs to.
It is possible Mr Johnson was able to speak to Miss Symonds, but Downing Street has not confirmed this.
Despite the improvement, a leading doctor said it “could be months” before the Prime Minister makes is completely recovered.
Number 10 confirmed Mr Johnson has not required a ventilator, nor has he had pneumonia.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, Mr Sunak said Mr Johnson was receiving “excellent” care.
He added: “The latest from the hospital is the Prime Minister remains in intensive care where his condition is improving,
The Prime Minister may have spoken to his fiancee today from his hospital bed
“I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team.
“The Prime Minister is not only my colleague and my boss but also my friend, and my thoughts are with him and his family. The news about the PM reminds us how indiscriminate this disease is.
“Nearly everyone will know someone who has been affected – friends, family, neighbours, colleagues. This is a terrible virus that respects no boundaries of status or geography or vocation.”
Of the news of Mr Johnson’s improvement Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “So good that the PM is sitting up and his condition is improving. He will fight through!”
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People across the UK clapped for the Prime Minister on Tuesday night in a show of support.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: spokesman added: “We are hugely grateful for the messages of support that the Prime Minister has received.
“I think the public response to coronavirus throughout has been fantastic and that has been best exemplified by the applause they’ve been giving to NHS staff every week.”
On Wednesday a Downing Street member of staff was seen holding up a drawing of a rainbow in the window of Number 10 with the message: “We are in this together.”
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Prime Minister is ‘engaging positively’
British schools have encouraged children to put up rainbow drawings in their windows at home to “spread hope”.
Asked if the Prime Minister had been in contact with anyone since he was transferred to ICU, the spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is not working, he’s in intensive care,
“He has the ability to contact those that he needs to, he’s following the advice of his doctors at all times.”
Downing Street did not state whether the Prime Minister’s persistently high temperature had dropped.
The Prime Minister remains in St Thomas’ Hospital ICU
It also declined comment on reports that Mr Johnson was being overseen by Dr Richard Leach, Britain’s leading lung doctor.
Professor Anthony Gordon, an intensive care consultant at Imperial College London, said: “When you are seriously ill it does take time to recover.
“It’s not an all-or-nothing thing… but it can take many weeks to get back to normal full health, or even months,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said he was “utterly confident” the Prime Minister was receiving excellent treatment.
He said St Thomas’ Hospital was “world renowned” for its critical care.