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Arlene Foster tells of joy as Boris Johnson leaves hospital after fighting Covid-19

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Wonderful news: Arlene Foster

Wonderful news: Arlene Foster

Wonderful news: Arlene Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster last night welcomed the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had left hospital after his battle with coronavirus.

Mr Johnson left St Thomas' Hospital in London yesterday, a week after being admitted with symptoms.

The DUP leader tweeted: "Wonderful to see our Prime Minister back in front of the camera and making such progress.

"Let's keep the human shield around our greatest national asset, the NHS. Who knows which of us will need our fantastic health service staff next. Play your part. Stay at home."

UUP leader Steve Aiken also welcomed the news of Mr Johnson's discharge, tweeting: "Good to see him out of hospital."

In a video posted yesterday on Twitter, the Prime Minister called the NHS "unconquerable" after seeing first-hand how it was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"The NHS has saved my life, no question," Mr Johnson, who was wearing a suit, said.

He admitted there was a 48-hour period when things "could have gone either way".

In a tweet following her fiance's release from hospital, Carrie Symonds said there had been some "very dark" times in the past week.

Mr Johnson admitted he had personally seen during his seven days in St Thomas' the "pressure the NHS is under".

But he said the NHS had the resolve to get the country through the emergency.

He said: "We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country.

"It is the best of this country.

"It is unconquerable.

"It is powered by love."

Heralding the "personal courage" of everyone from doctors to cooks, he mentioned by name the nurses who watched over him all night while he fought severe coronavirus symptoms in intensive care - Jenny from New Zealand and also Luis from Portugal.

He added: "The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed."

Mr Johnson praised the country's efforts in following the "tough" social distancing measures over the Easter weekend and said the measures were "proving their worth" in protecting the NHS.

The public comments from the Prime Minister yesterday could be the last for a number of days as he prepares to head to his country residence, Chequers in Buckinghamshire, to convalesce. A Number 10 spokesman confirmed Mr Johnson "would not be returning to work immediately" after being told to rest by his doctors.

Following his discharge Ms Symonds, who is expecting the couple's baby, tweeted: "I cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough. The staff at St Thomas' Hospital have been incredible.

"I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you.

"There were times last week that were very dark indeed."

Belfast Telegraph