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Coronavirus: 'Wonderful news' says First Minister Arlene Foster as PM Boris Johnson leaves ICU

Boris Johnson has been moved out of the intensive care unit where he has been undergoing treatment for coronavirus, Downing Street said last night.

A No 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister had been returned to the ward at St Thomas' Hospital in London as his condition continued to improve.

"The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery," the spokesman said. "He is in extremely good spirits."

First Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the "wonderful news", adding: "I hope this progress gives encouragement to all families battling this terrible disease."

Mr Johnson was originally admitted to hospital on Sunday on the advice of his doctor, amid concerns he was still suffering symptoms 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Initially it was described as a "precautionary" measure but by Monday evening his condition had deteriorated and he was moved to the intensive care unit in case he required a ventilator.

The announcement was greeted with shock at Westminster.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that while he had received oxygen treatment, he had not needed mechanical assistance to breathe. By Wednesday he was said to be sitting up in bed and able to communicate with his medical team.

Earlier yesterday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for him, told the daily No 10 press conference that he had been making "positive steps forward".

President Donald Trump tweeted: "Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care. Get well Boris!!!"

New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "This is good news. I hope it is the beginnings of a speedy recovery."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted his thanks to the NHS and said: "So good that the Prime Minister is out of intensive care and on the road to recovery."

Belfast Telegraph