Boris Johnson making 'steady progress' as UK discusses lockdown extensions

Boris Johnson making 'steady progress' as UK discusses lockdown extensions
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Officials in London reported Thursday that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in stable condition following intensive care for his COVID-19 infection.

A spokesman for Johnson, James Slack, said the prime minister "had a good night and continues to improve" at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, according to The Associated Press.

Johnson was hospitalized Sunday after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 consecutive days.

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The prime minister was reportedly feeling better on Wednesday, making "steady progress" like sitting up in bed and receiving oxygen without the use of ventilator support.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Johnson's placeholder while he is recovering, will stand in for him during a meeting of the government's COBRA crisis committee.

The committee will consider options such as whether to extend restrictions on public activity imposed on March 23 to attempt curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions were initially established for three weeks and scheduled to be lifted on Monday. However, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was no probability of the lockdown being "lifted immediately or even imminently."

"I wouldn't expect any change coming out of today's COBRA meeting," she said in an interview.

Other officials said this is the moment all Britons should take the lockdown seriously, as the curve of new cases starts to flatten.

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"We need to stick to the path we've chosen," Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said. "The British people have really come behind this. We shouldn't be giving up this Easter weekend, that is the number one thing."

The outbreak of the coronavirus has resulted in more than 7,000 deaths in British hospitals, according to the government's data.

As the number of new cases begins to diminish, the death toll continues to rise in similar patterns to the highest peaks that Italy and Spain have experienced over the last few weeks.

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom reported 938 new deaths, the country's most significant increase to date, according to the AP. Although not all deaths reported each day occurred in the same 24-hour period, and the figures only include deaths in hospitals.