A country in intensive care

A country in intensive care

© dpa
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to St. Thomas Hospital on Sunday.

Late Monday evening, news from London’s St. Thomas Hospital alarmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition was so bad that he had to go to the intensive care unit. Britain in a state of emergency.

He was still optimistic after his corona infection, but already looked pretty battered. Now the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated in the intensive care unit of St. Thomas’ Hospital for his Covid 19 disease. Johnson was taken to the state hospital on Sunday. The condition of the 55-year-old had suddenly deteriorated significantly during the Monday afternoon. “The Prime Minister is in excellent hands and thanks all employees of the (health service) NHS for their hard work and commitment,” it said in the official announcement. He was conscious and received oxygen support, “but he wasn’t on a ventilator,” Minister of State Michael Gove told LBC radio on Tuesday. Downing Street, however, did not provide information about the exact condition of Johnson.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab took over government affairs. His first official act as Prime Minister will be on Tuesday to lead the daily “War Cabinet” corona video conference, PA agency said. The Times has called Raab “de facto prime minister” since Monday evening. When fighting the virus, he wanted to follow Johnson’s line.

In early March, Prime Minister Johnson boasted that he had shaken hands in a hospital, including Covid 19 patients. He would continue to do that, he said at the time. His lax behavior at the beginning of the crisis was harshly criticized by many. This is one of the reasons why the British government is under considerable pressure in the fight against the pandemic: a lurching course wasted valuable time in containing the outbreak. The chronically underfunded health service NHS (National Health Service) also does not have enough tests, protective equipment and respirators. According to British media reports, the first clinics even reported a lack of oxygen for respiratory ventilation.

The UK government announced Monday evening that 51,608 people had tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK, of which 5373 died. According to experts, there could be many more victims. The death toll in the UK could rise to 7,000 to just over 20,000, government adviser and epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who is a professor at Imperial College London, told the BBC on Sunday.

“Serious mistakes have been made,” Keir Starmer, the newly elected leader of the British Labor Party, wrote in a guest article in the Sunday Times last weekend. The conservative government admitted too late that Britain was lagging behind other countries in the number of tests, the opposition leader said. Now the promise to carry out 100,000 tests a day must be quickly fulfilled. In particular, hospital employees would have to be tested and equipped with the necessary protective clothing, Starmer said.

A poll conducted by the Royal College of Physicians on Sunday showed that around 20 percent of UK medical staff are currently absent from work. Most cited this as a suspected but unconfirmed Covid 19 disease in themselves or in relatives. Almost a quarter of the respondents also stated that they did not have sufficient access to protective clothing.

Starmer also called for clarity on the government’s plans to gradually lift restrictions in the country. The infrastructure had to be worked on in order to immunize the population with a vaccine as soon as it was available.

Queen Elizabeth II had addressed the British in a historic television speech on Sunday evening and called on them to persevere. The 93-year-old also encouraged that the pandemic can be defeated. “Better days will come again, we will be united with our friends, we will be united with our families. We’ll see each other again. ”The Queen also alluded to the privations of the Second World War in her much praised speech. She hopes “that the characteristics of self-discipline, quiet, good-natured determination and compassion still distinguish this country.”

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Hardly any industrialized country is as badly prepared for the corona pandemic as Great Britain. The health system, which was already struggling anyway, has recently been virtually saved. The problems appeared long before Boris Johnson’s illness.

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