Boris Johnson has been moved out of the intensive care unit where he has been undergoing treatment for coronavirus, Downing Street has said.
A No 10 spokesman said that the Prime Minister had been returned to the ward at St Thomas’ Hospital 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.”
Good wishes flooded in for the Prime Minister from colleagues, the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and from US president Donald Trump.
The news came less than an hour before the country came together for the weekly Clap for Carers at 8pm on Thursday evening.
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 and on Monday he was said to be issuing instructions and working on his ministerial red boxes from his hospital bed.
But by the evening his condition had deteriorated and he was moved to the intensive care unit in case he required a ventilator.
Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care. Get well Boris!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2020
The announcement was greeted with shock at Westminster amid fears that No 10 had sought to play down the seriousness of his condition.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that while he had received oxygen treatment, he had not needed to be put on a ventilator or CPAP machine.
By Wednesday he was said to have been well enough to sit up in bed and to communicate with his medical team.
Earlier on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for Mr Johnson, told the daily No 10 press conference that the PM had been making “positive steps forward”.
After the news that the PM had left intensive care was announced, Mr Raab declared it “the news we all wanted to hear”.
“Thank you to all the NHS staff helping the country and the PM to beat #coronavirus. Together we can all do our bit by staying home and protecting the NHS #StayHomeSaveLives,” he added.
— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) April 9, 2020
Mr Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds tweeted a string of clapping emojis a short time later as she joined in the Clap For Carers campaign.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “So good that the Prime Minister is out of intensive care and on the road to recovery”, while Sir Keir welcomed the “good news”.
Mr Trump also sent a message of support to the Prime Minister, tweeting: “Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care. Get well Boris!!!”