Boris Johnson has now revealed just how ill he was from the coronavirus, so ill in fact there were real concerns by his doctors that he would survive at all.
After a week in hospital, and two more spent recuperating at Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence, Boris Johnson arrived at Downing Street last weekend in an inconspicuous Volkswagen mini-van. He slipped inside. There was no victory sign or cheerful wave.
The PM disclosed that he was “in denial” about how serious his diagnosis was and admits he “really didn’t want to go into hospital.”
Boris Johnson says his health deteriorated so badly after contracting coronavirus that a strategy was drawn up in case he died. The prime minister revealed he was given “litres and litres of oxygen” after going into intensive care with Covid-19 on April 7.
Mr Johnson said: “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it. They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario. “I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place.
“The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong. They gave me a face mask so I got litres and litres of oxygen and for a long time I had that and the little nose jobbie,” he added, referring to a nasal canula used to supply patients with oxygen and air.
“The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe. That was when it got a bit … they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”
Mr Johnson, 55, spent a week in hospital, including 48 hours in intensive care, after two weeks isolated in his flat above 11 Downing Street, he is now recovered but faces the biggest challenge of his political career, getting Britain back to work.