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‘This is the moment of maximum risk’: Boris Johnson warns country to stay patient over lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:06 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 27 April 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the easing of lockdown restrictions in workplaces    Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the easing of lockdown restrictions in workplaces Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has warned the UK is at the point of “maximum risk” in its battle against coronavirus as he acknowledged frustrations over the continuing lockdown but urged people to “recognise the risk of a second spike”.

Prime Minister Boris John makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, as he resumes working after spending two weeks recovering from Covid-19. The Prime Minister is resuming full-time duties at the head of the Government three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with the disease. Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA WirePrime Minister Boris John makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, as he resumes working after spending two weeks recovering from Covid-19. The Prime Minister is resuming full-time duties at the head of the Government three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with the disease. Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

As the Prime Minister returned to take charge of the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis following his recovery from Covid-19, he said there are signs that the UK is “passing through the peak” of the outbreak and “coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict”.

Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said the country was beginning to “turn the tide” against coronavirus and thanked people for the “sheer grit and guts” they had shown during the pandemic.

Acknowledging how difficult it had been he said: “Every day I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land.”

Mr Johnson said he shared business concerns about the length of the lockdown but he refused to “throw away all the effort and sacrifice of the British people” and risk a second peak.

Mr Johnson continued: “It is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war and I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face.

“And yet it is also true that we are making progress with fewer hospital admissions, fewer Covid patients in ICU and real signs now that we are passing through the peak.

“And thanks to your forbearance, your good sense your altruism, your spirit of community, thanks to our collective national resolve, we are on the brink of achieving that first clear mission to prevent our National Health Service from being overwhelmed in a way that tragically we have seen elsewhere.

“And that is how and why we are now beginning to turn the tide.”

Mr Johnson, drawing on his own battle with Covid-19 which put him in intensive care, said: “If this virus were a physical assailant, an unexpected and invisible mugger - which I can tell you from personal experience, it is - then this is the moment when we have begun together to wrestle it to the floor.

“And so it follows that this is the moment of opportunity, this is the moment when we can press home our advantage, it is also the moment of maximum risk.”

He said he understood “how hard and stressful” it has been to give up basic freedoms but he said the potential of a second spike in cases risked “economic disaster”.

Mr Johnson added: “And so I know it is tough. And I want to get this economy moving as fast as I can, but I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS.”


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