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Boris Johnston being treated in intensive care after ‘condition worsens’

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BORIS JOHNSON is being treated in intensive care after his condition worsened yesterday, with Downing Street warning that the Prime Minister may need to be put on a ventilator as he fights off coronavirus infection.

He was transferred to an intensive care unit at around 7pm yesterday on the advice of doctors after being taken to St Thomas’ Hospital for treatment just under 24 hours earlier.

Mr Johnson was conscious on admission to intensive care, Downing Street said, and asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in for him.
“Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” a spokesman said in a statement issued at 8.10pm.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

The news sparked a flood of well-wishes on social media, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeting: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”

The news followed mounting questions over whether Mr Johnson was well enough to continue leading the government, with Number 10 insisting he remained in overall charge of efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister posted on twitter at 1.20pm that he was in “good spirits and keeping in touch with my team”. But in a sign of the seriousness of his condition, Mr Raab – who chaired the daily coronavirus ‘war cabinet’ yesterday morning – admitted he had not spoken to Mr Johnson since Saturday.

It comes as the latest official figures showed 5,373 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, as of 5pm on Sunday – an increase of 439 on the previous day.

Foreign Office Minister James Duddrige appeared to call on the Prime Minister to stand back from his duties to recover, posting on twitter: “Take care boss. Get well.
Come back fighting. But for now rest, look after yourself and let the others do the heavy lifting.”

And Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who herself recovered from coronavirus, said many of its sufferers would be “felled” by symptoms of fatigue and fever.

At yesterday’s daily press briefing on coronavirus, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty declined to say, under repeated questioning from journalists, whether it was appropriate for the Prime Minister to lead the government from a hospital bed.

Prof Whitty insisted he was “absolutely not going to discuss any individual patient,” and said he was not Mr Johnson’s physician.
But he later added that some patients of his were able to “handle massively complicated things from their hospital beds”.

The Prime Minister first experienced symptoms and was confirmed as having coronavirus last Thursday, with his cough and high temperature continuing for 11 days.
Having previously been described as “mild”, Downing Street said yesterday that his cough and fever were “persistent”.

Mr Raab said the Prime Minister had “a comfortable night” at St Thomas’, across the River Thames from parliament, where he was taken at around 8pm on Sunday.

The decision was made on the advice of Mr Johnson’s private doctors and was a precautionary measure to undergo tests, and not an emergency admission.

But his official spokesman did not deny reports that the Prime Minister had been given oxygen, and would not comment on whether he was being treated for pneumonia.

Coronavirus patients not being allowed visitors in hospital, but Downing Street said a ministerial red box with official papers had been delivered to the Prime Minister’s hospital bed – despite Downing Street saying Mr Johnson would “follow the advice the same as anybody else”.

A report in Russian media that the Prime Minister had already been put on a ventilator was dismissed as “fake news”.

Downing Street insisted it had been “transparent throughout” about Mr Johnson’s health, and would communicate any change in the Prime Minister’s condition to the public.

In his twitter post yesterday afternoon, Mr Johnson wrote: “I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.
“Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

At the daily coronavirus press conference in Downing Street, Mr Raab said ministers and officials were continuing to work “full throttle” to ensure the Prime Minister’s instructions were implemented.
“He’s in charge, but he’ll continue to take doctors’ advice on what to do next,” he said.

Mr Johnson had been expected to leave isolation on Friday, with the pound trading lower on currency markets over fears about the impact that his extended absence from Number 10 could have on the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

His fiancée Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, revealed on Saturday that she was recovering after also contracting the virus.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said it would be “hellish” for Mr Johnson to be in hospital at the peak of the crisis.
Asked by the BBC’s Today programme whether the Prime Minister should give up control of the government to focus on his recovery, Mr Blair said: “I’m not going to second guess them on that.

He knows the state of his own condition and he will be judging it carefully himself, I’m sure.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Cabinet “hope and expect [the Prime Minister can get back to Number 10 very soon”.

Mr Jenrick told Today: “He has worked phenomenally hard, as have many people across the country. This has been a uniquely intense period and I know for him personally it will be very frustrating that he has had to go to hospital to have these tests.

“He will want to be back in No 10 leading from the front, which is his way. But he remains in charge of the government; he will be updated regularly in hospital, as he has been as he’s self-isolating.”

Meanwhile, the Labour MP for Rochdale Tony Lloyd, who served as shadow Scottish Secretary during the final months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has been admitted to
Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment of coronavirus.In a statement issued by the Labour Party, Mr Lloyd’s family said he was “stable and responding to the treatment and dedicated care that he is receiving from the brilliant doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff.”

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Drug drive arrest following routine check

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A MALE has been arrested following a positive roadside test.

The vehicle, which was stopped this morning, June 6, by the Pembrokeshire Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) was part of a routine check.

Traffic officers suspected the driver may be under the influence after smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle.

A roadside drug test was performed with a positive result with the drugswab provided. A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the vehicle.

The cannabis was seized and the driver was arrested, later released under investigation, pending the male’s blood test result for the drug drive offence, out of court disposal for the possession.

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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