Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says 'arrangements' were being made in case he died

May 02, 2020

Boris Johnson says his health deteriorated so badly after contracting coronavirus that a strategy was drawn up in case he died.

In an interview with The Sun On Sunday, the prime minister revealed he was given "litres and litres of oxygen" after going into intensive care with COVID-19 on 7 April.

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."

The interview comes after his partner Carrie Symonds shared a picture of their new son, who they have named Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson - with the name Nicholas chosen in a nod to the two doctors who saved the prime minister's life.

Mr Johnson also spoke openly about how he was "in denial" about how serious it was when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of March.

"I said I really didn't want to go into hospital," he explained.

"It didn't seem to me to be a good move but they were pretty adamant. Looking back, they were right to force me to go."

Recalling what it was like when things got more serious after he was moved to intensive care, Mr Johnson said: "I was just incredibly frustrated.

"Because the bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction and I thought, 'There's no medicine for this thing and there's no cure.'

"That was the stage when I was thinking, 'How am I going to get out of this?'"

Mr Johnson returned to work on Monday and was immediately faced with preparing for the coronavirus lockdown review due to be announced by Thursday 7 May.

He is expected to lay out the UK's approach to tackling "phase two" of the virus now the peak of infections has passed.

So far more than 28,000 people have died in all settings across the country.

In his first appearance at the daily Downing Street briefing since returning to Number 10, Mr Johnson signalled the government was following Scotland's lead and switching its advice on non-medical face covering.

He said they will be "useful" when enforced social distancing measures are eventually eased to "give people confidence they can go back to work".

It came two days after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there was only "weak science" to support people wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport.

Meanwhile, a poll suggests more than four in five Britons are against lockdown restrictions being eased for schools, pubs and restaurants this week.

Only 17% of those surveyed thought the time was right to consider reopening schools, with smaller proportions of people thinking conditions had been met to allow cinemas, sporting stadia and nightclubs to open their doors.

The Opinium poll for the Observer questioned 2,000 adults between Wednesday and Friday and showed 79% of people were continuing to follow lockdown restrictions into their sixth week.

Next week Kay Burley will be hosting a live Q&A with Health Secretary Matt Hancock. You can put your questions to Mr Hancock about the coronavirus and its impact on your life live on Sky News.

Email us your questions - or you can record a video clip of your question on your phone - and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

HOW TO LISTEN

105.3FM

Online

Mobile Apps

Smart Speaker

Latest Tweets

RT @seaside1053: #WIN - good luck! Enjoy a holiday home break with @SouthCliffHP and @seaside1053 https://t.co/pIEGnhhP9y RT
Great TIP - enjoy this but stay alert, keep your distance and wash your hands #withernsea #holderness… https://t.co/rRsDdAyyDU
Seaside FM Breakfast is on now @seaside1053 with @alexbcann with @StarGoddess941 , john the money man with £180 on… https://t.co/TE7sxghB4d
Follow Seaside FM 105.3 #WashYourHands on Twitter