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‘Tough old moment’: Boris Johnson says ‘arrangements’ were made for his death as he battled coronavirus

PM admits he had to be ‘forced’ to go to hospital 

Vincent Wood
Sunday 03 May 2020 08:11 BST
Coronavirus in numbers

Contingency plans were put in place to announce the death of Boris Johnson as he lay in intensive care, the prime minister has said after admitting he had to be “forced” to go to hospital.

Downing Street was keen to downplay the level of threat faced by the PM during his time as St Thomas’ in London, repeatedly saying he was in “good spirits” after he was taken into intensive care three weeks after his initial diagnosis.

However the PM has since confirmed a strategy was ready in the event of his death, and that he was being given “litres and litres of oxygen” despite assurances from first minister Dominic Raab at the time that he was “breathing unassisted”.

Describing it as a “tough old moment”, Mr Johnson told the Sun on Sunday: “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.

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.

But despite feeling “pretty rough” he said he had to be “forced” to go in for medical treatment on the urging of professionals, and that he was “in denial” about how bad the virus truly was as he continued to work from home via video link.

Upon being admitted, he said it was “hard to believe” his health had deteriorated in just a few days, adding he “couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better”.

The PM told the paper the “indicators kept going in the wrong direction” and that he kept asking himself: “How am I going to get out of this?”

“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.”

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