LONDON: The British government insisted on Sunday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was "on top of everything" as he recovered from the coronavirus that was facing criticism for its early handling of the crisis.
The conservative leader spent three days in intensive care after contracting the virus, and has been out of work since March 27, but was released last Sunday after a week-long stay.
The official death toll from the virus in Britain is now 16,060 after 596 more deaths were reported on Sunday, and the country has been under blockade since March 23, with the government extending it until at least the end of the month. .
Education Minister Gavin Williamson said Sunday "I can't give you an appointment" on when the schools will reopen.
Recent figures suggest that the outbreak in Britain was "beginning to stabilize," said Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, but cautioned that "it was not fair to say we are past the peak."
Prime Minister Michael Gove sought to defend Johnson before the prime minister was accused of "being missing in action" in the early stages of the outbreak.
Johnson "is absolutely aware of everything" and issuing instructions, Gove said. Sky news. "The prime minister is recovering well, he is in a good mood."
His comments came after a Sunday time The newspaper report said Johnson had missed five of the government's emergency response meetings in January and February.
"None of us expect the impossible, but there are serious questions about why the prime minister skipped Cobra's meetings," said shadow Labor Minister of Health Jonathan Ashworth. Sky news.
"It suggests from the start that he disappeared in action." Gove claimed that there were inaccuracies in the Sunday time report, which relied heavily on unidentified civil service sources, and that the government would issue a rebuttal.
"The idea that the prime minister" skipped "the meetings, I think, is grotesque, there are meetings across the government, some chaired by the health secretary, others chaired by other ministers," he said.
“The Prime Minister made all the important decisions. No one can say that the prime minister was not throwing heart and soul at the virus. "Williamson also defended his boss, saying that" he has absolutely been leading our effort "to combat the virus.
The government is also under pressure over a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line health workers, with warnings that the gowns could wear out in a matter of days.
Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Board of the British Medical Association (BMA), said Sky that 50 percent of doctors say they feel they don't have adequate protection. "The government has not been as agile as it should have been," he added.
"This is extremely emotionally draining and it is affecting the health workforce." Gove said the PPE was the government's "first priority" and suggested that 25 million dresses would arrive from China "in due course."
"Dresses are the area when the need is greatest," she said.
Posted in Dawn, April 20, 2020