Coronavirus: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discharged from hospital, thanks Kiwi nurse 'Jenny' for saving his life

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo credit: Twitter

Boris Johnson has been discharged from hospital, thanking a Kiwi nurse in particular for her care while he was battling for his life.

The UK Prime Minister was admitted to hospital around a week ago, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In a video released on Twitter early on Monday (NZ time), Johnson thanked all the NHS staff who took care of him while he was in ICU, making a special effort to thank one nurse from Invercargill in particular.

"I want to thank the many nurses, men and women, whose care has been so astonishing," he said in the video, listing a number of the people whose help he appreciated.

He then went on to single out two more helpers, who said he never left his bedside while the going was tough.

"And I hope they won't mind if I mention in particular two nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way," he said.

"They are Jenny from New Zealand - Invercargill on the South Island to be exact - and Luis from Portugal, near Porto.

"And the reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed."

The Prime Minister, who was staying at St Thomas' Hospital in central London, said he had personally "seen the pressure the NHS" is under.

"It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS  for saving my life," he said.

The chief executive of St Thomas' Hospital, Dr Ian Abbs, said he was "incredibly proud" of his staff.

"I want to pay tribute to the teams whose dedication, skill and compassion made this possible.

"It is a great credit to the exceptional professionalism of clinical teams, as well as everyone in the wider organisation, that we have been able to care for the Prime Minister so effectively, whilst continuing to deliver equally high standards of care to all of our patients."

Dr Abbs said although the NHS was celebrating the good news of Johnson's recovery, there were still many more people requiring help.

The Prime Minister's message comes as the death toll in his country tops 10,000.

According to the Health Ministry, 737 new deaths were recorded in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total to 10,612. The two previous daily increases were both of more than 900.

Johnson initially played down the threat of COVID-19, continuing to shake hands with people and saying it was "business as usual", even as experts warned against the dangers of COVID-19.

The UK has recorded more than 80,000 cases of COVID-19.