UK PM ‘on top of things’ but under fire over early virus response
London: The British government insisted Sunday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was "on top of things" as he recovers from the coronavirus facing criticism of his early handling of the crisis.
The Conservative leader spent three days in intensive care after contracting the virus, and has been off work since March 27, but was released from hospital last Sunday after a week-long stay.
Britain's official death toll from the virus now stands at 16,060 after 596 more deaths were reported Sunday, and the country has been under lockdown since March 23, with the government extending it until at least the end of the month.
Senior minister Michael Gove said it was too early to consider easing the restrictions given the "worrying" number of deaths.
He sought to defend Johnson after the prime minister was accused of being "missing in action" in the early stages of the outbreak.
Johnson "is absolutely on top of things" and issuing instructions, Gove told Sky News. "The prime minister is recovering well, he is in cheerful spirits."
His comments came after a Sunday Times newspaper report said Johnson had missed five of the government's emergency response meetings in January and February. - AFP