British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit after being hospitalized following his diagnosis with COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus.
Johnson was brought to St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday night merely “as a precaution” because his coronavirus symptoms were not clearing up. Johnson’s administration initially tried to downplay his illness to keep the public from being alarmed.
“Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” a spokesman said.
However, Johnson’s health is quickly deteriorating, and the government has been forced to admit the seriousness of the Prime Minister’s medical situation.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital,” the spokesman said.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary. The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication,” they added.
Johnson addressed the British people on his Twitter account earlier today, indicating that he is still on the job regardless of his worsening condition.
“Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” Johnson wrote in a tweet.
Politicians from all sides of the aisle are wishing Johnson the best as he fights for his life in the ICU while afflicted with the oft-deadly coronavirus.
“Terribly sad news. All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” new Labour leader Keir Starmer wrote in a tweet.
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote in a tweet: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”
“My thoughts tonight are with @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds. I know he’ll be getting the best care possible and will come out of this even stronger,” tweeted Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
“Praying for the Prime Minister’s swift recovery tonight,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote in a tweet.
Big League Politics will continue to monitor Johnson’s condition and provide updates as his health improves or worsens.
Canadian Police Report Almost 2,200 Home Visits To Monitor Quarantine Compliance
Canadian police officers reportedly have conducted almost 2,200 home visits to ensure travelers into the country are complying with quarantine rules.
In late March, the Canadian government announced the start of the Quarantine Act, which mandates that anyone entering the country, with the exception of essential workers like truck drivers and those in healthcare, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Failure to comply can incur a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison. However, so far there have been no arrests, and only one fine of $1,000.
Still, many may find unsettling the degree to which the Canadian police, in coordination with official border and health services, are enforcing a nanny state by paying home visits to incoming travelers deemed at risk of non-compliance. In addition, prime minister Justin Trudeau has hinted that even tougher measures could be coming, even once Canada begins easing cross-border travel.
Also in late March, the Trudeau government announced a halt to all immigration in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, current immigration applications would not be closed or denied due to failure to meet typical requirements.
Still, many pointed out that Canada’s response was actually stronger than the US’, which has continued to import thousands of H-1B workers even while under lockdown due to a global pandemic.
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since the end of March, and this was recently extended, likely into mid-June. Trudeau has stated that the closure and its extension were implemented with full cooperation from the US.
While travel into Canada has not stopped completely, it has fallen drastically since the implementation of restrictive policies. However, critics of the government question whether Trudeau reacted quickly enough, and argue that the policy going forward is too vague and requires more explanation and accountability.
As stated by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus:
“It was the Trudeau government’s failure to close our borders that allowed the virus to spread in the first place. It is incumbent on the Trudeau government to explain how they plan to ensure that travelers who are coming back to Canada are not spreading COVID-19… Unfortunately, right now the Trudeau government is telling Canadians to ‘wait and see’ without explaining what metrics they are relying on to make decisions.”
While Canada is doing significantly better than the US in terms of the number of cases, one tragically sobering area in which it has exhibited clear failure is the fate of its elderly, particularly those in state and private long-term care institutions.
It is estimated that up to 86% of the Canadian death toll is from facilities such as long-term care, retirement, and corrections, with the first two making up the large majority. In one privately-run nursing home, as much as one third of residents have died from coronavirus.
While the situation is complex and there are few countries that do not seem to have significant problems with their approach, it is clear that something is wrong with Canada’s. Perhaps the government should focus more on taking care of its elderly than intrusively monitoring its citizens.
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