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Boris Johnson says he needed ‘litres and litres’ of oxygen as he sheds light on coronavirus intensive care fight

Boris Johnson said he had been ‘all too aware’ of his condition as he received a ‘substantial’ oxygen intake.

2 min read

Boris Johnson has revealed he needed “litres and litres” of oxygen before being moved to intensive care as he struggled with coronavirus.

In his first interview since leaving hospital last month, the Prime Minister told The Sun on Sunday he was a “very lucky man” and said he had been in “denial” about the extent of his illness.

And he revealed doctors had discussed how to handle the situation if things went “badly wrong” in his treatment.

The PM returned to work on Monday after a stint recuperating at his official country residence, Chequers. 

He was first diagnosed with Covid-19 in late March, spending more than ten days in self-isolation before being moved to St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where his condition initially worsened.

Recounting the experience, Mr Johnson told the newspaper: “There was one stage when they were giving me really quite a lot of oxygen.

“So they gave me a face mask and my intake became really quite substantial. I was going through litres and litres of oxygen for a long time.

“I was fully conscious and all too aware of what was going on. The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my ­windpipe...

He added: “They were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally...

“It was a tough old moment. I won’t deny it.”

Mr Johnson meanwhile revealed doctors at St Thomas’ “had all sorts of plans for what to do if things went badly wrong”, with some preparing for a “Death of Stalin” moment should he succumb to his illness.

And he heaped praise on the NHS team who treated him as he admitted he had been “so lucky” to recover from the virus.

He added: “There are people that I know well, who I’m sure we both know well, who are still on ventilation, who are still in comas.

"There are so many who have suffered, so many families who are still facing huge anxiety.

“So many who have lost loved ones and so if you ask me ‘am I driven by a desire to stop other people suffering’.

“Yes, I absolutely am. But I am also driven by an overwhelming desire to get our country as a whole back on its feet, healthy again, going forward in a way that we can and I’m very ­confident we’ll get there.”

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