London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is gradually engaging with government officials and his Cabinet as he prepares for a full-time return from his convalescence following his COVID-19 hospitalisation, Downing Street said on Tuesday. Also Read - Boris Johnson Begins Taking Charge of Govt After COVID-19 Hospitalisation: Report
The 55-year-old will not be resuming formal government duties yet but is scheduled to speak to US President Donald Trump later on Tuesday and hold his weekly audience with Queen Elizabeth II over the phone later this week. Also Read - UK PM Boris Johnson Discharged From Hospital Following Coronavirus Treatment
“He has been receiving updates from Number 10 on the coronavirus response and has spoken with the First Secretary of State [Dominic Raab] and senior members of his team,” Johnson’s official Downing Street spokesperson said. Also Read - Coronavirus: In First Public Statement, Boris Johnson Says 'Owe my Life to NHS Staff'
“Yesterday (on Monday) he sent a message of condolence to Justin Trudeau after the very sad loss of life in the shooting in Canada. Later today, at around about 2pm (local time), he will be speaking with President Trump, the spokesperson said.
However, it was stressed that Johnson would be “continuing his recovery at Chequers and isn’t formally doing government work”, with Raab continuing to be in charge as his deputy.
Johnson has been recuperating at his prime ministerial country residence in Buckinghamshire since his discharge from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London last week, after he tested positive for coronavirus and had to be shifted into intensive care for a few days as his condition worsened.
It is customary for the British prime minister to hold a weekly audience with the monarch, which had been transformed into telephone engagements as the coronavirus lockdown came into force last month.
Johnson will now be resuming the phone audience with the Queen, who turned 94 on Tuesday, after a three-week hiatus due to his illness.