U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital on Sunday morning and thanked the National Health Service in his first public statement after being moved out of intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. “I can’t thank them enough,” he said on the eve of his release. “I owe them my life.” Johnson, 55, was the first world leader to test positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, and his symptoms gradually deteriorated to the point of first needing hospitalization and then intensive care. After three days in the I.C.U. ward, he was moved back to regular care. He received oxygen, but was not intubated for a ventilator. “I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question. It’s hard to find words to express my debt,” he said in a video message on Sunday. “I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors… who took some crucial decisions a few days ago for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life,” he added. Johnson also gave thanks to two nurses who remained by his bedside when “things could have gone either way.”
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement that Johnson needed “time and space to rest, recuperate and recover.” The U.K. recorded 917 new COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday, bringing the death toll there to 9,875.