April 27, 2020 / 8:31 AM / a month ago

UK PM Johnson thanks Britons for abiding by lockdown on return to work

A Police officer is seen in Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to return to work on Monday after recovering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked Britons for abiding by the lockdown as he returned to work on Monday after recovering from a serious COVID-19 infection, saying Britain was turning the tide against the coronavirus spread.

“Everyday I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land and it is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war,” Johnson said outside his Downing Street office.

Johnson, who spent days in intensive care in hospital after he was infected with the virus, said the country was coming “to the end of the first phase of this conflict”.

“We must also recognise the risk of a second spike, the risk of losing control of that virus and letting the reproduction rate go back over one because that would mean not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster,” he said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; writing by Michael Holden; Editing by William Schomberg

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