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UK leader Boris Johnson’s “Operation Last Gasp” ventilator joke not so funny now

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was put into an ICU unit yesterday due to worsening COVID19 complications he is suffering.

PortandTerminal.com, April 7, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a ‘last gasp’ joke about lack of ventilators amid pandemic two weeks ago. Yesterday he was placed on one.

LONDON – On March 17th Politico (and others) reported that the Prime Minister made a tasteless joke to manufacturers about being part of ‘Operation Last Gasp’ in an effort to build more ventilators to fight coronavirus.

Prime Minister Johnson did not deny the joke which he made during a conference call with over 60 manufacturing businesses in the UK.

The UK currently has 52,301 cases of COVID19 and 5,373 deaths. UK health minister Matt Hancock has acknowledged that the existing stock of 5,000 ventilators is inadequate.

READ: Less than 20,000 virus dead would be a win: UK Head Doctor

The UK could see as many as 66,000 COVID19 deaths during the first wave of the current pandemic, more than a third of the expected death toll across Europe, according to modelling by a US university.

Boris Johnson placed on a ventilator?

Security guards outside the hospital where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated for worsening symptoms of COVID19
Security guards outside the hospital where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated for worsening symptoms of COVID19

The Prime Minister, 55, was admitted to hospital two days ago as a ‘precaution’ after suffering from the COVID19 for ten days. As his condition worsened at the hospital he was moved into intensive care where he required breathing assistance and was placed on a ventilator.

Officials in England are now reporting though that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received “oxygen support” in intensive care as he battles a worsening coronavirus infection, though he is not on a ventilator.

Whatever the case may be, we wish Prime Minister Johnson, whose partner is expecting their first child, a full and quick recovery. And as he recovers we encourage him to reflect on the following information published by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

Peak demand in the UK is expected to total 102,794 hospital beds needed compared to 17,765 available, 24,544 ICU beds compared to 744 ICU beds available, and 20,862 ventilators needed (5,000 available)

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