In Britain, where the total number of reported coronavirus deaths surpassed 10,600 this weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital on Sunday.
It was a major step forward in his recovery from the coronavirus and a welcome relief for a nation whose political leadership has been harder hit by the contagion than that of any other Western country.
In a video posted on Twitter, he credited the National Health Service with saving his life, calling it “the beating heart of this country.”
“It’s hard to find words to express my debt,” he said, looking a bit wan but speaking with his usual vigor.
He named two nurses — Jenny, from New Zealand and Luis, from Portugal — who “stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way.”
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal later thanked Luis Pitarma and all Portuguese professionals fighting Covid-19 around the world.
Jenny McGee, the nurse from New Zealand, told her family she was “blown away” by Mr. Johnson’s recognition, according to The New Zealand Herald.
Mr. Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, will convalesce at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, the government said in a statement. But he will soon be able to sign off on major decisions, including when to ease the country’s lockdown.
His release came a day after Queen Elizabeth II released a recorded Easter message in which she said that the holiday was a time of “light overcoming darkness.”
The total number of confirmed cases in the country is nearly 79,000, and the virus has also emerged in the country’s prisons. The fiancée of Julian Assange — the WikiLeaks founder, who is being held in Belmarsh prison, a high-security facility in London — appealed for him and others to be released on bail because an inmate at the facility has died from the coronavirus. Mr. Assange and his partner, Stella Moris-Smith Robertson, a legal researcher on his legal team, have two young children together.
Crime has generally fallen in the country since lockdown measures were introduced — a 21 percent drop in the last four weeks compared with the same period last year, officials said on Saturday.
But the home secretary, Priti Patel, said in a daily briefing that fraudsters had been using the pandemic “as a hook for new acquisitive crimes” with losses to victims surpassing 1.8 million pounds, about $2.2 million.
She also said that online sex abusers had been exploiting the fact that an increasing number of young people are online at home, and that calls to a national hotline for victims of domestic abuse had increased 120 percent in one 24-hour.