British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the coronavirus, was shifted from the intensive care unit to a hospital ward on Thursday, but will continue to remain under close observation, Reuters reported.

Johnson was admitted to St Thomas hospital last week with “persistent symptoms” and was later shifted to the intensive care unit, where he spent three nights. “The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a statement released by his spokesperson said. “He is in extremely good spirits.”

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the improvement in Johnson’s condition was “the news we all wanted to hear”. Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump described it as “great news”.

Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock, welcomed also the news that the prime minister had left intensive care, saying: “I know our amazing National Health Service staff have given him their characteristic world-class care,” according to The Guardian.

Johnson had previously been described as “sitting up in bed” and engaging with hospital staff, However, the government statement did not make it immediately clear by when Johnson may be able to resume leadership.

Johnson tested positive for the virus on 27 March, but continued to work while isolating himself in Downing Street, including chairing meetings by videolink. He later quarantined himself at his official residence, and said that his infection was “mild”. However, he did not come out of quarantine on April 3, as originally planned.

Meanwhile, experts on Thursday said United Kingdom is entering “the deadliest phase” of the outbreak, with deaths expected to continue to rise as the country imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the pandemic.

The United Kingdom has reported 65,872 cases of the virus, with 7,993 deaths as of Friday, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The global number of Covid-19 cases worldwide on Friday crossed 16 lakh, and over 95,000 patients have died.