Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Prime Minister has been “engaging positively” with the medics treating him in St Thomas’s Hospital in London yesterday.
Downing Street later confirmed Mr Johnson remains in intensive care but is making “steady progress”.
But the boost came as the nation saw its record number of deaths in hospitals, with a rise of 938 taking the toll to at least 7,097, according to Department of Health figures.
Though significantly larger than the previous highest toll of 786, Deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Dame Angela McLean said new cases are not “accelerating out of control”.
Updating the nation on the Prime Minister’s condition, Mr Sunak said: “The latest from the hospital is the Prime Minister remains in intensive care where his condition is improving.
“I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team.
“The prime minister is not only my colleague and my boss but also my friend, and my thoughts are with him and his family.”
The Prime Minister was admitted to hospital on Sunday after suffering a persistent cough and temperature, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
On Monday, his condition worsened and he was transferred to intensive care, where a ventilator would be at hand if needed.
However, the Prime Minister has continued to breathe unaided with only “standard oxygen treatment”.
Mr Sunak was challenged over whether Mr Johnson had received adequate medical care while self-isolating in Downing Street, insisting the Prime Minister had “received excellent care and advice at every step of the process”.
The Chancellor said ministers and officials had been “doing their best to follow the guidelines”, adding: “Whether people are away or social distancing or in the same place, the business of government throughout all of this has gone on at pace.”