UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has COVID-19 has been admitted to hospital as the Queen, in only the fifth televised address of her 68-year reign, evoked the era of World War II to speak to the nation under strict lockdown as it tries to stem the deaths from the coronavirus.
Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing Street unit in London since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on 26 March — the first known head of government to fall ill with the coronavirus. He had been expected to re-emerge on Friday (UK time) after a week of recovery and working remotely, but said he would remain at home because he still had a high temperature – one of the symptoms.
“On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” Downing Street said in a statement on Sunday (UK time).
“This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.”
Three hours earlier the Queen called upon Britons to show the resolve of their forebears and demonstrate they were as strong as generations of the past in stamping out COVID-19.
“We will meet again”, she pointedly said in a direct reference to the most famous Dame Vera Lynn song from the war years of the 1940s, when she was a teenager. “Better days will return.”
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” the 93-year-old monarch said in the address from her Windsor Castle home where she is staying with her husband, 98-year-old Prince Philip.
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.”
The Queen’s address to the nation came hours after officials said the death toll in the UK from COVID-19 had risen by 621 in the last 24 hours to 4,934 with a high number fatalities expected in the next seven days, Reuters reported.
Her Majesty The Queen addresses the UK and the Commonwealth in a special broadcast recorded at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/HjO1uiV1Tm
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 5, 2020
The Queen’s address to the nation came hours after officials said the death toll in the UK from coronavirus had risen by 621 in the last 24 hours to 4,934 with a high number fatalities expected in the next seven days, Reuters reported.
The UK, like the majority of countries, is in total lockdown.
France and Italy have recorded their lowest death toll from the coronavirus in one and two weeks respectively. The worldwide death toll surpassed 68,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, Baltimore, and the number of infections rose above 1.26 million.
South Sudan reported its first coronavirus case, one of the last African nations to confirm the presence of COVID-19 within its borders, Al-Jazeera reported.
“South Sudan confirms one case of coronavirus,” Riek Machar, the country’s first vice president, told a press conference in the capital, Juba.
Machar identified the patient as a 29-year-old woman who arrived in South Sudan from the Netherlands via Ethiopia on February 28. Her nationality was not given.