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Queen Elizabeth II addresses UK amid COVID-19 pandemic

LONDON 

Queen Elizabeth II addressed the U.K. and Commonwealth on Sunday amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Together we are tackling this disease and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she said.

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again,” she said.

The Queen, 93, pre-recorded the message earlier in the week. It was broadcast at 8 p.m. local time.

It was recorded at the Windsor Castle, where she is staying with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98.

Excluding her yearly Christmas messages, it is only the fifth special televised broadcast the longest-reigning monarch has given in her 65-year-reign.

The other four occasions were the First Gulf War in 1991, the eve of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, the death of the Queen Mother in 2002, and her Diamond Jubilee -- the 60th anniversary of her reign -- in 2012.

The Queen thanked staff in the country’s National Health Service, saying: “I want to thank everyone on the NHS frontline, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all.

“I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.”

“The moments when the U.K. has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit,” she said.

Referring to coronavirus’ global reach, she said: “While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.”

The Queen instilled a sense of hope and pride in her country and commonwealth, saying: “We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.”

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.

“And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country,” she added.

British health authorities announced on Sunday that the U.K.-wide death toll from coronavirus rose by 621 in 24 hours.

The Department of Health said there were now 47,806 positive cases, and 4,934 deaths.

More than 1.2 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Over 68,400 people died after contracting the virus, while 258,500 recovered after treatment.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 183 countries and territories.

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