London, April 12 (IANS) In her Easter message, the UK’S Queen Elizabeth II has stressed the importance of sticking to the coronavirus lockdown measures, saying that “by keeping apart we keep others safe”.
With the COVID-19 outbreak rendering church services impossible, the 93-year-old monarch on Saturday delivered what was believed to be her first Easter address, which had the resolute message: “We know that coronavirus will not overcome us,” the Metro newspaper reported.
The Queen’s pre-recorded speech offered support to those marking the occasion privately as well as the wider country, adding: “But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever.”
It ended on the positive note: “May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
Social distancing was observed during the recording of the message, with the Queen delivering the address alone into a microphone set up in Windsor Castle’s White Drawing room while the sound engineer was in a nearby room.
Saturday’s message comes after the Queen’s moving televised address to the nation on April 5 when she said that by remaining united the country would overcome the virus, and assured those in lockdown “we will meet again”.
The British government has urged people to stay at home this Easter, the most important period in the religious calendar for Christians, amid fears that with continuing good weather, people would flock to parks and beaches and undermine its social distancing strategy, said the Metro newspaper report.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has acknowledged the warm weather but said it was too early to lift the social distancing measures.
The latest figures from the Department of Health reveal a total of 9,892 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, while the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK increased to 79,885.