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‘This generation as strong as any’: Queen urges Brits to respond to challenge

“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” the American President said in a sombre start to his daily briefing on the pandemic. “There will be death.”

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, the hardest hit state in the US, praised China for facilitating a shipment of 1000 ventilators.

In her televised message to be broadcast on Sunday evening, local time, the Queen will recognise the pain felt by many families living through this “time of disruption” and will personally thank health and care workers, as well as others carrying out essential roles.

It comes as the UK death toll from the virus rose by 708 – bringing the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths to 4313 as of 5pm on Friday, up from 3605 the day before. A five-year-old child was among the victims.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove have reiterated calls for Britons to obey the social distancing rules despite the warm weather, but some parks closed on Saturday as too many people flouted the advice to stay at home.

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Carrie Symonds, Johnson’s pregnant fiancee, said she had spent the last week in bed suffering coronavirus symptoms, but was “on the mend”.

Newly elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the government of making “serious mistakes” in its response to the coronavirus crisis, but pledged to engage “constructively” with ministers.

The Queen will say in her address to the country and Commonwealth: “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 that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.

“That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humoured resolve and of fellow feeling still characterise this country.”

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She will acknowledge the “grief” some have experienced, the “financial difficulties” many face, and the “enormous changes” the country is enduring, after almost two weeks of lockdown to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

Commenting on the difficulties facing the nation, the Queen, 93, will say: “I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time.

“A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

The Queen has been staying at her Berkshire home of Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh since March 19, arriving earlier than normal for the Easter period as a precaution amid the pandemic.

New infections have slowed in Italy, with 4805 new cases registered Saturday to bring its official count to 124,632. The death toll, the highest in the world, rose to 15,362.

In Spain, which has a similar number of infections, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that his nation is “starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” He said in a televised address that if current trends continue, experts say Spain can begin reducing the outbreak in the coming days.

In New Zealand, where the number of infections passed 1000, Jacinda Ardern’s government has quietly codified a “bonk ban” more than a week into the four-week lockdown.

Before the lockdown, Ardern asked Kiwis to “apply common sense” but the release of the Health Act Order, makes clear that partners who do not live in the same household are not allowed to fraternise, with very limited exemptions; for shared custody of children, and when at least one of the partners lives alone.

PA, AP

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