At the moment, over 5,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Great Britain, and the death toll from the disease has climbed to at least 233.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons not to visit their loved ones on Mother’s Day (which is on Sunday, 22 March this year) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the politician, the National Health Service (NHS) would be at risk if the infection is not curbed.
“The Italians have a superb health care system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand… The Italian death toll is already in the thousands and climbing. Unless we act together unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed”, Johnson said.
REUTERS / POOL
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference about coronavirus at Downing Street in London, Britain March 9, 2020.
He noted that this year the best gift for mothers is to stay away, preventing the possible spread of the disease.
“This time, the best thing is to ring her, video call her, Skype her, but to avoid any unnecessary physical contact or proximity”, the prime minister said. “And why? Because if your mother is elderly or vulnerable, then I am afraid all the statistics show that she is much more likely to die from coronavirus or COVID-19. We cannot disguise or sugar-coat the threat”.
Johnson earlier told journalists that he would be contacting his 77-year-old mother via Skype.
The novel coronavirus, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan back in December, has since spread to over 120 countries, infecting over 300,000 people and killing over 13,000. Outside mainland China, the biggest centres of the pandemic right now are Italy, the United States, Spain, Germany, and Iran.