Queen Elizabeth II has urged people to "protect the most vulnerable" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus on Female First

Coronavirus on Female First

The 93-year-old monarch has sent a message to the people in the United Kingdom as the nation battles against the ongoing spread of COVID-19, which has caused the death of 137 people as of the time of writing, with more than 2,600 cases.

Queen Elizabeth told people to "come together to work as one", and insisted that everyone has a "vitally important part to play" in limiting the spread of the illness, such as staying at home as much as possible, and protecting vulnerable groups including elderly people and those who are immunocompromised.

In a statement shared on Thursday (19.03.20), she said: "As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal."

The royal went on to thank "our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services" for their work in helping to combat the virus, and called on everyone to face the "challenge".

She added: "We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals - today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

"Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge."

And despite being vulnerable to the illness herself, Queen Elizabeth assured people the royal family "stand ready to play [their] part".

Concluding her message, she said: "You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part."

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