The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 18:59

Latest COVID-19 updates as Queen to give special address this weekend and new hospital opens

The Queen has recorded a special address to be broadcast to the nation this weekend.

According to Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty, who is currently at Windsor Castle, has recorded a message that will be broadcast on TV, radio and social media at 20:00 (BST) on Sunday.

The broadcast will be only her fourth special address at a time of crisis during her 68-year reign. The monarch recorded an annual message at Christmas, but other addresses are rare. Her Majesty has previously made special addresses during the First Gulf War in 1991, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales funeral in 1997, and most recently in 2002 after the Queen Mother’s death. A televised address was also made by the Queen in 2012 to make her Diamond Jubilee.

It comes as Prince Charles opened the NHS Nightingale hospital in London on Friday via video link – the UK’s first emergency field hospital to deal with Coronavirus patients. The hospital initially has 500 beds in place and has room for another 3,500. The hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other hospitals across London.

The hospital in London’s ExCel Centre took just 9 days to equip and fit, thanks to the work of over 160 contractors and 200 army engineers working up to 15-hour shifts. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been self-isolating after announcing last week that he had contracted the virus, is to continue self-isolating due to continuing symptoms.

The number of people who have died with the Coronavirus in the UK has increased by 684 in 24 hours, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care. A total of 38,168 have tested positive for the virus so far in the UK, while there have now been over 1 million confirmed cases worldwide.


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Photo Credit: Sludge G via Flickr under licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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