Don’t visit loved ones on Mother’s Day - Prime Minister’s message amid coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:14 22 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:20 22 March 2020

Honiton is one of thousands of town's countrywide affected by Covid-19. Picture: Getty Images

Honiton is one of thousands of town's countrywide affected by Covid-19. Picture: Getty Images

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The Prime Minister has urged people not to visit their parents on Mother’s Day (Sunday, March 22).

A screen-grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson  speaking at a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). PA Photo. Picture date: Friday March 20, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: PA Video/PA WireA screen-grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). PA Photo. Picture date: Friday March 20, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: PA Video/PA Wire

Mr Johnson said that while ‘everyone’s strongest instinct’ was to visit their mother today, the best single present they could give her was to stay away and spare her the risk of becoming infected.

“This time the best thing is to ring her, video call her, Skype her, but to avoid any unnecessary physical contact or proximity,” he 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.”

Asked at his No 10 press conference on Friday whether he would be seeing his own mother, 77-year-old Charlotte Johnson Wahl, the Prime Minister said he would ‘certainly be sending her my very best wishes and hope to get to see her’.

A Downing Street source later clarified that his contact with his mother on Sunday would be confined to a conversation over Skype.

The latest official figures released on Saturday showed the number of people across the UK who have died after testing positive for Covid-19 has risen to 233, with 53 more deaths in England, two in Wales and one in Scotland.

As of Saturday (March 21), 42 cases have been confirmed in Devon, with 11 in Plymouth and 10 in Torbay.

Those being urged to stay at home include people who have received organ transplants, those severe with respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis (COPD), and with some cancers such as those of the blood or bone marrow.

They also include some - though not all - of those receiving certain types of drug treatments including those which suppress the immune system - leaving the body less able to fight off the virus.

Where possible, they will receive regular text messages containing advice and guidance on how to manage their condition while at home, including on getting prescriptions delivered and accessing support for daily living.

Those living with them are urged to “stringently” minimise any personal contact.


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