UK’s Queen Elizabeth invokes WW2 spirit: we can defeat the coronavirus

In a recent undated handout image released by Buckingham Palace on April 5, 2020 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II records her address to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus epidemic at Windsor Castle, west of London. (AFP)
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Updated 05 April 2020

UK’s Queen Elizabeth invokes WW2 spirit: we can defeat the coronavirus

  • Queen makes only fifth special broadcast to nation
  • “We will meet again,” she says, echoing WW2 song

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth told the British people on Sunday that they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdown and self-isolation, invoking the spirit of World War Two in an extremely rare broadcast to the nation.
In what was only the fifth televised address of her 68-year reign, Elizabeth called upon Britons to show the resolve of their forbears and demonstrate they were as strong as generations of the past.
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” the 93-year-old monarch said in the address from her Windsor Castle home where she is staying with her husband Prince Philip, 98.
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us.”
The broadcast came hours after officials said the death toll in Britain from the virus had risen by 621 in the last 24 hours to 4,934 with high fatalities still expected in the next week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among those in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, and the queen’s own son and heir Prince Charles, 71, has recovered after suffering mild symptoms of the virus.
Like many countries in Europe, Britain is in a state of virtual lockdown, with people told to stay at home unless it was essential to go out. Health minister Matt Hancock said even stricter riles might be imposed if the current rules to curb the spread of the virus were flouted.

WORLD WAR TWO SPIRIT
Elizabeth thanked those who were staying at home, thereby helping to spare others from suffering the grief already felt by some families.
She also paid tribute to health care staff for their selfless work and commended the “heart-warming” stories of people across the Commonwealth, of which she is head, and beyond for delivering food and medicines to those who needed them.
Sunday’s address was an extremely rare as the queen usually only speaks to the nation in her annual televised Christmas Day message.
In order to ensure any risk to the elderly monarch herself was mitigated, it was filmed in a big room to ensure a safe distance between her and the cameraman, who wore gloves and a mask and was the only other person present.
Elizabeth said the situation reminded her of her first ever broadcast in 1940, when she and her late sister Margaret spoke from Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes to escape bombing raids by Nazi German aircraft.
She said that in the future people could take pride in how they too had dealt with such a challenge and disruption to their lives.
“Those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” she said. “That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.”
She even invoked the words of the famous song “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn from World War Two which became a symbol of hope for Britons during the conflict.
“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return,” she said. “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”


Pakistan to resume international flight operations

Updated 29 May 2020

Pakistan to resume international flight operations

  • Pakistan has largely rolled back its lockdown measures and resumed domestic flights this month

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will allow international flights to resume, an aviation official said on Friday, after largely closing its airspace to commercial flights since March to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Both national and foreign airlines shall be allowed to operate from all international airports of Pakistan with exception of Gwadar and Turbat,” said Abdul Sattar Khokhar, Senior Joint Secretary at the Civil Aviation Authority in a statement, adding that flights would be allowed from Saturday.
Pakistan has largely rolled back its lockdown measures and resumed domestic flights this month despite a rise in the rate of coronavirus infections. Some airlines received exemptions during the closure to enable international repatriation flights in and out of Pakistan.