Monday 16 March 2020 3:19 AM UTC
London March 16: Queen Elizabeth has been shifted from the Buckingham Palace in London to Windsor Castle as UK plans for isolation measures for people over 70 with the country’s coronavirus death toll hitting 21, nearly doubling from 11 within a day.
The 93-year-old monarch and her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are likely to be placed in quarantine at the royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk in the coming weeks as tougher measures are put in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the UK affecting over 1,140 people.
The deadly virus has claimed over 5,300 lives and infected more than 142,000 people across 135 countries and territories, with the World Health Organisation describing the outbreak as a pandemic on Wednesday.
“Other events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice,” a Buckingham Palace statement said as it announced diary cancellations for the monarch.
Some reports indicate that her move from the palace in the heart of London, which has a large staff and frequent visitors, was part of a regular weekend getaway for the Queen to Windsor on Thursday.
However, other reports indicate that the situation will be kept under constant review before she is brought back to London and may instead be shifted to Sandringham, with a much smaller staff.
“She is in good health but it was thought best to move her,” a royal source was quoted by “The Sun” as saying.
“The Palace hosts a constant stream of visitors, including politicians and dignitaries from around the world. The Queen has met a lot of people there until recently.
But she is weeks away from her 94th birthday and advisers believe it is best to get her out of harm’s way,” the source said.
Meanwhile, UK health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the government’s plans to put the elderly and vulnerable into complete isolation within weeks.
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