Prince Philip makes rare post-retirement statement about coronavirus

Prince Philip has broken his retirement silence to speak out about the coronavirus pandemic.

The 98-year-old has made very few public appearances since his retirement in 2017 and is currently staying with the Queen at Windsor Castle to wait out the virus outbreak.

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His personal message was posted on the Royal Family‘s official website as well as its Twitter account.

“As we approach World Immunization Week, I wanted to recognize the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from COVID-19,” he says.

The statement continues: “On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s message follows that of Her Majesty’s on April 5.

“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.

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“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 couple’s oldest son, Prince Charles, recently contracted the virus and experienced mild symptoms. He also released a heartfelt video statement on the Clarence House Twitter page, thanking health-care staff for their work.

The Queen is set to celebrate her 94th birthday on Tuesday.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate. Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities. To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Reuters

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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