Prime Minister Boris Johnson has demanded Brits do not visit their mums on Mother's Day due to the killer coronavirus outbreak.
In a dramatic letter to the nation, Johnson told people they should restrict themselves to contacting their mums on Skype.
He highlighted the surging Italian death toll, which yesterday reached over 1,300, and said the NHS risks becoming "overwhelmed".
Johnson wrote: "The numbers are very stark, and they are accelerating.
"The Italians have a superb health care system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand.
"The Italian death toll is already in the thousands and climbing. Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed."
"This time, the best thing is to ring her, video call her, Skype her, but to avoid any unnecessary physical contact or proximity.
"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."
There have now been more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus around the world, and over 13,000 deaths.
Yesterday, the UK death toll reached 233 with more than 5,000 cases.
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In an astonishing move, Johnson ordered the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants, theatres and gyms on Friday.
He said: "Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed.
"The Italians have a superb health-care system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand."
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