'A dangerous guest': Queen Margrethe of Denmark urges the country to stay home in coronavirus pandemic

By Zach Harper

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II has made a rare speech addressing the coronavirus pandemic, urging citizens to stay home and listen to health advice to defeat the global health emergency.

Aside from her annual New Year's Eve speech, the 79-year-old hardly ever addresses the nation. In her comments, the Queen said it is crucial for all Danes to act now to prevent the spread of the virus. As of March 18, Denmark had recorded 977 cases and four deaths from COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization.

"I have an appeal to everyone: coronavirus is a dangerous guest," Margrethe said. "It spreads like rings in the water, and it's going fast. One person can infect many – even without feeling sick – and the infection goes on around to even more, a long and scary chain. In that chain, people will die.

"A child can lose his grandmother, a daughter her father, a wife her husband. Friends suddenly don't want to be there anymore. This is the chain we need to break, and we can break."

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“Jeg har en appel til alle: Corona-virus er en farlig gæst. Den spreder sig som ringe i vandet, og det går stærkt. Én person kan smitte mange – endda uden selv at føle sig syg, og smitten går videre rundt til endnu flere, en lang og skræmmende kæde. I den kæde vil mennesker dø. Et barn kan miste sin bedstemor, en datter sin far, en hustru sin mand. Venner vil pludselig ikke være der mere. Det er den kæde, vi skal bryde, og som vi kan bryde. Det kan kun ske, når vi alle tænker os om og gør det samme på samme tid – og i rette tid. Myndighedernes råd er egentlig ret enkle: Vask hænder. Hold afstand. Undgå fysisk kontakt. Bliv hjemme.” Læs hele Hendes Majestæt Dronningens tale til befolkningen på Kongehusets hjemmeside.  Kim Refslund, DR ©

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You can watch her full message on the Danish royals' official Instagram account. Please bear in mind it is only in Danish.

The Queen told her people to "show [your] togetherness by keeping apart" and urged those who are still "in close proximity" and "[continuing] to throw parties and celebrate birthdays" to listen to authorities who are urging people to self-isolate, work from home and do their best to flatten the epidemiological curve.

"This can only happen when we all think about and do the same thing at the same time – and in the right time," she continued. "The advice of the authorities is actually quite simple: wash hands. Keep your distance. Avoid physical contact. Stay at home."

This week, Denmark banned gatherings of more than 10 people in light of the pandemic, and has closed restaurants, hair salons and cafes across the country in an attempt to stop COVID-19's spread. The country also closed its borders last week and says they will remain shut until at least April 13.

As of this writing, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 193,000 cases in 164 countries. COVID-19 has caused nearly 7,900 deaths worldwide.

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