Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assured Brits that the country could "turn the tide" against the coronavirus outbreak in as little as three months' time.
During his daily briefing from Downing Street on Thursday (March 19), the PM insisted that the government's measures to help stop the spread of the virus - including the closure of all UK schools - could see Britain get "on top of it" in "the next 12 weeks".
In his speech, he told gathered reporters: "I believe that a combination of the measures that we're asking the public to take and better testing, scientific progress, will enable us to get on top of it within the next 12 weeks and turn the tide.
"I cannot stand here and tell you that by the end of June that we will be on the downward slope. It's possible but I simply can't say that that's for certain."
Boris said further in the daily briefing: "We don't know how long this thing will go on for. But what I can say is that this is going to be finite."
It follows a message of solidarity from the Queen, issued yesterday, in which she spoke of the "great concern and uncertainty" facing the country.
We don't know how long this thing will go on for.
The 93-year-old monarch, who is holed up at Windsor Castle with her husband Prince Philip, 98, told Brits via a statement released by Buckingham Palace: "As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.
"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.
"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal."
The Queen went on to explain how she is "enormously thankful" for the work of the UK's "scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services" and reiterated the need for Brits to "find new ways of staying in touch with each other" and make sure "loved ones are safe".
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