Susanna Reid has begged Good Morning Britain viewers to be more mindful of the elderly amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The presenter, 49, dialled into the ITV breakfast programme via video link on Wednesday for the second time this week after self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms in her household.
Urging everyone to think of those aged 70 plus, who have been warned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quarantine themselves at home in a bid to protect them from the deadly virus, Susanna launched into an impassioned speech.
Dialling in: Susanna Reid begged Good Morning Britain viewers to be more mindful of the elderly as she dialled into the ITV breakfast programme via video link on Wednesday for the second time this week after self-isolating
She declared: ‘We need to be aware that older people are going to find this very difficult and we need to be, obviously, incredibly supportive.
‘They have been advised to socially distance for 12 weeks. That’s three months! Some older people are lucky because they’re still married or their partner is still alive, they still live alive.
‘Some of them are going to be on their own and not seeing anybody else for three months. We need to be incredibly mindful of carrying on the cause.
‘Encouraging them to work out how to use Face Time, Skype or whatever, so they can carry on seeing people face-to-face, even if it’s via a screen.
‘And also, I think Dr. Hillary, your point – still going out while they can for walks. At some point there might be a lockdown where we can’t leave our houses.
Keep away! Meanwhile in the studio, Piers Morgan explained he and Ranvir Singh had been ordered to sit apart from one another in a bid to practice social distancing
‘Let’s be very supportive of people and realise it’s actually very difficult to tell people to self-isolate because you get very lonely.’
Meanwhile in the studio, Piers Morgan explained he and Ranvir Singh had been ordered to sit apart from one another in a bid to practice social distancing.
The GMB team has been stripped back to a skeleton staff, with as many people as possible working from home.
Susanna had also Skyped in from her London home during Tuesday’s episode of GMB, after a member of her household developed symptoms akin to those displayed by coronavirus COVID-19 carriers.
After the star adopted the precautionary measure laid out by the World Health Organisation, her co-host Piers Morgan joked she was self-isolating to avoid him.
Working from home: Susanna had also Skyped in from her London home during Tuesday’s episode of GMB, after a member of her household developed symptoms akin to those displayed by coronavirus COVID-19 carriers
Speaking to Susanna via video link at the opening of the show Piers quipped: ‘I’ve heard some ways of avoiding working with me but this is ridiculous.’
‘Finally after all these years I’ve put myself in self-isolation from you,’ she replied.
Susanna reassured viewers she had no symptoms, explaining that one of her children had mild symptoms that appeared on Monday.
She told Piers: ‘One of my children has a cough, a persistent cough. And that came on yesterday. Before the briefing yesterday afternoon, the advice had been the person themselves would be confined to the house for seven days.
‘Well, suddenly with these new drastic action measures, that changed yesterday afternoon. It meant if one member of your household had the cough or fever you would all have to go in self isolation for 14 days. Immediately, I thought I can’t go into work and work with you guys for 14 days.
Revelation: Addressing Twitter followers on Monday evening, Susanna, 49, admitted she was distancing herself from the ITV production team, her co-hosts and members of the public – despite showing no symptoms herself
Susanna shares three teenage sons with her ex husband Dominic Cotton, and pointed out that one child’s symptoms have meant both households are self-isolating.
‘All the children are off. We’re two households. It’s a very unusual situation. I am very, very lucky. I’m paid even when I’m sick. I’m in a privileged position.’
Asked by Piers how she would cope with enforced time off, she revealed: ‘I love my work, I love coming into work, I love the daily battles, I love the challenge, I love interviewing and broadcasting all this to our viewers. It gives you so much pleasure. I’m going to really miss that for two weeks.’
Self-isolating: She took part in Tuesday’s show, appearing via video call to join her co-star Piers Morgan as he joked she was self-isolating to avoid him
On how her family was coping, she added: ‘My boys are teenagers, nothing much scares them and certainly not this. They are more concerned with not seeing their friends’.
‘It’s going to be a challenge to fill the day productively. What I found yesterday was, I spent the entire day scrolling through twitter, getting updates… but I’m going to have to spend my time a lot better than just going through twitter for two weeks.’
‘We all think we have a novel in us, whether I spend the next two weeks writing a book or whether I actually do a lot of cooking or baking or whether we set up a home school.’
She explained: ‘That’s really important, I have a perfectly normal temperature, as do all of my children. I do not have a cough, I have no symptoms. I’m not feeling fatigued, I feel 100% healthy’.
No symptoms: Susanna reassured viewers she had no symptoms, explaining that one of her children had mild symptoms that appeared on Monday
‘In other circumstances, before the advice changed yesterday, I would have come into work. Then the advice changed, if there is a persistent cough, and or a fever, then the whole household has to self isolate. There is no test for me to establish whether this is actually the virus and I have huge doubts it is. I really just don’t think it is. I think it’s a seasonal cough.’
Piers was keen to point out that a lack of testing available for coronavirus meant Susanna and her family probably won’t find out if they have they have contracted the virus.
He said: ‘You don’t know your son has coronavirus. You might all be doing this 14 day self isolation. Quite a lot of people for your two households, for no reason. Nobody knows if they’ve got someone who’s got it.’
Susanna agreed, saying: ‘Yesterday we heard from the World Health Organisation, ‘test, test, test’. Here we are not getting tested unless you are hospitalised. The advice for me and my family is don’t even call 111 unless you are really worried… it may be a seasonal cough, there is no fever, no one else has symptoms.’
At home: Susanna shares three teenage sons with her ex husband Dominic Cotton, and pointed out that one child’s symptoms have meant both households are self-isolating
‘That’s one thing for me but what if I was a healthcare worker or a teacher, or a nurse, or a police officer or an ambulance driver?’
She added: ‘It’s very frustrating not to be able to test for it… this could be a rolling 14 day quarantine. These symptoms could disappear after 24 hours. Then somebody else might pick up some of the symptoms.’
Later in the show Susanna joined a debate with resident doctor Dr Hilary Jones, where she pleaded for a government minister to come on the programme to advise viewers on the ramped-up measures.
‘Firstly I am following now religiously now the government advice as it was changed yesterday and as a result of that I would like to ask a government minister to be on Good Morning Britain in order to answer these questions.’
No testing: Piers was keen to point out that a lack of testing available for coronavirus meant Susanna and her family probably won’t find out if they have they have contracted the virus
‘It is absolutely outrageous that they haven’t been and I want to hear answers from them. I’m doing exactly what they are asking me to do. I think it is reasonable that they appear on our programme to answer our questions.’
‘I am in isolation with my family in order to suppress potential infection, if there are people who feel they cannot afford to do the same thing, how is that suppression strategy going to work? And what is the Government going to do so they can fund those people, so they can also comply with this suppression strategy?’
Addressing Twitter followers on Monday evening, Susanna, 49, admitted she was distancing herself from the ITV production team, her co-hosts and members of the public – despite showing no symptoms herself.
She wrote: ‘I am currently well but due to the new advice today I will be self-isolating for two weeks due to symptoms in my household. Stay well everyone.’
Susanna’s admission came shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Brits to work from home, stay away from bars, clubs and restaurants and avoid ‘all non-essential contact’ for 12-weeks.
The PM warned that the coronavirus was now in a phase of rapid spread across the UK, with London seeing a particular surge, and it was time to take radical action to stop the NHS being swamped.
Guideline: Susanna’s tweet on Monday night came shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Brits to work from home, stay away from bars, clubs and restaurants and avoid ‘all non-essential contact’
Everyone should avoid contact that is not absolutely necessary – with restaurants, bars and cinemas and travel off limits, and an end to large gatherings. Admitting that the squeeze could last 12 weeks or even longer, the PM acknowledged he was ‘asking a lot’.
Entire households should self-isolate for two weeks if one person has been showing symptoms, and older people should prepare to stay away from risks for months to come. He said that meant ‘you should not go out, even to buy food or essentials’.
The breakneck developments came amid growing criticism of the UK government’s response, which has looked increasingly out of step with that around the globe.
In the studio: Susanna featured on Monday’s edition of the show alongside Piers Morgan and resident Doctor Hilary Jones
Moments after Johnson’s dramatic press conference, actor Idris Elba revealed he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The actor, 47, told followers he ‘feels ok’ and has no symptoms but has decided to self-isolate following his exposure to COVID-19.
Posting a video on social media, the star sat next to his wife Sabrina to give fans an update on his condition.
Isolating: Idris Elba, 47, revealed he has tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening
Idris had attended the WE Day UK Charity event and concert in London last Tuesday March 3 with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He confirmed that wife Sabrina had not yet been tested but said that she also ‘feels ok’ at the moment.
The Luther star added that he only got tested after coming into contact with someone who later confirmed that they had coronavirus, before quarantining himself and getting tested ‘immediately’.
He received the news of his results on Monday morning.