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Gloria Hunniford's underlying health condition leads to coronavirus fears

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Gloria Hunniford & husband Stephen Way

Gloria Hunniford & husband Stephen Way

Gloria Hunniford & husband Stephen Way

Gloria Hunniford is terrified she and her husband's underlying health conditions make them more at risk from coronavirus.

The Loose Women host, who turns 80 on April 10, has pre-diabetes while husband Stephen Way (76) has a number of health issues and suffered a stroke in 2012.

Their ages also put them in the high-risk group for Covid-19, which is more deadly for older people.

While the Government has warned the elderly and vulnerable to stay in their homes for three months, Gloria can't bear the thought of being in lockdown for more than a few weeks.

"My husband has had a few health issues in the past year and is still in recovery," Gloria said.

"I'm also classified as pre-diabetic, but I'm controlling it with food.

"The scary part with this coronavirus is that you think you have your head in place and then new information comes out.

"But I feel that at our age we have to do what we can and take the advice given to us by experts."

Gloria, who grew up in Portadown, said the authorities should treat the crisis like a global conflict.

"In our lifetime, there hasn't been anything like this since the war," she explained.

Despite being worried, she and Stephen have refused to panic-buy food, something that has left hundreds of thousands of elderly people across the UK and Ireland struggling to get their hands on essential items. "My husband and I haven't started to stock up on supplies yet," the broadcaster said.

"My plan of action is that my freezer is well-stocked and I have a cupboard with tins and pasta in there.

"We have farm shops nearby, so I'll go there because there aren't as many people.

"I'm not going into the big supermarkets or the restaurants. I'm trying to be cautious and sensible."

While Gloria is following most of the guidelines, she refused to heed Boris Johnson's advice to refrain from holding a gathering on Mother's Day.

The mum-of-three, who lost her beloved daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer 16 years ago, said that while sons Paul and Michael visited her home in Kent on Sunday, she made sure contact was limited.

"For Mothering Sunday, both my sons said that as long as I didn't mind them coming down, they wanted to spend it with me," she added in OK! Magazine.

"They are both fit and healthy, so we all enjoyed the day together. There just wasn't much hugging and kissing. I wouldn't be one for telling my sons not to visit me without further reason."

Gloria's also worried for her close friend Cliff Richard and hopes he'll be safe from the virus at his home in Barbados, where there have been just 24 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far.

"Many people ask me how he is doing. His home is in Barbados and I haven't heard the island mentioned within the mix, so I imagine that it's a well-isolated area," she said.

"Plus, he has a lot of land at his home. That's where my husband and I are lucky too because we have a good-sized garden.

"We can get out into the fresh air and go out for a drive in the countryside."

Belfast Telegraph