United States first lady Melania Trump has finally broken her silence on the coronavirus outbreak, the deadly pandemic which has claimed over 80 lives in the US till now.

Melania Trump has cancelled annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House "out of an abundance of caution." "The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now," the first lady said in a statement on Monday.

The 49-year-old was scheduled to host the event at the White House on Monday, April 13, as a part of the tradition that has been followed by the first ladies since 1878. Requesting US citizens to practise precaution, Melania said in her statement: "I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a recommendation to avoid any gathering of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The White House Easter Egg Roll's cancellation comes after Melania opened up about the virus on Twitter, writing: "Our great country is fighting hard against the #Coronavirus. This nation is strong & ready & we will overcome. Social distancing at this time is very important!"

I want to take a moment to thank the medical staff, doctors, nurses & first responders who are working tirelessly to help keep our country healthy & safe.

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 16, 2020

White House Easter Egg Roll is one of the longest-lasting traditions at the US President's residence, attended by thousands of visitors every year. It is one of the largest gatherings at the White House open to the public, for which tickets are distributed via online lottery several weeks before the event, reports CNN.

The tradition was established by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878 and has only been cancelled a handful of times, including during World Wars I and II, and during a massive White House renovation from 1948-1952.

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US President Donald Trump with wife Melania and son Barron on the White House balcony during the Easter Egg Roll Reuters

Melania has not been seen in a public gathering since March 10, when she attended the annual PTA Legislative Conference held in the Old Town neighbourhood of Alexandria, Virginia. After the PTA meeting, the former model was hugely criticised for skipping the mention of coronavirus in her address at the event.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has been quite vocal about COVID-19, frequently taking to Twitter to express his views on the deadly pandemic. "The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!" the 73-year-old wrote on Tuesday.