Ellen Pompeo has pleaded with people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, after the Governor of New York asked her ''to help''.

The 'Grey's Anatomy' actress is used to playing a fictional doctor in the TV series, but admitted many of her real-life medic pals have been in touch to ask if she can make a video encouraging fans to social distance during the crisis, which has killed more than 53,000 people and infected over one million.

Speaking in a clip shared on her Instagram, she said: ''I have been asked to make another video to ask everybody to please stay home.

''I've had a lot, too many, phone calls and emails from doctors and nurse friends of mine, even the Governor of New York, his office called today to ask me to help, once again, to get the word out for everybody to please stay home. Please.''

Ellen - who plays Dr. Meredith Grey in the medical drama - has urged her fans to have a word with some of their friends if they know someone who isn't staying at home amid the pandemic, and insisted it is ''not that hard'' to remain inside.

She added: ''The healthcare professionals, the doctors, the nurses, anyone who works in a hospital, they're at their wits end and now they're starting to die.

''We're not doing enough. Everybody, just please stay home.

''And if you know someone who is not taking this seriously and who isn't staying home, please talk to them.

''We have to stay home. It's all their asking us to do. It's not that hard.''