Candle to be lit at Number 10 to remember lives cut short by Covid-19

3 July 2020, 20:09

A candle will be lit outside Downing Street to remember Covid-19 victims
A candle will be lit outside Downing Street to remember Covid-19 victims. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A candle is to be lit at the Prime Minister's official residence to remember those who have died from Covid-19.

Since the start of the outbreak in the UK, 44,131 people have been confirmed to have died from the virus.

But ONS statistics have place the true figure much higher than this, with over 54,000 people estimated to have perished from the disease.

The UK has so far been one of the worst hit countries in the world, and our current figure places us only being the US and Brazil in terms of deaths.

The effect of those who have lost their loved ones has been further impacted by the lockdown, meaning many hundreds of thousands have been unable to hold a funeral, or grieve together, to abide by social distancing rules and avoid further spread of the virus.

At 9pm on Saturday, a candle will be lit in remembrance.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said NHS staff need a pay boost in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said NHS staff need a pay boost in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: PA

Downing Street will also be lit up in blue in tribute to the NHS and the workers who have selflessly worked on the frontlines during the course of the pandemic.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said NHS staff need a pay boost in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Labour leader made the call during a virtual rally marking the 72 years of the NHS in which he praised health service staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

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Sir Keir said: "The pride and the thanks that we have for the NHS which is always there, is reinforced this year by everything that all the staff in the NHS have done in relation to the Covid crisis.

"Of course, we're not through that, and it will be our NHS heroes and the bravery of what they do which will get us through whatever comes next.

"That's why it's very important that we don't just say thanks, but recognise in a meaningful way what the NHS has done. And that's why Labour supports those calling on the Government today to make an immediate commitment to talks on a pay rise for NHS workers.

"We support that. We know that valuing our NHS workforce, through fair pay and conditions, is crucial to tackling the many vacancies across the NHS.

"And we urge the Government to agree this deal as soon as possible, in recognition of the bravery and sacrifice shown by our healthcare heroes during this crisis."

The comments come after unions representing more than 1.3 million nurses, cleaners, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, radiographers, porters, midwives, paramedics and other NHS employees have written to the Chancellor and the Prime Minister calling for pay talks to start soon.

Health workers are nearing the end of a three-year pay deal, and unions believe the Government should provide funding for an early pay rise for all NHS staff, including domestics, catering workers, security guards and other support staff working for private contractors.

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