"People need to learn": Leicester caller welcomes lockdown following father's tragic death

30 June 2020, 14:43

By Fiona Jones

Caller Suraj from Leicester told Tom Swarbrick he was glad the city is officially the first area of Britain to enter local lockdown following a surge of cases.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that non-essential shops in Leicester will close from Tuesday, and schools will close to most pupils from Thursday as part of a series of fresh restrictions that have been imposed.

"People need to learn," he said, telling LBC that the only time his family left the house was to go and see his father's gravestone.

Tragically, Suraj lost his father five weeks ago to coronavirus at 58 years old.

He was working in the "hot spot" area of the city in a clothing factory "run by Asians where health and safety can be medium or less and where social distancing...cannot be provided," said Suraj.

Once his father contracted coronavirus it was only then that his father's boss admitted he had it too, Suraj told Tom.

The company urged him to return to work where he could get cash in hand so he did - Suraj said this is happening a lot in Leicester.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that non-essential shops in Leicester will close from today
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that non-essential shops in Leicester will close from today. Picture: PA/LBC

In May presented symptoms so Suraj booked him in for a test which came back positive.

Suraj's father was surrounded by family and checked on him daily -- sadly six days later he had a heart attack.

The paramedics tried to resuscitate him but after 30 minutes, sadly there was nothing more they could do.

Suraj told Tom that nobody could believe it as it was such a quick death and nobody was able to come to the funeral due to social distancing.

Tom asked Suraj if he blamed his father's workplace for the tragedy and Suraj agreed he did, "It's not an essential business anyway, they could have opened later."

He told Tom he lost his dad because people did not take coronavirus seriously, "They were putting income first rather than health and safety."

He wondered if the company can be sued but conceded, "Even if I get a million pounds I can't get my dad back."

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