LONDON, APR 28 – A minute’s silence is soon to be held across the UK to commemorate the key workers who have died with coronavirus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to work on Monday, will join the tribute, which starts at 11:00 BST.
More than 100 NHS and care staff have died with the virus, as have many transport and other key workers.
It comes as the son of a doctor who died called on the government to issue a public apology for issues with personal protective equipment (PPE).
Intisar Chowdhury told he wanted ministers “to accept their mistakes and let their mistakes become improvement rather than just ignore them and completely move on”.
The 18-year-old also asked the government to make private apologies to the families of health and care workers affected.
Intisar’s father, Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, who died earlier this month, had warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson about a lack of PPE five days before being hospitalised.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was also asked by Mr Chowdhury to apologise on LBC, and said: “I think that it is very important that we’re constantly learning about how to do these things better and I think listening to the voices on the front line is a very, very important part of how we improve.”
There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government’s pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK, the programme reported.
Government minister Victoria Atkins told
The latest daily figures on Monday show a further 360 people died with the virus in UK hospitals, taking the total number of deaths to 21,092.
This number includes 82 NHS staff and 16 care workers who were confirmed to have died in hospital in England. A separate BBC News analysis of published figures found that at least 113 health workers have died with the virus across the UK.
Latest statistics released on Tuesday from the Office for National Statistics – which count all deaths, not just those in hospitals – found the number of people who died in England and Wales hit a record high in the week ending 17 April. More than 22,000 people died – the highest since records began in 1993.
Meanwhile across the whole of the UK, there were 24,686 deaths registered in the UK in the week after Easter – more than twice as high as normal.
The rise is partly driven by an increasing number of deaths in care homes, which accounted for a third of all deaths. The figures show deaths in care homes were continuing to rise, compared with the number of deaths in hospitals which appears to have peaked and is coming down.
she was “very, very sorry to hear” of the Panorama report.
“Like every other country in the world, [the virus] is unprecedented and the requirements for PPE have risen exponentially and we’re doing our absolute best to address those needs and will continue to do so,” she said.
She added that, since the outbreak began, “a billion pieces of PPE” have been distributed across the UK.