Coronavirus: Minute’s silence to be held for key workers who have died from COVID-19

A minute’s silence is to be held for key workers who have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives are calling on politicians, employers, workers and those on lockdown to join the silence at 11am on 28 April.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is the ultimate tribute to remember workers who’ve lost their lives and put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and vital services running.

“Every year the sacrifice of workers around the world is recognised, but this year has a special significance because of the pandemic.”

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Donna Kinnair said: “We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe.

“I hope the public gets behind this with the same affection they show when applauding our people.”

Royal College of Midwives general secretary Gill Walton said: “We had expected 2020 to be a celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife but, although we actively applaud their service, this is not what we had imagined.

“Instead, across the country, midwives and maternity support workers are seeing the impact of coronavirus not only on the women in their care, but on their colleagues as well.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer also supports the idea, saying key workers “represent the best of us”.

He said: “Our key workers are literally putting their lives on the line in the fight against the coronavirus.

“That is why Labour wholeheartedly supports the call for a minute’s silence in honour of all those on the front line who have died from coronavirus.”

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