Minute's silence planned for key workers lost to coronavirus

Britain is set to fall silent as it remembers the key workers who have lost their lives on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 20th April 2020, 8:54 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 3:58 pm

A minute’s silence is planned for next Tuesday, April 28, at 11am, in tribute to all the health, care and other key workers who have died during the COVID-19 crisis.

UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives – who between them represent more than a million NHS and public service workers, including porters, refuse collectors and care staff – are urging everyone including politicians and employers to get behind the tribute.

Kevin Smith, a 'beloved' plaster technician at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, is among those who have died after contracting coronavirus

The minute’s silence will coincide with International Workers’ Memorial Day, which every year commemorates workers who have died around the globe.

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.”

Royal College of Nursing general secretary and chief executive 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.”

At least 96 health and social care workers across the UK are known to have died from COVID-19, according to a memorial page set up by the journal Nursing Notes.