Minute’s silence to take place for NHS heroes and key workers who have died fighting coronavirus

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It's fittingly set to be held on International Workers' Memorial Day.

Announced this morning, a minute's silence is to be held for key workers in the UK who have sadly died after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The minute’s silence, which is to be held on International Workers’ Memorial Day, has been called for in a campaign by three unions- UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives.

The unions, who between them represent more than a million NHS and public service workers, including porters, refuse collectors and care staff, are urging politicians, employers, people at work and those on lockdown at home to join the tribute

It will allow everyone to pay their respects and give thanks for the lives of those whose work involved caring, saving lives, keeping key services running and the rest of the country safe.

The tribute is also a show of support for the families of those who have died.

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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."

“The minute’s silence is a thank you to all the workers including nurses, midwives, cleaners and care staff who’ve died from this devastating virus.”

General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, Donna Kinnair, added: “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 Chief Executive and General Secretary, Gill Walton, said: "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. We are proud to join UNISON and the RCN in this campaign and to recognise and remember those who we have lost.”

The three unions are hoping that the government and other organisations will get on board with this campaign.

The country is set to observe this minute's silence at 11am on Tuesday 28th April.

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According to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care, a total of 16,060 people in have sadly passed away after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.

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