Sadiq Khan opens London’s Blossom Memorial Garden
More than 230 frontline health and care workers have died during the coronavirus pandemic but the exact is believed to be much higher as many have yet to be identified in the public domain. Many of those who have died were from Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
And now to mark the 73rd anniversary of the health service, the NHS held a special memorial service in the Blossom Memorial Garden in east London.
The service was held to remember the NHS colleagues who have died during the pandemic.
The service was conducted by Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the Humanist Society and included speeches from Prerana Issar, Chief People office for the NHS, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Association of Medical Royal Colleges and Elaine Thorpe, Critical Care Nurse.
NHS Chief People Officer, Prerana Issar, said: “Each of the colleagues who sadly died while caring for and protecting patients represents an irreplaceable gap in a family and a workplace.
A nurse leaves a rose at Blossom Memorial Garden
The Blossom Memorial Garden in east London
“While this is a private event for families and some NHS colleagues, I encourage everyone to take a moment on Saturday to reflect and remember.
“It is no exaggeration to say that health service staff have helped to keep the country going during the pandemic, and while NHS staff have rightly been celebrated for their contribution, we know that the role played by other key workers – people keeping supermarkets open, refuse collectors, child carers and other public services – as well as the resilience of the general public, has helped ensure we can start to move forward.
“The best way for everyone to say thank you to NHS staff and other key workers is to join the tens of millions of others who have so far had their first and second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, and book your jabs today.”
Images from the event shows masked NHS staff lining up to place pink roses on a memorial.
NHS staff queue to leave a rose in the garden
NHS staff bow their heads in memory of their colleagues
Many of the staff attended in their uniforms and were photographed bowing their heads in memory of their friends and colleagues who sadly passed away.
This comes after landmarks across England marked the 73rd anniversary of the NHS by lighting up blue.
The Wembley arch, the Liver building in Liverpool, Salisbury Cathedral and vaccination centres across England are among more than 70 sites that were lit up blue today.
Football stadiums, town halls, churches, hospitals and bridges in different parts of the country also followed suit.
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Flowers placed at Blossom Memorial Garden
NHS queue to leave a rose
To date, more than 128,000 people across the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Overall there have been 4,855,169 cases of the disease recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic.
According to NHS England data, a total of 65,932,869 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and July 2.
This included first and second doses, which is a rise of 250,234 on the previous day.
NHS staff pay tribute to those who have died
NHS staff leave roses as a tribute
NHS England said 37,859,897 were first doses, a rise of 107,959 on the previous day.
While 28,072,972 were a second dose, an increase of 142,275.
Despite the successful number of vaccinations, some UK doctors have said they want some Covid-19 restrictions retained in England following July 19.
The British Medical Association wants people to continue using face masks and called for a renewed focus on ventilating properties after a sharp recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, told Sky News: “This data coupled with some increases in hospitalisation suggests that it would be quite wrong from a public health interest to on July 19 remove all restrictions … or to give the public the expectation that we will have a pre-COVID society where no one has to take any measures to prevent spread.”
Author: Steven Brown
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