Boris Johnson has said 144 NHS workers and 131 social care workers have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Making his announcement at today’s PMQs he said he and his colleagues ‘thoughts are with their families and friends’. Campaigners say the real figure is likely to be higher, and does not take into account other frontline workers who have lost their lives to the outbreak.
Johnson also paid tribute to 47-year-old railway ticket office worker Belly Mujinga, who died of coronavirus after being spat at by a passenger while on duty at Victoria Station in London.
The PM said: ‘The fact that she was abused for doing her job is utterly appalling.
My thoughts, and I’m sure the thoughts of the whole House, are with her family.’ It comes after the UK’s official death toll reached 32,692 after soaring by 627 in a day.
However figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the true number could be more than 40,000, making the UK by far the worst-hit country in Europe.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer sent his condolences frontline workers who have died during the pandemic and asked whether the UK has been ‘too slow’ to protect people in care homes.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: ‘Until the 12th of March, the Government’s own official advice was, and I’m quoting from it – it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected.