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A minute’s silence was observed across the UK as a tribute to frontline workers who have died in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to work on Monday, joined the tribute that started at 11 a.m. (local time), the BBC reported.

More than 100 NHS and care staff have died with the virus, as have many transport and other key workers.

The UK has so far reported 158,348 coronavirus cases, with 21,092 deaths.

Among the 360 new deaths reported on Monday, there were 82 National Health Service (NHS) staff and 16 care workers.

The Archbishop of York John Sentanu, who was among those inviting people to take part in the minute’s silence, said: “Workers should not be sent into danger without the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).”

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CORONA IN LONDON: Photo shows a general view of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua/IANS)

He also called for those on the frontline to be “given all the safety equipment they need”.

NHS England medical director Stephen Powis said the silence would ensure the health workers’ “contribution is remembered and appreciated”.

Chief nursing officer Ruth May added: “Every death is a tragedy but we feel the loss of fellow health and care workers particularly keenly.”

A flag was flown at half mast at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was among many medical venues around the country where staff will pause to pay their respects to their colleagues, the BBC reported.

Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the minute’s silence would “bring together a sombre but grateful nation”.

Tuesday’s development comes as the son of a doctor who died called on the government to issue a public apology for issues with PPE.

Dominic Raab and Rishi Sunik Clap for our Carers by .
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak Clap for Carers outside the Foreign Office during the coronavirus. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Intisar Chowdhury told the BBC that he wanted ministers “to accept their mistakes and let their mistakes become improvement rather than just ignore them and completely move on”.

The 18-year-old also asked the government to make private apologies to the families of health and care workers affected.

Intisar’s father, Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, 53, who died earlier this month, had warned Prime Minister Johnson about a lack of PPE five days before being hospitalised.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was also asked by Intisar Chowdhury to apologise.

Also Read – 4,000 Sri Lankan Navy officials in quarantine

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