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Coronavirus Update Tuesday 28th April

Today I will take part in the silence at 11am to mark my respect for those key workers who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Our gratitude can never be overstated.

Life Assurance Scheme for NHS staff

I was one of the MPs leading on a campaign to provide NHS staff with the same death in service benefits that are given to those in the military who lose their lives on the front line. I am pleased to report that as of yesterday, families of NHS and social care staff who die from COVID-19 in the course of essential frontline work will receive a £60,000 payment.

I am pleased that our campaign has been successful and that NHS staff will have the benefits we would expect anyone working on the front line to have. The most important thing now is to ensure our NHS staff are fully protected so that we do not see front line staff losing their lives to this virus

Workers Memorial Day

Today is workers memorial day, as said in my introduction I will be joining the minutes silence at 11am to mark my respects for all those who have died at work during this crisis. My heart goes out to the families of all those who have died from this in the course of their work, including NHS staff, care workers, shop staff and transport workers.

But respect is not enough. We must redouble efforts to ensure that people are protected at work. We can do this by ensuring adequate protection equipment, by constantly reviewing policies and by ensuring that our workplaces are only staffed by those who are absolutely essential in the fight to tackle this virus. In this vain I will continue to fight for the rights of telecomms workers, to demand better for our care staff and to fight for every worker who is currently in harms way.

My office

My office continues to remain open for everyone who needs us. There have been reports in the news this morning of MPs offices being overwhelmed with queries at this time. Whilst this is as true for us as for everywhere else, we will continue to work to get people the answers they need. What I would ask for is to give us time to respond to you and to try to resist contacting us if you do not have an urgent enquiry.

Recording of deaths

An update on the broader picture of deaths in Leeds. This information is from the Leeds registrar which feeds through the Office of National Statistics. The important caveat on this data is that not all the cases included in these figures will have been tested, but the death certificate includes a reference to COVID being a cause or contributing factor to the death. The cumulative picture for the city is: 307 covid-19 related deaths registered since 27th March, 296 (96%) were Leeds residents, 199 (65%) were in hospitals, 83 (27%) were in care homes, 8 (3%) in a hospice, and 17 (6%) in their own home.  To date, 31% of all deaths registered since 27 March have been Covid-19 related. We don’t want to forget that behind all these numbers are people, with families and friends who are grieving, and our thoughts are with those families affected.

Parliament

I challenged the Minister to follow in the footsteps of France where their strategy for the tourism industry including flexible furlough, 100% state back loan and the encouragement of postponement not cancellation of holidays through Government backing credit refund notes financially.

I am glad to be breaking new ground in this virtual Parliament era.

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