Opinion: So many examples of selfless heroism

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 April 2020

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz is proud of Newham's volunteers during this pandemic.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz is proud of Newham's volunteers during this pandemic.

Andrew Baker

Tragically, deaths in hospitals attributed from Covid-19 stand at 16,060, with 59 from Newham, but the numbers will be higher because daily figures published by the government don’t take into account deaths in the community, including care homes.

There is so much pain, heartache and disruption being caused by coronavirus and my thoughts go to all residents mourning the loss of loved ones. I can’t emphasise more strongly to everyone to follow the restrictions and #StayAtHome.

It’s also why it is important to hold the government to account on its response to the coronavirus pandemic so far because of the number of deaths, alongside supplies of personal protective equipment and the number of those being tested, remain areas of concern.

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So much has happened in Newham over the past few weeks, including the NHS Nightingale London hospital which was built in just nine days. We’ve seen the heroic efforts of NHS staff who continue to put themselves in harm’s way to treat the sick and dying.

I want to pay a special tribute to them, as well as to the army of volunteers who have made it possible for us to create the #HelpNewham Local Hub service to support our most vulnerable residents.

Working with a range of voluntary sector, community and faith group, thousands of parcels containing food and essentials have been delivered – so my heartfelt thanks to all our Newham volunteers for everything you are doing to help. We’ve also joined with pharmacies to create a prescription delivery service, and we’re offering a telephone befriending service to connect the lonely and isolated with the outside world.

I know many of you will be preparing to observe Ramadan. This year will be very different because mosques, alongside all places of worship, have to remain closed. But all are finding new ways to worship online. I wish everyone a peaceful month, and pray for a very different celebration next year.

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