Nottingham City Council has paid tribute to the 500 people in the city who have lost their lives to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
The Council House in Old Market Square went dark and 500 candles were lit as a mark of respect for the people who have died from the virus since March last year. The date of this is to be confirmed.
The Leader of Nottingham City Council, Cllr David Mellen and Chief Executive Mel Barrett were joined by The Lord Mayor, Rosemary Healy, The Lord Mayors Chaplain, Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, who said prayers in Hebrew and English. Cllr Cheryl Barnard also attended and read a poem she has written, which you can read below.
Ongoing recording of deaths shows the total was reached in Nottingham this week, at the same time as the national death total sadly passed 100,000.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “This is a tragic milestone for our city. It is hard to put into words how much of a toll this virus is taking on our lives – the impact of each and every one of these deaths is devastating.
“When we all locked down for the first time in March last year, no one could have predicted that we would see such an awful loss of life. We cannot underestimate the effects this has on families, friends and our communities, as people have lost sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers.
“I believe it is important that we honour every single one of these city residents. We will switch off the lights of the Council House in their memory. Nottingham will not forget them.
“I would ask everyone in the city to take a moment to stop what they are doing and think about those people who are no longer with us as a result of Covid-19.”
Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health in Nottingham, said: “Our number one priority during the Covid-19 pandemic has been to keep people safe. The City Council has worked with the NHS and partners across Nottingham to make sure we all follow the latest guidance, stop the spread of the virus and support those people who need our help the most.
“We must continue to do this. The number of deaths from Covid-19 shows how real this virus is.
“By continuing to follow the guidance on ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and by getting a test for Covid-19 when we have symptoms of the virus, we are all ensuring that we protect ourselves and protect others.”
People are urged to book a vaccination for Covid-19 when it is their turn. The vaccinations have been given to priority groups first:
- Older people over 75
- People in care homes
- People who are extremely clinically vulnerable
- Frontline health and care workers
This will take time. The NHS has pledged that all adults will be offered a vaccine by the autumn. Anyone over the age of 75 is urged to book their vaccination as soon as possible by using the booking link online or by calling 0115 8834640.
The NHS vaccination programme is the largest of its kind in British history. People must follow the rules to stop the spread of coronavirus:
- Hands: regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Face: wear a face covering
- Space: keep 2m apart from others not in your household
Please also continue to get a test with the NHS if you have symptoms of covid-19 (loss of taste or smell, fever or continuous cough) and self-isolate until you get the result. Free tests can be booked by calling the NHS on 119 or by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus