Coronavirus one year on: Nation to hold minute's silence to remember those who have died of Covid-19

The nation is to pause in remembrance of those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic, one year after the UK was first plunged into lockdown.

A national day of reflection, organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie, will take place today.

A minute’s silence will be held at 12pm followed by a bell toll, and people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.

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The Prime Minister has said he will observe the minute’s silence privately at noon while it will also be held in the Houses of Parliament.

A woman walks past street art that reads "Spread the love not the virus" in Hull during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A woman walks past street art that reads "Spread the love not the virus" in Hull during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

London’s skyline will turn yellow with landmarks including the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium lighting up at nightfall.

More than 250 organisations are supporting the day of reflection, including 82 leaders from religious groups and cross-party politicians, care organisations, charities, businesses, emergency services, public sector bodies and community groups.

Celebrities including War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo and musicians Suzi Quatro and Steve Harley are taking part in a series of online talks to help those feeling isolated and struggling with grief.

According to the latest available data from the Office for National Statistics, there have been 618,676 deaths from all causes registered in England and Wales between March 21 2020 and the week ending March 5 2021.

How The Yorkshire Post covered the lockdown one year ago

The figures also show that, across the UK, 147,681 deaths have now occurred where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Health Foundation calculates that those who died with Covid-19 have lost up to 10 years of life on average.

James Taylor, executive director of strategy at disability equality charity Scope, said: “Over the last year, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the lives of disabled people. Nearly two thirds of all those who died from coronavirus were disabled. A staggering and tragic statistic.”