Grim milestone of 10,000 deaths underlines UK’s desperate battle - The Yorkshire Post says

BRITAIN passed the grimmest milestone yet in the coronavirus pandemic yesterday as the number of dead rose above 10,000, which only served to underline how desperate the battle to beat this appalling illness remains.

The NHS is facing one of its largest challenges.
The NHS is facing one of its largest challenges.

Sadly, that tragic tally is likely to rise even further, according to the director of the Wellcome Trust, Sir Jeremy Farrar. His belief that our country could end up the worst affected in Europe is a deeply concerning prospect.

Yet there are some positives in the overall picture, and it is on those that Britain should concentrate, even though they are scant comfort to families and friends grieving for loved ones who have died.

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The Government’s scientific advisers point to no acceleration in the overall numbers of people developing Covid 19, which they believe is evidence that the lockdown is gradually achieving its intention of slowing the spread of infection.

Yesterday’s return of the first of 15,000 retired NHS staff to frontline duties is a massive boost to the effort to save lives, bolstered by Britain’s people overwhelmingly obeying the instruction to stay at home over the Easter weekend.

And the mooted return of Parliament next week, albeit in virtual form, is very much to be welcomed, although the Prime Minister, still recovering from his hospitalisation, is not likely to participate.

It is time for a reasoned debate about how the country exits lockdown, not in an atmosphere of rancour, but with consensus, and it is heartening that the new Labour leader, Keir Starmer, is displaying a sensible willingness to work with the Government.

Yet many challenges remain in managing this pandemic. One is the funerals of its victims, and it is encouraging to see that York Council has at least partially revoked its limitation on the numbers of those who can attend.

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James Mitchinson

Editor