'Stay home for frontline workers who have died,' England's top nurse pleads

The public has been urged to stay home as the weather becomes warmer this weekend to protect frontline medical staff such as two nurses who died from coronavirus.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:15 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 7:04 pm

Two nurses in their 30s, Areema Nasreen and Aimee O’Rourke, who each had three children, have died alongside two healthcare assistants.

England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May said the nurses “were one of my profession” as she urged members of the public not to be tempted to go outside in the forecast sunny weather this weekend.

In the daily Downing Street press conference, Ms May said: “This weekend is going to be very warm and it will be very tempting to go out and enjoy those summer rays.

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Chief nursing officer for England, Ruth May answering questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing in Downing Street. Photo: PA

“But please, I ask to remember Aimee and Areema.

“Please stay at home for them.”

Ms May expressed her condolences to their families, friends and colleagues and said she feared further nurses will die.

She said: “They were one of us, they were one of my profession, of the NHS family.

“I worry that there’s going to be more and I want to honour them today and recognise their service.”

During the press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave an “instruction” for people to continue to stay at home this weekend, even if the weather proves good.

He said: “We are set for a warm weekend in some parts of the country.

“But the disease is still spreading and we absolutely cannot afford to relax the social distancing measures we have in place.

“We cannot relax our discipline now. If we do, people will die.

“I end with the advice we all know. This advice is not a request – it is an instruction.

“Stay at home, protect lives and then you will be doing your part.”

It comes as the Prime Minister urged the public to stick with social distancing and not be tempted to “hang out” in the warmer weather predicted for this weekend.

Boris Johnson has said he is “feeling better” after suffering from coronavirus but will remain in self-isolation until his temperature drops.

Meanwhile the Department of Health confirmed 684 more people have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total deaths in the UK to 3,605 as of 5pm on Thursday.

In a video on social media, Mr Johnson said: “Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature.

“So, in accordance with government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.”

Mr Johnson urged people not to break social distancing rules as the weather warms up, even if they were going “a bit stir crazy”.

He said: “I reckon a lot of people will be starting to think that this is all going on for quite a long time and would rather be getting out there, particularly if you’ve got kids in the household, everybody may be getting a bit stir crazy, and there may be just a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations.

“I just urge you not to do that. Please, please stick with the guidance now.”

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