The Leader Times Series April 10th 2020

This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalised in his own, personal battle against coronavirus. At the time of writing, there were encouraging signs that he is making progress and I think I speak for us all in wishing him a speedy, full recovery. We need his strong leadership.

Having myself received life-saving NHS care in the past, it is reassuring to know Boris is in safe hands. For lots of people, the past few weeks have been spent confined at home, possibly with slightly less to keep them busy than they would like! However, we are all aware of the very different experience in our hospitals, where brave and dedicated NHS staff are working incredibly hard to treat and care for all those struck low by this virus. They have the nation’s full support.

The Prime Minister is of course just one amongst tens of thousands who have been hospitalised with Covid-19. We are all at risk from it and should all do what we can to protect ourselves and others. On Wednesday I lost my first family member to the virus with my Aunt dying at the Royal Oldham Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.  With the current ‘lockdown’ likely to continue for some time, it is important to observe the guidance we have all been given, by staying at home.

If we do not observe these rules, the virus will continue to spread fast, put even more pressure on our NHS and lead to unnecessary deaths. Already, thousands of people have died with this virus. Each and every death from coronavirus will leave behind a family grieving the loss of someone they loved.

My team continue to field a range of queries, working hard to resolve problems and offer advice. It was relieving to see progress in getting more people home from abroad, with flights from Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, and elsewhere. However, too many Pendle residents remain stuck abroad.

This remains a very difficult time, with people rightfully worrying about their lives and livelihoods. I continue to work with Government Ministers on getting the right kind of support available to help people get through this crisis. A lot has already been delivered, with a great deal left to do