Nigel Huddleston writes for the Standard in his latest Westminster Diary –
MY LAST update marked the start of ‘lockdown’ and the introduction of measures to try and reduce the spread of coronavirus, with these measures being reviewed every few weeks.
It’s now three weeks later and in this time, unfortunately we have seen more than 10,000 people die from the virus in the UK and even our Prime Minister has been in intensive care battling coronavirus.
We have all seen how quickly this illness can take hold.
Now more than ever we need to keep following the Government guidance to make sure that anyone who falls seriously ill, and anyone who needs critical care, can receive it.
It’s so important to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
As before, in my role as Minister, I’ve been in close contact with travel businesses, sports bodies, heritage societies across the country as well as in my own constituency – and I and my hard working parliamentary office team have dealt with hundreds of enquiries from individuals, charities, farmers and business owners in Worcestershire.
We’ve helped dozens of people stranded overseas to return to the UK safely, though not everyone is back home yet and repatriation flights will continue for some time yet. From my discussions, it is evident that no sector and no individual will go unaffected by this pandemic.
As ever, please keep checking the www.gov.uk/coronavirus website for updates and information on what support and guidance is available.
But while everyone is struggling it has been inspiring to see how much generosity of spirit there is.
Hotel companies who had closed down operations have reopened in order to house the homeless or NHS workers.
Local community support groups have sprung up in virtually every village in the constituency to help look after the most vulnerable.
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to volunteer in the NHS.
The country and district council have re-geared their operations to deliver services to those most in need – and local charities and parish and town councils are redeploying their resources to provide grass roots support to local communities.
It has been a privilege to hear so many heart-warming stories of the extremely generous and thoughtful acts happening in my constituency and I want to thank everyone for the help they are providing others.
In these most challenging times we are seeing the best of humanity.