My thoughts are with all those who are ill with the corona virus and with their families, and in particular I have been thinking about Boris Johnson and his family at this difficult time, I hope the Prime Minister and all those who are ill make a speedy recovery.
We continue to face an unprecedented challenge and I am very proud of our community and the quiet and determined way in which people in Reading and Woodley have been continuing to follow the Government’s guidelines.
We have now been in lock down for nearly three weeks and there are some early signs that social distancing is working, with the number of cases having fallen on some days this week. However, it is too early to tell how close we are to the peak of the epidemic and it is vital that we continue to follow the Government guidelines.
At this difficult time I believe it is important to support the Government’s efforts to tackle the epidemic and to highlight the need for more resources for the NHS and other vital services and to encourage the Government to go further where necessary.
Above all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who work in the NHS, the care sector, key workers and volunteers who are playing such an important role.
Our NHS and the social care sector are being tested as never before and I am deeply impressed with the commitment of staff across the health service and in social care. They have gone above and beyond what is expected of them and are doing their utmost to save lives in the most difficult of circumstances.
NHS staff and those in the care sector deserve our help and support at this difficult time and I have been calling for more personal protective equipment to be provided and for the Government to speed up testing, both vital measures which will save lives.
I also want to thank key workers in public services, retail and many other sectors, who are providing vital services at this difficult time. They have very important roles to play and they are managing in challenging circumstances.
Volunteers and charities are also carrying out vital work and the response from the public has been impressive. I would like to thank everyone who is helping deliver food to a vulnerable person, phoning someone who is on their own or helping in any other way.
I want to particularly thank local charities and I have been lobbying the Government on their behalf for extra financial support, which is so important as they are under pressure providing more help, but with falling incomes and donations.
I hope we will be through the worst of this dreadful epidemic in the near future.
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