A candle-lit vigil has been held in Nottingham to mark the ‘tragic milestone’ of 500 Covid-related deaths in the city.
The figure was reached last week, at the same time the national number passed 100,000. The vigil event was held at Nottingham’s Old Market Square on Monday evening (Feb 1) to remember those who have died.
A small group of Nottingham City Councillors, and religious and community leaders attended, following social distancing rules.
The event, which the City Council chose not to officially announce the time or place of to avoid a large public gathering, featured 500 LED candles used to remember each one of the Nottingham people who have died since the pandemic began in early 2020.
The lights around the Council House were switched off and some passers by stopped for a moment to pay their respects.
The Labour Leader of Nottingham City Council, Cllr David Mellen said: “It’s a very sad occasion. They are 500 people who are people’s mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.”
The vigil took place during a national lockdown, which see the harshest restrictions used to stop the spread of the virus.
Across the rest of the county, which is governed by Nottinghamshire County Council, the number of Covid deaths is 1420, according to Government figures.
The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Cllr Rosemary Healy, said: “We could not have imagined that we would have faced such a terrible impact on people’s lives in this city. It is a very sad occasion.”
Cllr Mellen also thanked the NHS staff working in Nottingham’s hospitals and delivering vaccines to “the many thousands of people who have been vaccinated in the city”.
But he added people must continue to be vigilant, wear masks and wash hands.