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Northern Ireland pauses to remember key workers who died during coronavirus outbreak

A minute’s silence was held across Northern Ireland on Tuesday in tribute to frontline workers who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 100 NHS and social care workers have died as a result of coronavirus across the UK so far.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also joined in the tribute. He returned to work on Monday after the virus sidelined him for three weeks.

Northern Ireland stops to pay silent tribute to key workers [Photos] Close

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care staff hold a minute's silence at the Nightingale Hospital in south Belfast for key workers who have died as a result of Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Among those marking International Workers’ Memorial Day was Jackie Pollock, regional secretary for the Unite Union in Northern Ireland.

Before the 11am silence, he posted a video message of support on social media.

“It’s a day we’ll be remembering those who have lost their fight against this horrible virus Covid-19. It’s also a day that we’ll stand in solidarity with the front line workers who are risking their lives day and daily, for Ireland as a whole,” he said.

“The health support and social care sector have stood up to the plate. So has the public transport sector and also the utilities sector.

“We’ll not forget the carers or we’ll not forget the people that put food on our table.

“The transportation for that food on our table and the agri-food sector as a whole.

He continued: “We stand in solidarity with each and every one of those workers. Workers who are providing a service which is essential to everyone.

“They’re saving lives, day and daily. Sometimes without the health and safety provisions in place.

“Sometimes without the proper PPE in place. But today, we stand with you and thank you from the bottom of our heart.”

Among the many others marking their respects across Northern Ireland - including nurses and firefighters - was Kate Nicholl, the Alliance councillor for Belfast.

She said the key workers “deserve so much more than a clap once a week, our support for them must not end when this does.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood alongside Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to observe the silence at 10 Downing Street (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood alongside Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to observe the silence at 10 Downing Street (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood alongside Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to observe the silence at 10 Downing Street (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Belfast Telegraph