A group of 50 MPs have written to Boris Johnson to call for compensation for the families of those who lose their lives on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.
At the weekend, NHS consultant Amged El-Hawrani – an ear, nose and throat specialist – was confirmed as the first frontline hospital worker in the UK to die after contracting coronavirus.
Two other doctors – Dr Habib Zaidi, a GP from Essex, and Dr Adil El Tayar, an organ transplant specialist who had been volunteering in an A&E department in the West Midlands – are also reported to have died with COVID-19 symptoms.
In their letter to the prime minister, which has also been signed by 1,150 members of the public, the cross-party group of MPs called for a compensation scheme similar to that offered to by the Armed Forces.
They said the families of those who lose their lives should be offered a lump sum, a guaranteed income, and child payments to eligible children under the age of 18.
The government should also offer a contribution towards funeral costs, the MPs said.
They want the compensation scheme to be open to the families of those classified as key workers, such as NHS and social care staff as well as teachers.
Their letter states: “Those on the frontline of this battle against coronavirus are heroes.
“However, the risks to themselves and their families that they are taking on a daily basis are not recognised as much as they should be.
“They are putting their lives on the line, and we believe that they deserve to be protected.
“Just like members of our Armed Forces, they should know that if the worst happens, the state will help their families.
“It is what they need, and what they deserve.”
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The letter has been arranged by the Liberal Democrats’ Layla Moran and its signatories include Conservative, Labour, SNP, and Plaid Cymru MPs.
At the weekend, it was reported hundreds of doctors have said they are less likely to return to the frontline or increase their hours to fight COVID-19 because they fear their families will not be properly compensated if they die.