A nurse who died from Covid-19 was given a huge round of applause by tearful colleagues as her funeral took place on Monday.
It came as Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May and National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis are set to lead a minute’s silence at 11am on Tuesday morning (April 28) for essential workers who have lost their lives in the fight against coronavirus.
Josephine Peter, a nurser at Southport and Formby District General Hospital in Merseyside, lost her life at the place where she worked last Saturday (April 18).
On Monday (April 27) dozens of doctors, nurses and other medical staff who worked alongside Josephine on the wards in the fight against coronavirus applauded her as her coffin was driven past the hospital in a sombre black hearse. There were no flowers next to Josephine’s coffin.
We said farewell to nurse Jo Peter today. Rest in peace Josephine ??
Posted by Southport And Formby District General Hospital on Monday, 27 April 2020
All the staff, wearing their hospital scrubs, stood at least two metres apart from each other as they respected the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
Speaking on the Southport Hospital Facebook page, Sheilah Rimmer said: “What a fitting tribute to her.”
Laura Swaby said: “I’m glad to see our hospital can do this and keep social distancing unlike all the other videos I’ve seen! Rest in peace angel.”
Gill Howard said: “Rest in peace Jo and thank you… Stay at home people so no other family has to go through this.”
Lynne Murphy said: “Lovely tribute so sad God bless you and your family at this sad time.”
Kate Baldock said: “I feel the government should pay for the funeral of the frontline workers who die of Covid-19. They have done their job for their Queen and country. Jo didn’t deserve to die doing what she did best at work. RIP Jo.”
Over £11,000 has been raised through a fundraising page set up after a nurse and mum-of-two Josephine died from Covid-19.
Her husband described ‘Manini’ as his ‘heroine’.
The GoFundMe page aims to help pay for the funeral of the courageous nurse and for repatriation costs to fly her body back to her home country of South Africa.
Manini leaves behind her husband, Thabo Peter, her two children, Bongani and Buhle, a granddaughter, five sisters and one brother.
Southport & Ormskirk NHS Hospitals Trust chief executive Trish Armstrong-Child said: “Josephine, from Hayes, Middlesex, had worked at Southport since February on an agency contract until falling ill in early April. She was a nurse for 20 years and was married with two children.
“Josephine’s husband, Thabo, told me she was passionate, hardworking, always putting others before herself. She was ‘my heroine’, he said.
“Our thoughts are with Josephine’s family at this difficult time and we offer them our sincere condolences.”
James Lock, chief executive of Altrix, the nursing agency that employed Josephine, said: “Josephine was a diligent nurse who was highly regarded and liked by the team. She would always go that extra mile and was a pleasure to work with. My team and I send our very best wishes and deepest condolences to Josephine’s family.”
Cynthia Charles, who set up the fundraising page, said: “Josephine Matseke (Manini) was born and raised in South Africa, Johannesburg, Brakpan Springs.
“Manini leaves behind her husband Thabo Peter who is still residing here in the UK, her two kids, Bongani and Buhle have both returned and are living in South Africa, a granddaughter, five sisters and one brother.
“Her colleagues and South African friends are so shocked and devastated by her sudden and untimely passing. They are humbly appealing for a donation to cover repatriation and funeral costs on behalf of Manini’s family.”
The NHS’ chief nurse and doctor are now backing a minute’s silence that will be held on Tuesday morning for essential workers who have lost their lives in the fight against the coronavirus.
Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May and National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis will lead NHS England staff in marking the minute’s silence at 11am.
All of England’s national and regional teams will be asked to pay their respects to the friends and colleagues they have lost over the last two months.
They will join partners from the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives and UNISON in honouring all workers who have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May said: “Every death is a tragedy but we feel the loss of fellow health and care workers particularly keenly. I want people across the NHS and the whole country to come together and remember health and care workers who have lost their lives to this cruel virus.”
Professor Stephen Powis said: “This is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to doctors, nurses, cleaners and many other NHS staff who have died in this pandemic.
“I hope the whole nation will fall silent in tribute and show how much their contribution is remembered and appreciated.”
So far 82 NHS staff are known to have died after testing positive for coronavirus.
NHS Chief People Officer Prerana Issar said that NHS England is considering how to formally commemorate all those who have died while working to care for others once the health service is through the peak of the virus.