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National Reflection Day held to remember lives lost to coronavirus during lockdown

Today is being marked as a National Day of Reflection for people to remember those impacted by Covid-19.

The Prime Minister backed national charity Marie Curie's call to mark the occasion with a minute's silence. It was held at midday.

It's been a year since the country was first put into lockdown

Prominent buildings and landmarks across the county will be lit up for the occasion.

Westwood Cross shopping centre asked people doing essential shopping at the site to take part.

Exactly a year ago today, the Prime Minister announced the first 'stay at home' lockdown to tackle the first wave of infections.

Before this there had been just 215 cases of Covid-19 and 14 deaths reported in Kent and Medway.

When most restrictions had been eased on August 1, 9,280 cases of the virus has been recorded and 1,291 people had died in the county.

Two more lockdowns and the tier system were put in place to tackle the second wave in the country in autumn.

The infection rate was at its highest on January 5 when 17,005 cases brought the infection rate up to 914.2.

The latest data for March 17 shows 138,936 cases have been recorded in Kent and Medway throughout the pandemic and 4,285,524 across the UK.

As of 4pm yesterday, 4,695 people have lost their lives to the virus in Kent and Medway and 126,071 across the UK.

Among them were NHS staff who put their health on the line to help people - including mum-of-three Aimee O'Rourke and 'much-loved' Hannah Jackson.

In memory of those in Kent who lost their lives, KentOnline created this page as a lasting tribute.

The devastating virus hasn't just affected the nation's physical health.

With people forced to stay at home with no escape, domestic abuse reports to Kent Police rose by 3,522 (10%).

More people needed support with their mental health with East Kent Mind reporting a 50% rise in people accessing their services.

The High Street, which was already struggling, was repeatedly hit again as several big chains fell into administration.

This included Arcadia - which owned Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton - Brighthouse and Carluccio's.

These huge companies closing contributed to an increase in the number of people without work.

Unemployment claims stood at 32,905 when the first lockdown was announced. By May 2020, they stood at 72,380 in Kent and Medway - a rise of 120% in just two months.

But there is hope on the horizon. To date, 27,997,976 people across the UK have had their first dose of the vaccine and 2,281,384 have had their second.

A minute's silence was held on kmfm at noon today.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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