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UK Prime Minister praises Tamils for COVID response in Thai Pongal message

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the British Tamil community and thanked them for their contribution towards the coronavirus pandemic response in the country, in a message to mark Thai Pongal released today.

Johnson said he wanted to “thank you for everything you’re doing in our struggle against COVID, because throughout this crisis your values of hard work, discipline and community spirit have really shone brightly”.

“From the outright bravery of those Tamil doctors who are right now on the frontline in our NHS, the businesses that have kept on going, the sacrifices you are making today by not, alas, getting together with family and friends and celebrating in the usual way.”

The message comes as Britain recorded its highest ever daily death toll on Wednesday.  At least three Tamil doctors have died on the frontlines of the NHS as the pandemic swept across the UK, with countless other healthcare staff and key workers also passing away from the virus.


Photograph: Dr Krishnan Subramanian, Royal Derby Hospital.

Photograph: Dr Rasiah, Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital

Photograph: Dr Sebastianpillai, Kingston Hospital

Read more:

Another Tamil doctor dies from coronavirus in UK as infections rise

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Another British Tamil doctor dies from coronavirus on UK frontline

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Tributes for British Tamil doctor on the frontline who dies from coronavirus

COVID-19 - A Parent’s Perspective

Tamil healthcare workers around the world on the COVID-19 frontline

Tamils around the world, including in the UK, have contributed to a range of coronavirus response and relief measures, from community and charity projects to work on the frontline.

“I want to wish you and Tamils around the world the very best,“ concluded Johnson. “May your pot of Pongal always be overflowing with joy, happiness and prosperity.”

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