THE director of Public Health Dorset has paid tribute to the lives lost to Covid-19 on the year anniversary of the first lockdown.

Sam Crowe thanked people for working hard to protect lives throughout the past year.

He said: “Today it’s a year since the prime minister announced the first lockdown and 13 months since the start of the pandemic in this country.

“The prime minister said at the time that the pandemic would almost certainly lead to families losing loved ones before their time, not only this but many people would have been unable to say goodbye properly because of the restrictions on visiting, just one of the many sacrifices that we’ve all had to make as this terrible virus has taken its toll.

“So I just want to take a moment to reflect on the year and to think about all of the people who have lost a loved one – 857 people lost in the BCP Council area and 524 people lost to families in the Dorset Council area.

“A huge loss and very, very sad.

“To be honest today is a mixture of emotions for me of sadness at the many, many losses and loves changed forever but also one of being thankful – thankful for the incredible efforts of a whole range of people working so hard to protect lives and support our communities through the struggle.

“Hopefully we’re through worst but we mustn’t move on without pausing and reflecting on this extraordinary year.”