A memorial service is to be held to pay tribute to victims of coronavirus in Greater Manchester.

It will be held at Manchester Cathedral at 11:00 BST on Thursday with a maximum of 70 people attending to allow social distancing, and also streamed online.

It would be a chance to “honour” loved ones at a time when normal funerals have not been possible, the Dean of Manchester Cathedral said.

An online book of remembrance will also be opened.

Dean of Manchester Rogers Govinder
Image captionThe Dean of Manchester will preside over the service

Rogers Govinder, who is leading the service, said: “The pandemic has taken the lives of so many who are dear to us.

“Worse still, we have not been able to provide normal funeral gatherings, so people have not been able to provide that comfort and sharing in loss that is a normal part of bereavement.

“It is very important for people to have an opportunity to remember their loved ones.

“We don’t know when this pandemic will end and this is an opportunity for grieving folk to honour them.”

The dean said the online book of remembrance, organised with the help of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, would be a permanent record.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham
Image captionMayor Andy Burnham said he hoped every victim of the virus would be remembered

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said it would allow people to pay particular tribute to frontline health and social care staff who put themselves at risk and “too often paid the ultimate price through their care for others”.

He added: “We will never forget what they did.”

Mr Burnham said he hoped every person who died from the virus in Greater Manchester would be remembered.

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