Indian-origin UK MP returns to part-time care work in COVID-19 crisis
London, March 25: An Indian-origin British MP said that she will be returning to her previous role of a care-worker on Tuesday to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Nadia Whittome, born in the UK to a Punjabi father, became the youngest MP in the House of Commons representing her birthplace of Nottingham in central England after her win in the December 2019 General Election. The 23-year-old Labour Party MP said she would donate the salary from her part-time role at ExtraCare retirement home to a local COVID-19 support fund. "I am returning part-time to my previous job as a care worker because social care is already in crisis and the care system is in serious danger of falling apart at the seams during the COVID-19 pandemic," Whittome said in a statement. "Care workers work tirelessly to support communities, yet rarely receive recognition and pay that reflects their contribution," she said. In a swipe at UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is leading on visa changes for Britain''s post-Brexit points-based immigration system based on skills, the Opposition MP said that the government views care-workers as “not skilled” and that her return to the "frontline job" was an act of solidarity with her colleagues and the elderly, who are in the high-risk category of the coronavirus outbreak. "I hope that my returning to care work will give profile and recognition to the workers responsible for the dignity, well-being and health of so many,” she said. Her move comes as the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) had appealed to former and retired doctors, nurses and care-workers to return to work to assist with the immense workload as a result of the rapid spread of the deadly virus. Whittome has criticised the government for not going “far or fast enough” to stop the spread of coronavirus in the UK, where the death toll hit 335 and a three-week lockdown is in place to enforce strict social distancing rules. The UK on Monday enforced the strictest curbs on movement of people for at least three weeks as the death toll from COVID-19 in the country rose to 335. PTI AK ZH ZH.