Responding to news that new data from the ONS shows "people living in more deprived areas have experienced COVID-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas", Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"This awful virus has wrought havoc on lives across the UK, but it's clear that those worst affected are people already living in some of the most deprived areas of the country. Those who were already vulnerable are being hit hardest. This is no coincidence. This postcode lottery of morbidity is shameful and must not be tolerated.
"Many of those key workers most at risk - people on the frontlines, keeping supermarkets stocked, delivering our essentials and ensuring hospitals can stay up and running through this crisis - are also in some of the lowest paid jobs. Many others will have specific vulnerabilities, due to age or underlying health conditions.
"The Conservative Government must ensure that no one is left behind in efforts to tackle the virus. Ministers must do more right now to protect everyone working to keep our health system and essential services up and running. This means ensuring Personal Protective Equipment is provided as standard for all essential frontline workers.
"Going forward, Ministers must act to tackle the fundamental inequalities that have put people at greater risk from COVID-19."