Clap for carers: UK unites to cheer and applaud NHS workers

Broadcasters interrupt transmissions to share images of applause

Vincent Wood
Friday 03 April 2020 00:57 BST
Clap for our Carers

The nation has come together to applaud for the country’s healthcare workers for the second time in as many weeks in a show of solidarity with NHS employees fighting the coronavirus.

People across the country headed to their gardens, windows and balconies to offer cheers and applause to doctors, nurses and other NHS staff, replicating similar shows of support in other countries including India, Spain and Italy.

The clapping was also joined by relative quiet from the nation’s broadcasters – with the BBC One, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all agreeing to pause broadcasting as the clocks struck eight o’clock to share images of the event from across the nation.

It comes exactly a week after the first such show of solidarity broke out in the UK, where the death toll for the virus currently stands at almost 3,000.

The figure includes at least four NHS workers – including Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, who returned to medicine after retiring with more than four decades of NHS service.

Among those to take part in last week’s applause was Boris Johnson – who stood alongside chancellor Rishi Sunak in one of the PM’s last acts before being quarantined after testing positive for the virus.

And Mr Johnson appeared briefly on the steps of No 10 to join in with the latest show of solidarity, the first time he has been seen in person since announcing his diagnosis.

He told those gathered outside: “I am not allowed out really, I am just standing here.”

Bagpipers across Scotland also performed a tune to show their appreciation for key workers, while Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government gathered on the steps of Holyrood.

In the government’s daily press conference a few hours ahead of the applause, Matt Hancock, the health secretary who also self isolated after testing positive but has since returned to public life, praised the event.

“So many of us felt so emotional when that happened,” he said of the applause.

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