Coronavirus: Doctors warn of injury risk in 'competitive' clap for carers

‘It might be one of the only times older people come outside,’ Dr John Wright says

Zoe Tidman
Monday 04 May 2020 11:43
People clap for carers on London street

Doctors have reminded people to be careful during the weekly clap for carers to avoid injuries.

There have been “interesting little peaks in accident rates” after Thursday’s national clapping event for key workers during the coronavirus outbreak, according to Dr John Wright from Bradford Royal Infirmary.

“People might need to be a bit more cautious, especially if they’ve been sitting down all day and then get up to clap,” he wrote in the BBC.

“It might be one of the only times older people come outside and so there is a risk of falling.”

He said people should remember to “take care” during the “deeply moving tribute” for key workers amid the pandemic.


Richard Pilling, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Harrogate District Hospital, said people could get injured if they started getting competitive about the applause.

“The clap for carers has made us a little busier,” he said, according to the BBC.

“It’s very nice that everyone is very enthusiastic about showing support but it’s escalated, so people are coming out banging pans and seeing who can clap the loudest, and therein accidents lie.”


People have been celebrating NHS staff and other key workers facing the coronavirus outbreak on the frontline by clapping at 8pm every Thursday.

On top of the national applause, some members of the public have played instruments and set off fireworks to show their appreciation.

The UK has been in lockdown since March as it tackles the Covid-19 outbreak, with people ordered to stay at home unless it is necessary and all non-essential businesses closed.

More than 186,500 people have tested positive for coronavirus – a disease which can give carriers flu-like symptoms and develop into pneumonia – in the UK as of Monday.

Meanwhile, around 28,400 Covid-19 patients have died, according to health ministry figures.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments