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

Vincent Wood
Getty Images

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 silence 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.

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.

Ahead of 8pm, a Number 10 spokesperson said Mr Johnson would find a way to participate in the celebration despite remaining in self-isolation.

And in the government’s daily press conference 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.