Clap for Carers: Brits take to streets for what could be final celebration

28 May 2020, 20:36

Today is the final night of commemoration
Today is the final night of commemoration. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Brits have taken to the streets for the tenth week to clap in celebration of frontline NHS staff and care workers.

Every Thursday, people across the UK have come out to clap and cheer for frontline staff tackling coronavirus.

But the person who began the clap, Annemarie Plas, wanted this week to be the last, as she feared it had become too politicised.

At 8pm on Thursday, Brits once again clapped on their doorsteps, banging pans and cheering for those helping tackle Covid-19.

Scots Rail drivers tooted horns, staff at Heathrow applauded and naval squadrons joined in too.

Lancashire Fire filmed two firemen applauding while doing press-ups as they went "all-out".

London hospital doctor Meenal Viz, who has worked on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic, said she supports Ms Plas' suggestion to end the event after this week amid concerns it has become too political.

She said: "My emotions have changed. It all started from a very human point of view - everybody had that gratitude for the NHS, everybody showed their love for this amazing healthcare system.

"But it went from that to being a stunt that the politicians chose to do. They used it and abused it, so they could show the public they were supporting it and then go straight into Number 10 Downing Street and make decisions which negatively impacted on the NHS and care workers.

"I'm not saying they should not support it - by all means applaud. But don't let your actions betray that. The Government has failed to protect the NHS."

Dr Viz, who is seven months pregnant with her first child, is backing a crowdfunding campaign to challenge the Government over personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff.

She claimed Government decisions have failed to protect healthcare workers.

Clap for Carers was started to give communities in quarantine a chance to come together while social distancing.

Originally it was designed for NHS workers, but other essential workers and frontline staff are also commemorated.

Even Boris Johnson and members of the Royal Family came out in support for the cause.

Captain Tom Moore - who raised millions for NHS charities - said in a message to workers: "Well done, you've done a marvellous job, putting your life on the line looking after all these patients."