Coronavirus: NHS staff thank public after national applause

26 March 2020, 19:33 | Updated: 27 March 2020, 12:36

NHS staff have thanked the public after people across the UK stood on their doorsteps and applauded healthcare workers.

Speaking on Twitter, A&E; charge nurse Craig Leathard said that it had been a "real hard week for everybody... but I've just took the team outside to listen and that is absolutely... I don't think there's any words for that."

"But to everybody, thank you!"

The general public, as well as members of the Royal Family and other famous faces, came out in support of the NHS at 8pm on Thursday, by clapping and cheering from their homes or balconies.

Prince Charles, 71, was pictured at Birkhall, his private home on the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

Camilla, who is isolating from Charles, was seen in separate footage clapping on her own as she looked out of an open window. The Duchess of Cornwall, has tested negative for the virus.

Charles, who reportedly has only mild symptoms of the illness, was said to be "enormously touched" by well-wishers' kind words after receiving hundreds of messages the day after it was revealed he had contracted the disease.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, posted a video of their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, clapping, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak also joined in from Downing Street.

It comes just hours after the government confirmed that 584 people in the UK have died with coronavirus and almost 12,000 people are confirmed as having the disease.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a message on their Instagram story, writing: "Thank you for all that you continue to do! Applauding you from across the pond."

Many across the UK joined in, with some holding signs, cheering and letting off fireworks.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also took part, appearing to cheer in a video.

Journalist and former Labour Party aide Alastair Campbell posted an Instagram video of him playing the bagpipes, leading his street in tribute to a neighbour who works in the NHS.

One supporter played Tina Turner's (Simply) The Best to their street as others clapped along.

Emergency services, including police officers and firemen, also showed their support.

In a post on Twitter, the stars of James Bond - including 007 himself, Daniel Craig - filmed themselves clapping.

The organisers of the Clap for Carers campaign, which was started online, say it was held because "during these unprecedented times, [NHS staff] need to know we are grateful".

A number of landmarks, including the Wembley Arch, Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Cathedral and the Principality Stadium were lit up in tribute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "On behalf of the whole country, I want to thank all the incredible nurses, doctors, NHS support staff and carers who are working flat out to fight coronavirus."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a video message for LBC: "My colleagues in the NHS do so much to look after us, especially in our hour of need and never more so than during the coronavirus crisis."

The tribute is part of the #lightitblue campaign, which has been organised as a way to say thank you to hardworking healthcare staff.

There are now calls for the show of solidarity to take place on a weekly basis during the pandemic.