UK PM to join nationwide clapping for NHS

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

London, (Asian independent) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will join a nationwide round of clapping on Sunday to pay tribute to National Health Service (NHS) staff on its 72nd anniversary.

The public are being encouraged to give a round of applause at 5 p.m. for all those who helped save lives during the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC reported.

On Saturday, UK landmarks were lit up blue in celebration and remembrance.

Downing Street, the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, the Shard and the Wembley Arch were all illuminated and a minute’s silence was held to remember those who have died during the pandemic.

People were also asked to place lights their windows in a show of remembrance on Saturday night, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, lighting a candle in Canterbury Cathedral.

Later on Sunday, a World War Two Spitfire plane with the words “Thank U NHS” painted on its underside will tip its wings above hospitals and the homes of fundraisers and volunteers, recognising the way people have supported the NHS and local communities during the pandemic.

The NHS was launched on this day in 1948, with the core principle that it is free at the point of delivery and is based on clinical need.

In a video message to mark the occasion, Prince Charles paid tribute to staff working through “the most testing time in the service’s history”, the BBC reported.

“Despite all that has been endured, there is deep cause for gratitude, and a true reason for pride,” he said.

The Prince of Wales also said the pandemic had brought out the best in people, adding: “This renewal of our community spirit has been a silver lining during this dark time.”