Newly recovered leader Johnson joins applause for COVID carers


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© Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

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LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined in a round of applause across the United Kingdom on Thursday to thank hospital staff and care workers on the front line of the coronavirus crisis.

The applause has become an emotional weekly ritual in Britain since it first took place on March 26, but Johnson had not been seen publicly taking part since before he was taken to hospital with a bad case of COVID-19.

The 55-year-old prime minister spent three nights in intensive care, then convalesced for two weeks at his country residence and returned to work on Monday. His fiancee, Carrie Symonds, gave birth to the couple’s son on Wednesday.

He appeared on the doorstep of his Downing Street office in central London, clapping enthusiastically while people across all four nations of the United Kingdom applauded, cheered, banged pots and pans and played musical instruments.

In the small village of Marston Moretaine, in Bedfordshire north of London, residents clapped for their neighbour Tom Moore, a World War Two veteran who has become a national hero after raising millions for the health service.

Moore was celebrating his 100th birthday on Thursday.

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