Boris Johnson, Annemarie Plas and medical staff outside Royal Victoria Infirmary participate in a national NHS celebration clap outside 10 Downing Street and London on Sunday. AFP / AP
People across the UK joined in a round of applause on Sunday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the free-to-use National Health Service (NHS), one of the country's most cherished institutions.
The reverence with which it is held has been bolstered this year during what has been Europe's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks. Though the UK as a whole has a confirmed virus death toll of 44,220, the third-highest in the world, behind the United States and Brazil, the NHS and everyone who works within it, in whatever capacity, have been lauded for their work and care.
Created by the Labour government after World War II in 1948 by bringing together the nation's disparate health institutions, the NHS' founding principles have never changed. Funded by everyone through the tax system, it provides free health care to any UK resident when needed.
Prince Charles said the NHS has been through the "most testing time” in its history and that it was right for the whole country to come together to pay tribute to everyone who works within it.
"Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than 100,000 patients with coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care," the heir to the UK throne said.
The main national tribute came at 5pm when people joined in a round of applause to commemorate the efforts of everyone involved in the battle against the virus.
A Royal Air Force Spitfire with the message "Thank U NHS” painted on its underside also flew over several eastern NHS hospitals. The iconic World War II fighter plane finished its run over Cambridge.
After coming down with coronavirus himself and spending three nights in intensive care, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson credited NHS workers with saving his life and has insisted it will get whatever resources it needs. The main Labour Party opposition says the NHS has been starved of funding for the past decade during the government's austerity drive.
Johnson was joined by Annemarie Plas, who founded the #ClapforCarers initiative that lasted for 10 weeks following the imposition of the national lockdown on March 23, during Sunday's round of applause. She said she felt "very honoured” to have been able to join Johnson.
Overnight, many of the country's major sites, including the Houses of Parliament and the arch at Wembley Stadium, England's national soccer stadium, were lit up in blue to remember all those who died during the pandemic. And before the weekend's soccer matches, players joined in the round of applause.
After President Duterte further relaxed quarantine restrictions and allowed more businesses to reopen, leaders of nearly 100 medical organisations held an online news conference and warned that the health system may collapse as many medical personnel fall ill or resign out of fear, fatigue or poor working conditions.
Every time I see Boris Johnson, I ask myself how on earth he got the job. Then I remember that it was luck, guile, and the big red bus and the stuff about the NHS getting £350m a week extra – the promise that never was.
"I had earlier warned cases of COVID-19 might exceed 1.2 million by the end of July. However, as a result of precautionary measures followed by people and the administration, the tally of cases may be less than 400,000,” Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said at a presser.
It jailed him for 15 years for homicide and five months for desecration of a corpse after he chopped up his mother's body and ate "her cadaver over at least 15 days," feeding some to his dog.
Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector and Director of the Communicable Diseases Department of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), said, “An increase in infection was observed in the country, especially after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, which was caused by several reasons, one of which was the failure to adhere to the precautionary measures and the large number of gatherings.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed toured the House of Wisdom, reviewing the various facilities of the project, including halls, lobbies, exhibitions and various spaces, and the library, which includes about 305,000 printed and electronic books...
“We stress that virus mutations pose a high risk to society, especially for those who are not vaccinated. Therefore, we call upon members of the community who are not vaccinated to take the available vaccinations.”