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Coronavirus UK: Millions Clap For NHS Carers and key workers

Brits took to parks as well as their doorsteps this evening as they once again paid tribute to the thousands of NHS staff and healthcare workers putting their lives at risk to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.  

Now in its ninth week, the Clap for Carers has seen people across the country take to their doorsteps and balconies to show their appreciation for the efforts of those on the frontline during the pandemic. 

However, this was the first time since lockdown restrictions were eased last week that large crowds were spotted at the time of the salute in public parks, such as London’s Clapham Common and Highbury Fields.

The nationwide campaign, which sees members of the public, politicians, celebrities and the emergency services applaud the key workers at 8pm every Thursday, comes as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases today passed the 250,000 mark.

Boris Johnson again stood outside Number 10 this evening to applaud, and tweeted: ‘Thank you to all of our wonderful carers for your work during the coronavirus pandemic. You make us all proud to have such a fantastic NHS.’ 

People on Clapham Common applaud during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS. It is the first time large crowds have been spotted in a park for the salute since lockdown began

The London park was still packed with people at 8pm this evening, in time for the salute, after another hot day in the capital

The London park was still packed with people at 8pm this evening, in time for the salute, after another hot day in the capital

People on Clapham Common applaud during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS. It is the first time large crowds have been spotted in a park for the salute since lockdown began

People on Clapham Common applaud during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS. It is the first time large crowds have been spotted in a park for the salute since lockdown began

Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauds from outside No10 this evening during the ninth week of the Clap for Carers salute

Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauds from outside No10 this evening during the ninth week of the Clap for Carers salute

Larry the Downing Street Cat watches as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the 'Clap For Our Carers' initiative

Larry the Downing Street Cat watches as Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the ‘Clap For Our Carers’ initiative

Children's pictures of rainbows adorn the windows at 10 Downing Street

Children's pictures of rainbows adorn the windows at 10 Downing Street

Children’s pictures of rainbows adorn the windows at 10 Downing Street in tribute to the NHS and key workers

Sue Blair, left, plays harp and Abby Boynton plays flute during a performance to the neighbourhood in Walthamstow, London

Sue Blair, left, plays harp and Abby Boynton plays flute during a performance to the neighbourhood in Walthamstow, London

NHS workers at the Aintree University Hospital give a thumbs up from behind closed doors during the Clap for our Carers campaign

NHS workers at the Aintree University Hospital give a thumbs up from behind closed doors during the Clap for our Carers campaign

NHS workers react at the Aintree University Hospital before the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

NHS workers react at the Aintree University Hospital before the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Nuns at the St Anthony's convent of Mercy Tunstall in Sunderland with a sign saying 'Peace' and a guitar join in the ninth clap for carers

Nuns at the St Anthony’s convent of Mercy Tunstall in Sunderland with a sign saying ‘Peace’ and a guitar join in the ninth clap for carers

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak applauds outside 11 Downing Street during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak applauds outside 11 Downing Street during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria applaud for key workers outside their home in London this evening

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria applaud for key workers outside their home in London this evening

Two young girls in traditional dress join NHS staff hold a sign saying 'NHS Stay Safe' outside Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast

Two young girls in traditional dress join NHS staff hold a sign saying ‘NHS Stay Safe’ outside Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast 

Locals in Haringey, north London, took to the streets this evening with pots and pans and rainbow-themed props to show their support

Locals in Haringey, north London, took to the streets this evening with pots and pans and rainbow-themed props to show their support

Motorcyclists stand next to their bikes outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as they take part in the clap for carers this evening

Motorcyclists stand next to their bikes outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as they take part in the clap for carers this evening 

The Prime Minister’s fiancée Carrie Symonds also posted a powerful message, as she wrote: ‘Clapping for our carers, particularly those going through so much on the frontline #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek’

Larry the Downing Street Cat was also spotted watching on, in front of children’s pictures of rainbows, which adorn the windows of Mr Johnson’s home.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer paid tribute, as well, writing: ‘Key workers, NHS staff and care workers have kept our country going when we’ve needed them most.

‘It’s right we clap for them every Thursday but when we emerge from this crisis we owe them a better society where they are truly valued.’ 

The opposition leader’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, wore a ‘Born in the NHS’ T-shirt as he also took to the streets to applaud. 

Other cabinet members including Chancellor Rishi Sunak were also seen applauding, as was Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who tweeted: ‘Great to #ClapForCarers tonight to thank health and social care colleagues from the Department for Health and Social Care.’

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took to social media as well to say: ‘Another heartfelt thank you to all those working to keep us safe #ClapfortheNHS #clapforcarers #clapforkeyworkers’

A small group of police officers participate in the national salute outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London

A small group of police officers participate in the national salute outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London

Local people and NHS workers applaud key workers at Royal London Hospital in East London earlier this evening

Local people and NHS workers applaud key workers at Royal London Hospital in East London earlier this evening

A couple bang pots and pans as they stand on their balcony in Saltburn, North Yorkshire, to applaud key workers this evening

A couple bang pots and pans as they stand on their balcony in Saltburn, North Yorkshire, to applaud key workers this evening

A woman in Saltburn-By-The-Sea pauses her evening exercise to applaud key workers during the Clap for Carers tonight

A woman in Saltburn-By-The-Sea pauses her evening exercise to applaud key workers during the Clap for Carers tonight

A lady holds up a sign outside of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, calling for more funds for the NHS

A lady holds up a sign outside of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, calling for more funds for the NHS

Members of the public take to the streets near Chelsea and Westminster Hospital this evening to show their support

Members of the public take to the streets near Chelsea and Westminster Hospital this evening to show their support

People gather to clap at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport this evening as part of the nationwide salute to frontline staff

People gather to clap at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport this evening as part of the nationwide salute to frontline staff

Nurses clap outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham this evening during the salute's ninth week

Nurses clap outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham this evening during the salute’s ninth week

A woman claps from her window in Blackwood, Wales, during this evening's nationwide show of support for key workers

A woman claps from her window in Blackwood, Wales, during this evening’s nationwide show of support for key workers

This young family and their dog were out to show their support for key workers at 8pm in Blackwood, Wales this evening

This young family and their dog were out to show their support for key workers at 8pm in Blackwood, Wales this evening

Recovery vehicles sound their horns as they drive past the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport during the ninth Clap For Our Carers

Recovery vehicles sound their horns as they drive past the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport during the ninth Clap For Our Carers

One girl jumps in the air as she uses a drum with strings to clap for carers with her family in Woodesford, Leeds

One girl jumps in the air as she uses a drum with strings to clap for carers with her family in Woodesford, Leeds

Staff at Abbeydale Court Care home in Hamilton line the street and balconies to take part in the clap for carers campaign

Staff at Abbeydale Court Care home in Hamilton line the street and balconies to take part in the clap for carers campaign

A care home worker wears a top and trouser set decorated with elements of the periodic table outside Abbeydale Court Care Home in Hamilton

A care home worker wears a top and trouser set decorated with elements of the periodic table outside Abbeydale Court Care Home in Hamilton

Millions of members of the public stepped outside at 8pm, with many bringing their own unique rituals and performances for the occasion.

People of all age groups held aloft rainbow-themed props while the sound of banging saucepans again filled streets up and down the country.

In Liverpool, NHS workers dressed in scrubs shared their support as they posed for a photo outside Aintree University Hospital for the nationwide campaign while some of their colleagues posed from inside the building, giving thumbs-up gestures.

Other emergency service staff including police officers and firefighters again lined up to applaud during the salute.

Meanwhile, a convoy of around 80 lorries, many decorated in colourful tributes, travelled from Chatteris to Peterborough City Hospital to demonstrate support.

The truckers had raised some £14,000 for NHS charities even before setting off for the stunt this evening. 

In Wales, queues of recovery vehicles sounded their horns as they drove past the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

There were also impressive musical displays, with people playing everything from the piano and violin to the harp from their front gardens.

Eye-catching attire was also on show, as Irish dancers dressed up to perform, while others were spotted wearing a series of colourful outfits, including one care worker who donned a top and trouser set decorated with elements of the periodic table.

Elsewhere, in Saltburn-By-The-Sea even cyclists out for some evening exercise were seen taking a short break to show their appreciation.

A convoy of 80-plus trucks travel from Chatteris to Peterborough City Hospital for the 8pm Clap for Carers this evening

A convoy of 80-plus trucks travel from Chatteris to Peterborough City Hospital for the 8pm Clap for Carers this evening

The lorries were decorated in colourful tributes to the NHS, with messages reading 'Thank you to our transport workers' and 'Helping us all through Covid-19'

The lorries were decorated in colourful tributes to the NHS, with messages reading ‘Thank you to our transport workers’ and ‘Helping us all through Covid-19’

The organised lorry convoy for this evening's tribute had already raised thousands of pounds for NHS charities before even setting off

The organised lorry convoy for this evening’s tribute had already raised thousands of pounds for NHS charities before even setting off

Paramedics outside of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham applauded colleagues and key workers this evening

Paramedics outside of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham applauded colleagues and key workers this evening

Northampton residents stand in the street to take part in the applause with one man using a metal bowl and stick

Northampton residents stand in the street to take part in the applause with one man using a metal bowl and stick 

A lady plays the violin in London while a man next to her plays the piano as they perform Somewhere Over The Rainbow

A lady plays the violin in London while a man next to her plays the piano as they perform Somewhere Over The Rainbow

A boy bangs a drum as the residents of Walthamstow join in on the Clap for Carers salute taking place across Britain

A boy bangs a drum as the residents of Walthamstow join in on the Clap for Carers salute taking place across Britain

A resident in Blackwood, Wales, claps for carers beside his dog with a rainbow flag hangs off a wall with NHS written in silver

A resident in Blackwood, Wales, claps for carers beside his dog with a rainbow flag hangs off a wall with NHS written in silver

Members of the public take part in the clap for carers campaign this evening outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London

Members of the public take part in the clap for carers campaign this evening outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London 

A man in Betley, Staffordshire, uses as a drum during the weekly clap outside his house as they join in with the clap for carers campaign

A man in Betley, Staffordshire, uses as a drum during the weekly clap outside his house as they join in with the clap for carers campaign

Members of the public as well as NHS workers gather outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the clap for carers campaign

Members of the public as well as NHS workers gather outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the clap for carers campaign

Two musicians put on a performance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow in London as members of the public watch and listen

Two musicians put on a performance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow in London as members of the public watch and listen

Residents in Lee-On-The-Solent, Portsmouth, show their support for the NHS and key workers from their balconies

Residents in Lee-On-The-Solent, Portsmouth, show their support for the NHS and key workers from their balconies

An Irish dancer performs outside the Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast, during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative

An Irish dancer performs outside the Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast, during Thursday’s nationwide Clap for Carers initiative

Staff clap outside of North Tees Hospital in Stockton, Teesside for the National 8pm Clap for Carers this evening

Staff clap outside of North Tees Hospital in Stockton, Teesside for the National 8pm Clap for Carers this evening

Two paramedics standing beside their ambulance applaud outside of North Tees Hospital in Stockton, Teeside, this evening

Two paramedics standing beside their ambulance applaud outside of North Tees Hospital in Stockton, Teeside, this evening

Staff applaud the NHS outside King's College Hospital in Camberwell, south London, to recognise and support key workers

Staff applaud the NHS outside King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, south London, to recognise and support key workers

Staff smile as they clap for carers outside King's College Hospital in Camberwell, south London, as they salute local heroes

Staff smile as they clap for carers outside King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, south London, as they salute local heroes

Members of the public wearing face masks and 'Thank you' t-shirts with rainbows on them stand outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the clap for carers campaign

Members of the public wearing face masks and ‘Thank you’ t-shirts with rainbows on them stand outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the clap for carers campaign

Staff line up outside the Royal Hampshire County Hospital to join in the applause to salute those on the frontline fighting the pandemic

Staff line up outside the Royal Hampshire County Hospital to join in the applause to salute those on the frontline fighting the pandemic

Residents in Tonbridge, Kent, take part in the ninth Clap for Carers with saucepans and wooden spoons

Residents in Tonbridge, Kent, take part in the ninth Clap for Carers with saucepans and wooden spoons

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer applauds from outside his home this evening during the ninth week of the Clap for Carers salute

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer applauds from outside his home this evening during the ninth week of the Clap for Carers salute

The weekly salute came on another turbulent day of coronavirus developments: 

  • Nicola Sturgeon announced Scots could be able to have neighbours round for a BBQ and play tennis from next weekend;
  • Almost 24million people entered the UK with no coronavirus checks in the first three months of 2020;
  • NHS and care workers will finally get free coronavirus antibody tests after Number 10 agreed a deal with pharmaceutical giant Roche;
  • Drug-maker AstraZeneca revealed it has capacity to make 1billion doses of the Oxford University’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested the government could make taking a vaccine compulsory in the future; 
  • Coronavirus is still infecting 61,000 people every week in England but the outbreak is ‘relatively stable’, according to government surveillance figures;
  • Fewer than half of Brits aged 19 to 30 say they are still sticking to the government’s lockdown rules to fight coronavirus, a major study revealed;
  • More than five million people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide, with Latin America now seeing the largest rise in cases each day.

Britain’s daily coronavirus death toll dropped again today as health chiefs announced 338 more victims, meaning the official number of victims has now surpassed 36,000.

The Department of Health toll – which takes into account deaths in all settings – is the lowest figure recorded on a Thursday since March 26 (103) and is even lower than yesterday’s count of 363.

NHS England confirmed one of the victims was a 14-year-old who had an underlying health condition – but officials did not reveal what medical issue the teenager had.

Government data released today also showed another 2,615 people have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the official size of Britain’s outbreak past a quarter of a million (250,908).

Elsewhere this afternoon, Boris Johnson bowed to massive pressure to drop the NHS surcharge for foreign health and care workers.

The PM declared that the £400-a-year levy will be dropped after senior Conservatives complained it was ‘immoral’ and ‘mean-spirited’ that those on the frontline of the coronavirus battle were being forced to pay.

It also emerged today that almost one in five people in London – 17 per cent – have already had the coronavirus, according to surveillance testing.

The shocking proportion means that around 1.53million people have been infected with the virus and recovered.

Mr Hancock announced testing for antibodies among a sample of the population has given the government the first indications of how many people have caught the disease already.

Meanwhile the rate across the rest of the UK appeared to be around five per cent, he said, which would equal 2.85million people.

This suggests that the death rate in London is considerably lower – around 0.62 per cent – than it is in the rest of the UK around it, where it appears to be closer to 1.39 per cent.

Two health workers at the Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool embrace each other during the Clap for our Carers tonight

Two health workers at the Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool embrace each other during the Clap for our Carers tonight

People gather outside St Thomas' Hospital and Westminster Bridge to clap for carers as a flag flies thanking the NHS and key workers

People gather outside St Thomas’ Hospital and Westminster Bridge to clap for carers as a flag flies thanking the NHS and key workers

Vicky McClure shows here appreciation for Care, NHS and other Key workers during the weekly applaud from your doorstep. Vicky appeared to shed a tear at one point after being overwhelmed by the rest of her street clapping

Vicky McClure shows here appreciation for Care, NHS and other Key workers during the weekly applaud from your doorstep. Vicky appeared to shed a tear at one point after being overwhelmed by the rest of her street clapping

Love Island couple Molly Smith and Callum Jones were out on their doorstep applauding for frontline workers this evening

Love Island couple Molly Smith and Callum Jones were out on their doorstep applauding for frontline workers this evening

A painted rainbow thanking the NHS is displayed on the ground in a car park outside Frimley Park Hospital today ahead of the Clap for Carers

A painted rainbow thanking the NHS is displayed on the ground in a car park outside Frimley Park Hospital today ahead of the Clap for Carers

NHS workers hold a banner at the Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool before the Clap for our Carers campaign tonight

NHS workers hold a banner at the Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool before the Clap for our Carers campaign tonight

Jack, five, and sister Lucy Cassidy, 10, from Poulton le Fylde lends their support for the nationwide campaign earlier today

Jack, five, and sister Lucy Cassidy, 10, from Poulton le Fylde lends their support for the nationwide campaign earlier today

‘Everyday my heart sinks but he is still HERE’: Kate Garraway updates fans on husband Derek’s COVID-19 battle while praising her kids for ‘staying strong’ as they lead the stars in weekly Clap For Our Carers salute

by Rianne Addo and Charlotte Dean For Mailonline

Kate Garraway put on a brave face as she joined her children for the weekly Clap For Our Carers applause on Thursday, while her critically-ill husband Derek Draper continues to fight coronavirus in hospital.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, gave an update on the 52-year-old’s battle in a heartfelt Instagram post, revealing that while her ‘heart sinks everyday’, Derek is ‘still here’ as he remains in ICU.

Host Kate also expressed her gratitude towards her kids Darcey, 14, and Billy, 10, for ‘staying strong’ during the difficult time, with her daughter surprising her by purchasing an NHS ‘Better Together’ T-shirt with her debit card.

Thinking of you: Kate Garraway joined her kids for the Clap for Carers applause on Thursday as her husband Derek Draper continues to battle coronavirus (pictured with daughter Darcey, 14)

In good company: The Good Morning Britain presenter, 53, beamed as she stood in the street alongside Darcey and Billy (pictured), 10, during the weekly salute

Thinking of you: Kate Garraway joined her kids for the Clap for Carers applause on Thursday as her husband Derek Draper continues to battle coronavirus (pictured with daughter Darcey, 14, and son Billy, 10)

‘I didn’t even know Darcey had bought this t shirt on line ( with my card !) until she emerged tonight but I do know how grateful she is to the NHS’, the TV veteran wrote on her social media account alongside a clip of the trio clapping outside.  

Kate shared insight into how she’s coping with her long-time love’s health issues, explaining: ‘I couldn’t be prouder of how she & Billy have coped with these past 2 horrific months for our family – always finding ways of lifting our spirits & staying strong even when they can see me wobbling. 

‘Its so wonderful to see little green shoots of hope that this dreadful disease is easing and that hopefully soon we might all be able to see each other again and hug our nearest and dearest.’ [sic]

Revealing author Derek is still fighting for his life, the Smooth Radio presenter added: ‘But the journey for me and my family seems to be far from over as everyday my heart sinks as I learn new & devastating ways this virus has more battles for Derek to fight. But he is still HERE & so there is still hope.  

Critically-ill: Former lobbyist Derek, 52, remains in a coma as he continues his battle against the deadly virus (pictured in December)

Critically-ill: Former lobbyist Derek, 52, remains in a coma as he continues his battle against the deadly virus (pictured in December)

Staying positive: The host expressed her gratitude towards healthcare professionals amid the COVID-19 by banging pots with a neon green spoon

Staying positive: The host expressed her gratitude towards healthcare professionals amid the COVID-19 by banging pots with a neon green spoon

Touched: Amid the 52-year-old former lobbyist's health battle, the news anchor still appeared in good spirits as she engaged in conversations with her kids and neighbours

Hard times: She was no doubt thinking of her long-term partner who remains in ICU

Touched: Amid the 52-year-old former lobbyist’s health battle, the news anchor still appeared in good spirits as she engaged in conversations with her kids and neighbours

‘My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who will be affected by this, not just for the next few weeks but for the foreseeable future. That will be the case for many who have suffered from the disease, but also the front line workers who have been helping to treat the worst affected. 

‘The physical and mental scars will run deep and so we need to stick together far beyond the end of lockdown. Thank you so much for all your messages. 

‘I am going to share more of the things that have been keeping me going on clubgarraway.com . And I would love to hear more of your challenges & thoughts there too. Sharing is such a comfort.’ [sic] 

She shared her appreciation for the healthcare professionals amid the COVID-19 by banging pots with a neon green spoon, no doubt thinking of her partner. 

'I couldn't be prouder of them white these past two horrific months for our family': The TV veteran uploaded a video of the trio clapping on her social media account alongside a heartfelt caption

‘I couldn’t be prouder of them white these past two horrific months for our family’: The TV veteran uploaded a video of the trio clapping on her social media account alongside a heartfelt caption

Goofy: Darcey pulled an animated facial expression as she cracked jokes with her mother

Nearest and dearest: Kate's mini-me stood beside her as she clapped in support of the NHS, while young Billy joined his relatives on a brick fence

Nearest and dearest: Kate’s mini-me stood beside her as she clapped in support of the NHS, while young Billy joined his relatives on a brick fence

'The physical and mental scars will run deep and so we need to stick together far beyond the end of lockdown': The mum-of-two shared insight into how she's coping with her long-time love's health issues, while spreading positivity with her followers

‘The physical and mental scars will run deep and so we need to stick together far beyond the end of lockdown’: The mum-of-two shared insight into how she’s coping with her long-time love’s health issues, while spreading positivity with her followers

Attire: The I'm A Celeb star was dressed in a flowy white dress, a leather biker jacket and box-fresh trainers

Significant: Kate stepped out to support the important cause, which is relatively close to home

Attire: The I’m A Celeb star was dressed in a flowy white dress, a leather biker jacket and box-fresh trainers

Amid the former lobbyist’s health battle, the news anchor still appeared in good spirits as she engaged in conversations with her kids and neighbours.

The I’m A Celeb star was dressed in a flowy white dress, a leather biker jacket and box-fresh trainers as she stepped out to support the important cause, which is relatively close to home.   

Kate’s mini-me stood beside her as she clapped in support of the NHS, while young Billy joined his relatives on a brick fence. 

Kate’s supportive husband Derek was taken into hospital on March 30 and is understood to be in an unresponsive critical condition as he remains in a critical care unit. 

Relaxed: Kate's eldest child ditched shoes as she went barefoot during her brief appearance in the street

Important: The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, has been staged because 'during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful', the organisers said

Relaxed: Kate’s eldest child ditched shoes as she went barefoot during her brief appearance in the street 

Hopeful: Her GMB colleague Piers Morgan recently revealed Kate has been given 'huge hope' as she hears stories from coronavirus survivors

Hopeful: Her GMB colleague Piers Morgan recently revealed Kate has been given ‘huge hope’ as she hears stories from coronavirus survivors

Thank you: For the ninth week in a row, National Health Service workers have been the recipients of the cheers and claps from the nation

Gratitude: Last month the event was expanded to include all key workers, such as supermarket staff, the emergency services and teachers who are continuing to work

Thank you: For the ninth week in a row, National Health Service workers have been the recipients of the cheers and claps from the nation

Her GMB colleague Piers Morgan revealed Kate has been given ‘huge hope’ as she hears stories from coronavirus survivors. 

The lead presenter, 55, spoke about his close friend after hearing from a woman called Jo Tillbrook who survived coronavirus after a long stint in hospital. 

He said: ‘One of my colleagues, Kate Garraway, her husband has been very critically ill for a long period of time now. 

‘And these sort of stories, I have to say, think give Kate huge hope when she hears and sees them.’

Jo’s husband Clive had been told to ‘prepare for the worst’ by doctors, who were concerned that Jo wouldn’t be able to recover – however she made a full recovery.  

Loved-up: Before the pandemic, the broadcaster revealed the couple were set to renew their vows later this year after 15 years of marriage (pictured in December)

Loved-up: Before the pandemic, the broadcaster revealed the couple were set to renew their vows later this year after 15 years of marriage (pictured in December)

Piers added: ‘She was in the very same position that Clive was in, you can’t see your loved one. You just have to muddle through, I guess.’ 

On Monday, the journalist acknowledged that Kate is ‘going through a living hell’ as she is unable to visit her sick partner.

Piers said: ‘We haven’t talked about it much because Kate Garraway is going through a living hell like many people. Her husband has been in a very serious condition for many many weeks.

‘We can all just hope and pray he comes through it, but it’s been very, very difficult for Kate and her family.

Well done! Vicky McClure was unable to hide her emotions as she wiped away tears while clapping for key workers on her doorstep

Well done! Vicky McClure was unable to hide her emotions as she wiped away tears while clapping for key workers on her doorstep

Family affair: BGT judge Amanda Holden, 49, and her daughters Alexa, 14, and Hollie, eight, clapped and banged pans as they joined legions of families across the country

Dr Hollie! The Heart Radio host showcased her legs in denim hot pants and a T-shirt, while her youngest Hollie was wearing a pair of adorable rainbow scrubs

Family affair: BGT judge Amanda Holden, 49, and her daughters Alexa, 14, and Hollie, eight, clapped and banged pans as they joined legions of families across the country

‘We miss her here at the show, but obviously we stay in touch with her a lot. We send her and the kids all our love and we just wish Derek all the very best.’

Susanna Reid added: ‘We haven’t said much, we leave it up to Kate, because she updates fans on Thursdays after the Clap for Carers and then Ben Shephard updates viewers the next day.’  

Mother-of-two Kate, who has regularly kept followers updated with Derek’s progress, recently told how the messages of support have ‘meant the world’ to her.

Writing in her latest blog post, she said the kind words were ‘comforting’ as she tries to remain strong for her family.

 

Thank you: Victoria Beckham, 46, and her daughter Harper, eight, who was wearing a 'thank you' T-shirt, were also keen to show their appreciation during the weekly clap, with her mini-me enjoying a swing ride

Thank you: Victoria Beckham, 46, and her daughter Harper, eight, who was wearing a ‘thank you’ T-shirt, were also keen to show their appreciation during the weekly clap, with her mini-me enjoying a swing ride

The ITV star said: ‘I wanted to send a huge thank you to all of you who have sent me such wonderful messages wishing Derek well. It has meant the world to me. 

‘I am sorry I have not been able to reply to them individually, as I am sure you will understand that I am focusing on my family and Derek right now.’

The blonde continued: ‘In quieter moments I am reading all of your messages and they are so comforting and wonderful to read.’ 

Before the pandemic, Kate revealed the couple were set to renew their vows later this year after 15 years of marriage. 

Clap because we care! Rita Ora shared a solitary video of herself clapping after revealing her mother Vera had gone back to work for the NHS as a medical professional

Clap because we care! Rita Ora shared a solitary video of herself clapping after revealing her mother Vera had gone back to work for the NHS as a medical professional

Rainbow: The 'thank you' rainbow T-shirts proved a popular choice with celebs, as Lizzie Cundy (pictured) and Christine McGuinness also sported the charity top

Forever grateful: Meanwhile, Christine, 32, said that she was 'forever grateful', while sporting a pair of tiny denim shorts and rainbow wedges for her Instagram snap

Rainbow: The ‘thank you’ rainbow T-shirts proved a popular choice with celebs, as Lizzie Cundy (L) and Christine McGuinness (R) also sported the charity top

We Are The Champions! This week, Katie Price, 41, was joined by her son Harvey, 17, who played a version of Queen's We Are The Champions on his keyboard as a special thank you

We Are The Champions! This week, Katie Price, 41, was joined by her son Harvey, 17, who played a version of Queen’s We Are The Champions on his keyboard as a special thank you

Rainbow love: The mother and son duo were also rocking rainbow T-shirts which had the letters 'NHS', emblazoned across the front of the garments, designed by Harvey himself

Cheery: The pair grinned as they stood behind the great cause

Rainbow love: The mother and son duo were also rocking rainbow T-shirts which had the letters ‘NHS’, emblazoned across the front of the garments, designed by Harvey himself 

Nothing is enough! Stacey Solomon and boyfriend Joe Swash enjoyed a cup of tea after standing on their doorstep to clap for carers

Nothing is enough! Stacey Solomon and boyfriend Joe Swash enjoyed a cup of tea after standing on their doorstep to clap for carers

The broadcaster was stunned when Derek proposed to her for a second time following her appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.  

Vicky McClure also took part in the public applause, with the actress, 37, left unable to hide her emotions as she wiped away tears.

The screen star followed in the footsteps of a host of celebrities, with Amanda Holden, 49, and her two daughters also showing support from their doorstep.  

BGT judge Amanda, 49, and her daughters Alexa, 14, and Hollie, eight, clapped and banged pans as they joined legions of families across the country.

Well equipped: Michelle Heaton treated herself to a refreshing beverage as she grabbed a table to join in the nationwide clap

Her fluffy friend: The former Liberty X musician held onto her pet pooch as she strolled along the streets in a pair of grey slippers

Well equipped: Michelle Heaton treated herself to a refreshing beverage as she grabbed a table to join in the nationwide clap

Family first: The songstress, 40, was joined by her husband Hugh Hanley as they sat by their flashy black car

Family first: The songstress, 40, was joined by her husband Hugh Hanley as they sat by their flashy black car

Cheer! Imogen Thomas, 37, shared a clip of her daughters Ariana, seven, and Siera, four, banging pans during the minutes clap

Yay! Her lookalike children were over the moon as they joined millions

Cheer! Imogen Thomas, 37, shared a clip of her daughters Ariana, seven, and Siera, four, banging pans during the minutes clap

Love: Myleene Klass, 42, was joined by her children Ava, Hero and Apollo during the clap

Love: Myleene Klass, 42, was joined by her children Ava, 12, Hero, nine and Apollo, eight months, during the clap

 The Heart Radio host showcased her legs in denim hot pants and a T-shirt, while her youngest Hollie was wearing a pair of adorable rainbow scrubs. 

The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, has been staged because ‘during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful’, the organisers said. 

For the ninth week in a row, National Health Service workers have been the recipients of the cheers and claps from the nation.

Last month the event, organised by the Clap For Our Carers campaign, was expanded to include all key workers, such as supermarket staff, the emergency services and teachers who are continuing to work.  

Britain’s daily coronavirus death toll dropped again as health chiefs announced 338 more victims, meaning the official number of victims has now surpassed 36,000.

The Department of Health toll – which takes into account deaths in all settings – is the lowest figure recorded on a Thursday since March 26 (103) and is even lower than yesterday’s count of 363.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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