Londoners joined the "Clap for Carers" event last night to thank medical frontliners. However, some of them took a step in the wrong direction. Last week, it was already pointed out that people had gathered on the Westminster Bridge while ignoring lockdown rules. Despite heavy criticism, the scene was repeated last night as members of the public and emergency workers were seen flouting social distancing regulations.
While no more than six people are allowed to attend funerals of their loved ones, reckless masses are gathering on Westminster Bridge every week. Junior doctor Damir Rafi shared the video of the COVID-19 lockdown violators mingling with emergency workers using the positive initiative as an excuse. Many National Health Service workers along with Rafi took to social media to discourage people from repeating the act as it facilitates the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This week, people were once again seen on the bridge with small children and without masks. Videos and images hit social media of the COVID-19 lockdown violators parading on the bridge. At the same time, the bridge was lined with emergency vehicles. Emergency workers were seen interacting with the crowds as the hour to clap for front line workers came around.
While emergency workers mostly maintained the 2-meter distance rule, members of the public did not. Even while police officers were present on the bridge, they did nothing to disperse the crowds. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the police have special powers to ensure that people follow the lockdown rules. The special powers were not used to ensure that the novel coronavirus was not spread amidst the crowd last night.
Metropolitan police chief Cressida Dick was present on the bridge last week, doing nothing to stop the violators, the Daily Mail reported. Her inaction drew heavy criticism. Yet this week, police were again seen to be just as inactive.
People took to social media to continue to criticise the reckless gathering. They pointed out that family members were not able to see their loved ones in the hospital or attend their funerals. People maintaining social distancing in parks were being told to return home by police. However, in this instance, they did nothing. The government has repeatedly asked people to "Clap for Carers" from their homes. By ignoring that key instruction, people continue to sabotage the battle against the novel coronavirus.