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#WeApplaud: French pay tribute to health workers from their balconies

People in Paris, France, applaud health workers from their windows and balconies on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
People in Paris, France, applaud health workers from their windows and balconies on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. © AFP / FRANCE 24

On Tuesday evening, people across France gathered at their balconies and windows to clap for the country’s health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic as the country went into lockdown.

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The applause was triggered by calls across social media throughout Tuesday, as the country headed towards its first night under a government enforced lockdown that has seen people prevented from leaving their homes other than to work, excercise, shop for food or get medical treatment.

Using the hashtags #OnApplaudit (We Applaud) and #TousAlaFenêtre (All at the Window), French people were asked to start applauding en masse at either 7pm or 8pm and to continue doing so at the same time every night.

It is an initiative that first started in Italy and Spain, both under lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, and has since spread to other countries including Greece, Portugal and Switzerland.

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