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Penguin 'meets' belugas at aquarium closed due to coronavirus

Having a whale of a time! Penguin ‘meets’ belugas as it waddles around empty aquarium closed due to the coronavirus outbreak

  • Clip was filmed at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, which is currently closed
  • The inquisitive penguin, called Wellington, is one of the oldest at the attraction
  • He made new friends in beluga whales called Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

An adorable penguin was caught on camera checking in on its neighbours at an empty aquarium during the coronavirus lockdown. 

The footage was recorded at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, which currently remains closed due to the outbreak.

The inquisitive rockhopper penguin called Wellington, who is one of the oldest at the attraction, was allowed to roam around the other exhibits before stopping to greet a pod of beluga whales. 

In the footage, Wellington can be seen waddling in front of the pane of glass as his feet gently tap along the floor.

One of the beluga whales swims straight past him before turning back around to get a closer look.

The pair pause briefly and glance inquisitively at each other.

The inquisitive rockhopper penguin called Wellington, who is one of the oldest at the attraction, was allowed to roam around the other exhibits at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois

Wellington waddled in front of the pane of glass as one of the beluga whales turned toward him to get a closer look

The beluga presses its head up against the window as Wellington lets out a small squawk before the other two whales in the exhibit pop into view to greet the visitor.

One of the zookeepers behind the camera, who was supervising Wellington at all times, says ‘who’s that?’ as she encourages the interaction.

The penguin continues to jolt his head from side-to-side while he inspects his new friends.

He shuffles back and forth once again and is closely followed by one of the curious belugas.    

He made friends with a pod of beluga whales called Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik but it is unlikely that beluga whales, from the northern hemisphere, and rockhopper penguins, found in the south pole, would ever meet in the wild

The penguin continues to jolt his head from side-to-side while he inspects his new friends. He shuffles back and forth once again and is closely followed by one of the curious belugas

Shedd Aquarium originally posted the video on Twitter alongside the caption: ‘Wellington, meet the belugas! 

‘This weekend, Wellington visited Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik, who were very curious about this little rockhopper. 

‘Belugas are northern hemisphere animals, so they would likely never see a penguin [who live at the south pole]!’ 

And Wellington is not the first penguin to be allowed to roam around with the attraction previously telling the Chicago Tribune: ‘Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals. 

‘Introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviours.’

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The 3 mild coronavirus symptoms that can predict if you will suffer severe lung disease – The Sun

MOST people who contract coronavirus won't need any extra help – and will see their symptoms settle within a week. 

However, for an estimated one in five people with the illness, hospital care will prove necessary and they may go on to develop a more severe lung condition.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

In particular, a high temperature and a new, continuous cough are the two main symptoms of coronavirus that the NHS lists on its website.

However, doctors have now discovered three different, mild symptoms that patients who become more severely ill with Covid-19 tend to show.

And they believe that these signs, taken together, are strong predictors of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

According to the NHS, this is a life-threatening condition where the lungs can't provide the body's vital organs with enough oxygen.

Researchers at New York University (NYU) made the discovery by analysing records from 53 hospitalised patients in Wenzhou, China.

Most of the participants were in their 30s or 40s, and nearly two-thirds were men.

Megan Coffee, an infectious-disease clinician and lead author of the study, told Business Insider that they carried out the study to "assist doctors in that first stage to be able to identify who may become sick of the many mild cases."

The three signs that they found in those with severe lung disease were…

1. An increase in a liver enzyme

The first factor was a slight increase in an enzyme known as alanine aminotransferase (ALT).

ALT is normally found inside liver cells, however, when your liver is damaged or inflamed, ALT can be released into your bloodstream.

High levels of ALT in a person’s blood can signal the presence of liver damage or inflammation.

2. Deep muscle aches

The second factor was deep muscle aches, known clinically as myalgia.

Myalgia can involve ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs.

According to the World Health Organization, about 15 per cent of all coronavirus patients experienced body aches or joint pain.

The aches are triggered by chemicals called cytokines – which the body releases while responding to the infection.

3. More haemoglobin

The third factor was higher levels of haemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen through the blood.

In patients severely ill with coronavirus, the red blood cell production increases to make up for chronically low blood oxygen levels due to poor lung function.

The researchers who carried out the study say that all three of these symptoms must be present for someone to have an early risk of severe lung disease.

On their own, the three mild symptoms don’t normally set off alarm bells for medics, they claimed.

The experts added that determining whether a patient is likely to get worse could help hospitals decide which cases to monitor.

"Hospitals are just so overstretched that if someone doesn’t immediately need oxygen they may not be able to find a place for them," Coffee said. "But they might be able to say, ‘You really need to check back in tomorrow'."

Doctors could then treat a patient before their case becomes critical, lessening the burden on the NHS.

In particular, the NHS is facing an increasing amount of pressure with a lack of ­ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits.

Anasse Bari, a clinical assistant professor at NYU who co-authored the study, added: "We’re not by any means trying to replace doctors’ decisions.

"We just want to arm doctors with tools to see quickly if this is a severe case and predict outcomes."

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On average, patients in the NYU study were admitted to the hospital three days after their symptoms started.

Most had a temperature and a dry cough, although about a third developed a wet cough.

Less than a quarter were wheezing or had difficulty breathing – and only a few had body aches, a sore throat, or diarrhoea.

The study found that most patients developed mild symptoms at first.

In severe cases, symptoms like shortness of breath, pneumonia, and ARDS typically appeared five to eight days into the illness.

About 88 per cent of patients had white patches, called “ground glass,” on their CT scans, signalling the presence of fluid in their lungs.

But only five – all men – developed severe lung disease.

Data from China, South Korea, and Italy suggests that more men than women are dying of Covid-19.

Two possible explanations is that men report higher rates of smoking and also have higher rates of preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

But the NYU researchers determined that gender wasn’t a strong predictor of severe lung disease.

“Even though everyone who had ARDS was male, most of the men in the study did not develop ARDS,” Coffee said.

The researchers also found that age wasn’t a strong warning sign either, even though the Covid-19 death rate is significantly higher among older people.

This comes after it was revealed yesterday that a 13-year-old boy had become Britain's youngest coronavirus victim.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died in King's College Hospital in London on Monday after testing positive for the deadly disease.

Tragically, his mum and six siblings were not able to be by his side in his final moments because of the contagiousness of the killer virus.

The latest figures from the Department of Health reveal 381 people have died in 24 hours after a rise of 180 deaths in the same time period yesterday.

In England, the NHS confirmed the death rate had also more than doubled from 159 on Monday to 367  in the biggest 24-hour leap so far.

The latest victims were aged between 19 and 98 – with 28 having no previous medical conditions – bringing the total death toll in the country to 1,651.

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What does furlough mean? Furloughed workers and leave definition explained – The Sun

MILLIONS of workers are having 80 per cent of their wages supplemented under emergency measures as the country battles coronavirus.

When Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the measures, he said the government was there to support the millions of Brits who have been furloughed – but what exactly does the word "furloughed" mean?

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What are furloughed workers?

Furloughed workers are those who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic because their places of work have been forced to close.

They are not people who have been made redundant.

Their employers are now able to access support to continue paying part of their staff's wages, to avoid redundancies.

Mr Sunak has promised to pay up to £2,500 per month in salaries to those who are unable to work as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

What is furloughed leave?

Employers who wish to access the job retention scheme should speak with their employees about classifying them as a furloughed worker.

This would mean that employees are kept on the payroll, rather than being laid off.

According to the Government, furloughed staff should not undertake any work for their employer during the scheme.

This allows employers to claim up to 80 per cent of wages – with a limit of £2,500 per month.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed.

“This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80 per cent of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

“You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.

“If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

“We intend for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary.”

 

Who can be furloughed and how do I claim my pay from the Government?

Any UK employer can apply for the furlough scheme, including business, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

Employers as varied as easyJet and Premier League clubs Newcastle and Tottenham have already furloughed some of their workers.

However the Government does not envisage making significant payouts to public sector employees as they believe most will continue offering essential services.

Where employers are receiving public funding for staff costs, they will be expected to continue using these funds to pay staff rather than applying for the furlough scheme.

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If you are working at reduced hours and pay, you will not be eligible for furlough and it will be up to your employer to pay you as normal.

You must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before February 28, 2020 and have a UK bank account.

To access the scheme, your employer must comply with the following:

  • Designate employees who cannot do their jobs due to the coronavirus measures put in place by the Government
  • Notify those employees of their new "furloughed" status
  • Submit information to HMRC about furloughed employees to set up a system for reimbursement and existing systems that will facilitate payments.

Can I take another job while on furlough?

The Government does not prevent workers from taking on other jobs while on furlough.

However, you should speak to your employer first as you are still technically working for them.

Some contracts may prohibit employees from taking up other work, but be subject to negotiation.

Have easyJet workers been furloughed?

easyJet has grounded its entire fleet for two months, meaning the cabin crew has been furloughed.

Four thousand of the company's nine thousand UK workers are now on furlough leave.

From April 1, these staff will not work but will be able to claim 80 per cent of their regular pay from the government.

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Trump claims he 'probably' was distracted by impeachment during virus

‘I’m a positive person. I want to give people hope.’ Donald Trump is challenged on why he took so long to sound alarm on coronavirus as he admits 100,000 will die – and says impeachment made NO difference to response

  • President Donald Trump said he wanted to be a ‘cheerleader for the country’ when asked about prior upbeat statements about the coronavirus 
  •  Also said ‘I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached’
  • Trump said it ‘probably’ diverted his attention somewhat 
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell said impeachment ‘diverted’ attention of the government 
  • Trump said Jan. 22 ‘we have it totally under control’ in reference to the virus
  • He was acquitted on Feb. 5 of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress
  • Dr. Tony Fauci warned Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus 
  • ‘The answer is yes – as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it’
  •  The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained 
  • ‘This is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,’ Trump said 
  • The U.S. death toll stands at 3,669 as of late Tuesday afternoon   
  • Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and 40,000 died  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Donald Trump defended his earlier upbeat statements about the coronavirus as the outbreak began its march across the globe early this year, explaining during a sober briefing that he tries to be a ‘cheerleader’ for the country.

He also acknowledged that he was ‘probably’ distracted by the Democratic impeachment, which culminated in his Senate trial in early February when the virus was raging and governments may have missed a window to prepare hospitals and get needed equipment. 

But the president said he wouldn’t have done any better even if he hadn’t faced an impeachment he called a ‘hoax.’

‘I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative. I’m a positive person,’ the president said at the briefing, where his team presented dire model under a worst-case scenarios and the president predicted 100,000 people may die even if Americans heed urgings to stay home and avoid spreading the disease. 

‘I don’t think I would have acted any differently or any faster,’ President Trump said when asked by DailyMail.com if impeachment diverted his attention

‘I’m a cheerleader for the country,’ Trump said, pressed on why he did not share more bad news.

Trump also acknowledged that impeachment distracted his attention during the build-up, after DailyMail.com asked him about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s comment that it diverted the attention of the government – and whether it diverted his own.

‘I don’t like to think I did. I like to think I handled it very well but I guess it probably did. I got impeached, you know. I devoted a little time thinking about it, right? But think of it. It was a hoax, a total hoax,’ the president said.

‘You look at the reports that came out, it’s disgraceful what went on. It’s a total disgrace. They got caught in the act but you know what? We won’t talk about that now,’ Trump continued. 

‘Did it divert my attention? I think I’m getting A-pluses for the way I handled myself during the phony impeachment, okay? It was a hoax, but certainly I guess I thought of it, and I think I probably acted – I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached.’  

‘Maybe it’s a tribute to me. I don’t think I would have acted any faster. But the Democrats … their whole life, their whole existence, their whole being was to try to get me out of office any way they can,’ Trump vented.

‘I don’t think I would have acted any differently or any faster,’ he said. 

Trump is trying to defend his prior statements on the coronavirus, even as his team tries to prepare the nation for a death toll and other impacts on the public and the nation’s medical system that are set to explode.  

‘They’re very sobering, yeah,’ Trump said of estimated deaths even amid preparations and stay-home orders by governors put in place to combat a virus scientists announced they had identified in China Dec. 31, 2019.

The administration released charts showing some of the possible outcomes, and re-branded their initial ’15 Days to Slow the Spread’ as ’30 Days to Slow the Spread,’ after the initial 15 ended Monday. 

‘When you see 100,000 people and that’s a minimum number … and they said it’s unlikely you’ll be able to attain that. Think of what would have happened if we didn’t do anything?’ Trump said.

‘I’m not about bad news. I want to give people hope,’ Trump said. He brought up people who he said were advocating ‘let it rip, let it ride’ and ‘do nothing’ that he says would have resulted in 2.2 million deaths.  

Most public health experts were urging action, not standing back, after the easily-transmitted coronavirus was discovered.  

Trump defended the administration’s response even as officials have acknowledged the U.S. does not have the equipment in place or hospital beds to deal with some of the worst-case scenarios being contemplated. Trump said close to 10,000 ventilators are in the U.S. stockpile. The feds have given out fewer than 7,000, and companies are rushing to produce more – while New York says it could need up to 40,000 of the life-saving machines. 

‘I think … our professionals, our military, our governors, our politicians have done an incredible job,’ he said of the coronavirus response. ‘But I don’t want to be a negative person,’ Trump said.

McConnell, who oversaw the Senate trial that did not include witnesses and resulted in Trump’s acquittal, raised the impeachment issue in an interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.

‘And it came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment,’ McConnell said.  

Trump was acquitted on Feb. 5 of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, after a trial without witnesses where House managers denounced his actions to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The White House mounted a full defense, and impeachment became the subject of a series of tweets by the president. 

Trump said Jan. 22 in the midst of impeachment he was not worried about a pandemic. ‘No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s — going to be just fine,’ the president said. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says impeachment ‘diverted the attention’ of the government from the coronavirus. He was at the White House Friday when President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion bailout to help deal with the outbreak

The president also spoke about the growing toll of the virus in occasionally dark and personal terms. ‘Your friends are going to the hospital and you say how is he doing? Two days later and they say sir, he’s unconscious. Or he’s in a coma,’ Trump said.

Trump’s remarks on impeachment came as the nation’s top disease expert Dr. Tony Fauci warned on Tuesday that Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

‘The answer is yes – as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,’ he said when asked about the six-figure mark during the daily White House press briefing. ‘Is it going to be that much? I hope not and I think the more we push on the mitigation the less likely to be that number but, being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that is a possibility that that’s what we’ll see.’ 

The White House projected a range of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained, based on sophisticated disease modeling.

‘Whenever you’re having an effect, it’s not time to take your foot off the accelerator, and on the brake, but to just press it down on the accelerator,’ Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said of mitigation efforts. 

He said such efforts could also help damage any potential second wave of illness.

”We hope that doesn’t happen and that is why we are really pushing and why I was so emphatic about making sure we abide by those mitigation strategies,’ he said.

President Donald Trump said the prediction was ‘sobering’ and called efforts to spread the slow of the coronavirus ‘a matter of life and death.’

‘It’s absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days, it’s a matter of life and death, frankly,’ the president said.

‘I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going through a very tough few weeks. And, hopefully, as the experts have predicted is a lot of us are predicting having studied it so hard, going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel and this is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,’ he noted. 

It was a stark change in tone for President Trump who last week sounded a note of hope the crisis would be over in the next few weeks. Now his administration is preparing Americans for tougher times to come.  

Dr. Tony Fauci warned on Tuesday that Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus

President Donald Trump said the prediction was ‘sobering’

The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained

The original 15-day guidelines urged Americans to end social gatherings over the number of 10, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and order take out.

Trump’s announcement Sunday that those recommendations would be extended until April 30th was an abrupt reversal after he spent much of last week saying he’d like to see limitations lifted by Easter, which is April 12.  

Many states and local governments already have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

But there were some glimmers of hope.

‘If all of the other states and all the other metro areas are able to hold that case number down, then it’s a very different picture,’ said Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the administration’s day-to-day response to the disease. 

‘We’re going to do everything we can to get it significantly below that,’ she said. 

Fauci agreed.

‘We don’t accept that number, that that’s what it’s going to be. We’re going to do everything we can to get that number even below that,’ he said.  

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,600 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

At least 3,669 people in the US have died from the deadly virus, according to data collected by the John Hopkins University.

The global benchmark reports that 3,309 people have died from the virus in China, where the global pandemic originated. 

Fears that the U.S. is on track to become the new Italy, whose healthcare system has buckled under the weight of the pandemic, are fast becoming a reality.

Italy has recorded more deaths, with 12,428 as of Tuesday afternoon. However, the U.S. has far surpassed its number of confirmed cases, with the U.S. reaching 181,099 to Italy’s 105,792.

The mounting crisis hit close to home for New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, who reported teary-eyed that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for the virus.

The U.S. death toll has reached 3,906 and more than 189,000 people have been infected as of late Wednesday

China’s cases stand at 82,278 and at least 3,309 deaths have been reported

The governor pronounced the disaster unlike any other the city has weathered: ‘This is ongoing and the duration itself is debilitating and exhausting and depressing.’ 

New York was the nation’s deadliest hot spot, with about 1,550 deaths statewide, most of them in New York City, which braced for things to get much worse in the coming weeks. 

A 1,000-bed emergency hospital set up at the mammoth Javits Convention Center began taking non-coronavirus patients to help relieve the city’s overwhelmed health system. 

The number of coronavirus cases around the globe now stands at more than 846,000, with more than 41,000 dead

A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds that arrived on Monday was expected to begin accepting patients on Tuesday.

The indoor tennis center that is the site of the U.S. Open tournament is being turned into a hospital as well.

The city also worked to bring in 250 out-of-town ambulances and 500 paramedics to deal with a crush of emergency calls. 

The fire commissioner said ambulances are responding to double their normal daily total of 3,000 calls to 911. 

A five-day stretch last week was the busiest in the history of the city’s emergency services operation.

In addition, New York authorities sought to bring on more volunteer health care professionals and hoped to have them on board by Thursday. 

Nearly 80,000 former nurses, doctors and others are said to be stepping forward, and the governor said officials are doing background checks for disciplinary actions and otherwise making sure they are fit for duty.

As for Chris Cuomo, the 49-year-old TV newsman tweeted that he has suffered from fever, chills and shortness of breath and will be doing his shows from his basement, where he has quarantined himself.

He said he is worried about infecting his wife and children but added: ‘We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!’

‘Luckily we caught it early enough,’ the governor said. ‘But it’s my family, it’s your family, it’s all of our families. But this virus is that insidious, and we must keep that all in mind.’ 

In the smoldering hot spot of Louisiana, the death toll climbed to 239. 

Louisiana and Michigan were running out of ventilators, despite promises by the White House of more equipment. 

Cuomo described the bidding for ventilators as like being ‘on eBay.’

Louisiana’s governor said the hard-hit New Orleans region is on track to run out of breathing machines by the weekend and hospital beds a week later. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks as the Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan’s Pier 90

The hospital ship has been drafted in to help relieve the strain on local hospitals with its 1,000 beds and 1,200 personnel

The Trump administration has committed to sending 150 ventilators from the national stockpile, but the state hasn´t received an arrival date. 

Michigan said it needs 5,000 to 10,000 more.

Meanwhile, a senior military general said the Pentagon has not yet delivered any of the 2,000 ventilators it offered to the Department of Health and Human Services two weeks ago because HHS has asked it to wait while the agency determines where the devices should go.

In Florida, the Holland America cruise line pleaded with state officials to let two ships dock and carry off the sick and the dead. 

Dozens aboard have reported flu-like symptoms, and four people have died.

Customers stand on line outside Whole Foods Market located at the corner of West 125th Street and Malcom X Boulevard in Harlem, New York, on March 31 wearing masks

Health care workers test people at a coronavirus testing site setup by the Florida National Guard in the parking lot of the Hard Rock stadium on March 30

But Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Fox News: ‘We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources.’

As the crisis continues to hot up in the U.S., China reported just one new death from the coronavirus and 48 new cases, all of them from overseas.  

In Wuhan, people were ready to ‘revenge shop’ as the city that was once at the very center of the outbreak reopened for business.

However, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, cautioned that the risk in Asia and the Pacific is not gone.

‘This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard,’ Kasai said. 

Most of China’s 3,309 deaths were in Hubei province, in the outbreak epicenter Wuhan. 

A body wrapped in plastic is loaded onto a refrigerated container truck used as a temporary morgue at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn

A hospital employee transfers a body on a forklift to a temporary mobile morgue, put in place due to lack of space at the hospital 

However, experts and politicians have cast doubt on the numbers coming out of China, and have even accused the country of lying and covering up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response. 

Beijing initially tried to cover up the virus by punishing medics who discovered it, denying it could spread person-to-person and delaying a lockdown of affected regions – meaning early opportunities to control the spread were lost.

Then, once the virus began spreading, the Communist Party began censoring public information about it and spread disinformation overseas – including suggesting that US troops could have been the initial carriers.

Even now, prominent politicians have warned that infection and death totals being reported by the regime are likely to be wrong – with locals in the epicenter of Wuhan suggesting the true tolls could be ten times higher.

Chinese health officials admitted Tuesday that more than 1,500 cases of the virus involving asymptomatic people that had not been previously reported. 

Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and over 40,000 have died, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University. 

Italy and Spain have been some of the hardest hit, accounting for half the deaths so far.

Italy reported that the infection rate appears to be leveling off and new cases could start declining, but that the crisis is far from over. 

Two cruise ships are anchored offshore past a lifeguard tower in Miami Beach

Neighbors line up for free food staples outside Santa Ana primary school in Asuncion, Paraguay, Tuesday, March 31, as people stay home from work amid the spread of the new coronavirus

Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of its hospital system. 

Vladimir Putin’s Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and ‘fake news’ about the outbreak. 

And China edged closer to normal as stores in the epicenter city of Wuhan began reopening. 

Figures on deaths and infections around the world are supplied by government health authorities and compiled by Johns Hopkins.

But the numbers are regarded with skepticism by public health experts because of different counting practices, a lack of testing in places, the numerous mild cases that have been missed, and perhaps government efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis.

For example, in Italy, where the death toll was put at about 12,400, the country’s emergency coordinator, Domenico Arcuri, acknowledged that officials don´t have a handle on how many people are dying at home or in nursing homes.

Still, there was a glimmer of hope there: Dr. Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s institutes of health, said that three weeks into a nationwide lockdown, the hardest-hit country in Europe is seeing the rate of new infections level off.

‘The curve suggests we are at the plateau,’ he said. But ‘arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we´re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.’

With the country’s health care system buckling under the pressure, a field hospital, built in just 10 days, was unveiled at the Milan fairgrounds.

‘We made a promise and we kept it,’ said the head of the project, former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso, who ended up catching the virus while on the job and had to work from his hospital bed.

A woman takes a COVID-19 test at a quarantine hotel in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. China on Tuesday reported just one new death from the coronavirus and a few dozen new cases, claiming that all new cases came from overseas

In Russia, lawmakers approved harsher punishments, including prison sentences of several years, for violating quarantine rules and spreading misinformation. 

The chief doctor at Moscow´s top hospital for coronavirus patients said he tested positive, a week after shaking hands with Putin.

Spain reported more than 840 new deaths, pushing the toll above 8,000 and forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week became overwhelmed.

Dozens of hotels across Spain have been turned into recovery rooms, and authorities are building field hospitals in sports centers, libraries and exhibition halls.

Israel´s Defense Ministry said it has converted a missile-production facility into an assembly line for ventilators.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.

Among the few positive signs: In Britain, where the number of dead reached nearly 1,800, the medical director of the National Health Service’s operations in England said there is evidence that social distancing is working.

DO CHINA’S NUMBERS ADD UP? 

China has lied and covered up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response – from the initial outbreak to the number of cases and deaths, and is still not telling the truth, observers, experts and politicians have warned.

Here, Mail Online analysis of Beijing’s actions lays bare the great cover-up of China’s numbers:

Infection total

China has reported a total of some 82,000 infections from coronavirus, claiming a domestic infection rate of zero for several days in a row recently – even as it eased lockdown restrictions in placed like Hubei.

But, by the country’s own admission, the virus is likely still spreading – via people who have few or no symptoms.

Beijing-based outlet Caixin reported that ‘a couple to over 10 cases of covert infections of the virus are being detected’ in China every day, despite not showing up in official data.

Meanwhile foreign governments have heaped scorn on China’s infection reporting cannot be trusted.

Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican senator and former presidential candidate from the US, tweeted that ‘we have NO IDEA how many cases China really has’ after the US infection total passed Beijing’s official figure.

‘Without any doubt it’s significantly more than what they admit to,’ he added.

Meanwhile the UK government has also cast doubt on China’s reporting, with Conservative minister and former Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Gove claiming the Communist Party could not be trusted.

‘Some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this [virus],’ he told the BBC.

Meanwhile sources told the Mail that China’s true infection total could be anything up to 40 times as high as reports had suggested. 

Death total

Doubt has also been cast on China’s reported death toll from the virus, which currently stands at around 3,300.

Locals in epicenter city Wuhan have been keeping an eye on funeral homes since lockdown restrictions were partly lifted, claiming they have been ‘working around the clock’ to dispose of bodies. 

Social media posts estimate that 3,500 urns are being handed out by crematoriums each day, while Caixin reports that one funeral home in the city placed an order for 5,000 urns.

Locals believe that efforts to dispose of the bodies began March 23 and city authorities have said the process will end on or around April 5.

That would mean roughly 42,000 urns handed out in that time frame, ten times the reported figure.

New York state coronavirus numbers soar by 9,298 to 75,795 and deaths rise by 332 to 1550 as Gov. Cuomo admits ‘no one knows’ when the crisis will be over 

New York state now has 75,795 cases of coronavirus – an increase of 9,298 since Monday – and 1550 have died, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Tuesday as he admitted ‘no one knows’ when the pandemic will end and said the entire country ‘underestimated it’.

Overnight, 18,000 people were tested in the state of New York. To date, there have been 200,000 tests. 

The death toll across the state of New York rose by 332 overnight and is not yet showing signs of slowing down. The new numbers for how many new cases and new deaths there are in New York City have not yet been given. 

Speaking at a wide-ranging press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo told of how he was unifying the state’s private and public healthcare systems to operate as one before the pandemic ‘apex’ in the state hits.

He admitted he does not know when it will come and that data projections he looks at suggest it could happen anytime between seven and 21 days from now.  

Gov. Cuomo told people to settle in for a longer period of crisis than they were anticipating and said ‘we still have to come back down the other side of the mountain’ even after the peak happens. 

Cuomo said the data is uneven and ‘bouncing’ so where it appears the death rates may be slowing, they are not yet.

‘It’s an imperfect reporting mechanism but the basic line is still up. We’re still going up,’ he said, adding that he was speaking to every expert he could find to rely on their projections and not ‘opine’ over what may happen.

Gov. Cuomo told people to settle in for a longer period of crisis than they were anticipating and said ‘we still have to come back down the other side of the mountain’ even after the peak happens

He said he was ‘tired’ of being ‘behind’ the virus, adding: ‘We’ve been behind this virus from day one. The virus was in China. Unless we assume some immune system variation with Asian people, it was coming here. You don’t win playing catch up. We have to get ahead of it.’

He also said it was foolish to ‘underestimate your opponent’, continuing: ‘We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful and dangerous than we anticipated.’

Cuomo said the ‘next battle’ will be the apex of cases and deaths but he does not know when it will hit. 

‘When is the apex? That is the $65,000 question. We have literally 5 models that we look at. It’s true to say almost no two are the same. The range on the apex is somewhere between seven to 21 days,’ he said.

Cuomo’s strategy to tackle the virus includes:

  • Centralizing the hospital system to force public and private hospitals to share resources including staff
  • First, staff from upstate hospitals that are not hard hit will be sent to New York City
  • New York City hospitals, both public and private, will redistribute patients to spread them evenly across the city until each hospital reaches its capacity (all have increased their capacities by at least 50 percent
  • Then, patients will be distributed from New York City to quieter hospitals upstate or further afield in the state
  • Field hospitals will be used to alleviate the strain on them
  • Healthcare workers from out of state will also be used to provide relief for ‘exhausted’ and ‘overwhelmed’ doctors and nurses
  • He has bought 17,000 ventilators from China for $25,000 each, a total of $425million

Central to Cuomo’s plan is to centralize the hospital systems to do away with the notion of public and private healthcare and make everyone share everything.

He said he had a tense meeting on Monday with the leaders of private hospitals which ordinarily profit from a surge in patients and that he nearly ‘didn’t make it out’ of it because they were so angry at what he was instructing.

‘I don’t care which link breaks in the chain – the chain is still broken. It doesn’t matter which hospital, which link – any link breaks, the chain breaks.

‘The healthcare system is a chain. It breaks anywhere, it breaks everywhere. That has to be our mentality,’ he said.

Since issuing a call to action for retired nurses and doctors to come back to work, 78,000 people have volunteered.

‘We have now, a few days ago we put out to ask retirees, we have now 78,000 people who said they would help; God bless the state of NY and god bless humanity,’ he said.

He is urging other states to help him now so that he can help them later.

‘It’s unity. Let’s help each other. New York needs help now. This is going to be a rolling wave across the country; New York then Detroit then New Orleans then California

‘If we were smart as a nation – come help us in New York, get the experience and the training here, then let’s all go help the next place then the next place then the next place.

‘That would be a smart national way of doing this.’

Cuomo also fumed over the ‘bidding war’ that has been created by the federal government for ventilators. He said that he had bought 17,000 ventilators from China for $25,000 each, a total of $425million, but that he was having to compete against every other state for them and the government.

‘Look at the bizarre situation we wound up in; every state does its own purchasing, trying to buy the same commodity.

‘The same exact item. So you have 50 states competing to buy the same item, bidding up each other, and competing against each other – it’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator,’ he said.  

Several states complain of a shortage of tests with the Republican governor of Maryland slamming Trump’s denial of the problem 

The governor of Maryland has slammed President Donald Trump’s denial that there is any shortage of coronavirus test kits.

In a leaked recording of a conference call with several governors, Trump claimed that he hasn’t had a complaint about testing shortages in ‘weeks’.

Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who chairs the National Governors Association, responded to Trump’s remarks in an interview with NPR on Tuesday, saying: ‘Yeah, that’s just not true.’

‘I know that they’ve taken some steps to create new tests, but they’re not actually produced and distributed out to the states. So it’s an aspirational thing,’ Hogan continued. 

He added that the Trump administration has some new testing measures ‘in the works,’ but for now ‘no state has enough testing.’

Hogan said he believes others in the administration are ‘talking about the facts.’

‘We’re listening to the smart team,’ said Hogan, mentioning Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House coronavirus task force, including doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.

Trump’s controversial remarks came during an hour-long phone meeting where he was joined by Birx, Pence, Fauci, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.

Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who chairs the National Governors Association, responded to Trump’s remarks on Tuesday, saying: ‘Yeah, that’s just not true’

In a leaked  he pushed back when asked by rural state governors for help.

‘I could give four or five examples over the last week where we have supply orders, and they’ve subsequently been cancelled, and they’re canceled in part because what our suppliers are saying is that federal resources are requesting it and trumping that,’ Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, a Democrat, said in the leaked call. 

‘So we’re trying to shift the supplies to really isolate that and do contact tracing, but we don’t even have enough supplies to do the testing.’ 

Trump replied boasting about how the US has done more testing than any other country. He then bragged about a new four-minute test being released. 

‘I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,’ Trump responded. ‘We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’ll come out with another one tomorrow that’s, you know, almost instantaneous testing. But I haven’t heard anything about testing being a problem.’

Speaking about the new kits, Admiral Brett Giroir, head of the Public Health Service, chimed in that each state would soon be getting at least 15 of them.

‘We’re going to get that to your state lab as soon as possible,’ Giroir added.

New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also communicated the need for more tests after ‘incredible spikes’ in infection rates that she warned could ‘wipe out tribal nations’. 

‘The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side — although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals — we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population,’ Grisham told Trump. ‘And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half.’ 

Trump simply replied: Wow, that’s something.’

Several governors complained that if their state did not get the testing and personal protective equipment needed soon, their areas could be the next epicenters of the outbreak that has ravaged the US.

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Coronavirus symptoms – early warning signs and how to tell if it’s NOT cold or flu – The Sun

THE coronavirus pandemic has affected thousands of people around the world – with cases in over one hundred countries. 

And in the UK alone, the confirmed number of those infected with Covid-19 now stands at over 25,000 with the death toll rising to 1,829.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is the name for a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS.

The new disease that emerged in China in December has never been seen in humans before the current outbreak.

It's been called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the World Health Organisation and causes an illness that's now named Covid-19.

The new strain is thought to have jumped from bats to humans, via a possible but unknown animal, in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

What are the early warning signs?

As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it.

However, health officials say the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include:

  1. A dry cough
  2. A high temperature
  3. Shortness of breath

Some people will not develop all of these symptoms –  and some might not even show symptoms at all, experts say.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, said: "It looks quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission.

"There’s definitely quite a lot of transmission very early in the disease when there are very mild symptoms."

Tap to see where COVID-19 is near you

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.

Around one out of every six who gets Covid-19 become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing, according to the WHO.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are at most risk developing serious illness.

This can include pneumonia and swelling in the lungs, which can make it hard for the lungs to pass oxygen into the bloodstream – leading to organ failure and death.

Severe pneumonia can kill people by causing them to "drown" in the fluid flooding their lungs.

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention, the WHO says.

How does coronavirus differ from flu?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.

However, with the flu, symptoms can come on much quicker than with coronavirus.

According to the NHS, signs of flu include:

  • A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • An aching body
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • A dry cough
  • A sore throat
  • A headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • Feeling sick and being sick

You can treat yourself for flu by getting rest and staying warm.

Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can lower your temperature and treat aches and pains.

Drinking plenty of water will help avoid dehydration.

The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

It's more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season, which tends to run from December to March.

How quickly do coronavirus symptoms come on?

The virus is believed to be transmitted between people through droplets spread from coughing and touching or shaking hands.

While sneezing is not a symptom of the new coronavirus, it also thought to be a way that droplets can be spread.

Symptoms are thought to appear between two and 11 days.

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Worries for coronavirus-stricken Chris Cuomo as he suffers ‘tight chest’ – a potentially serious symptom – The Sun

CHRIS Cuomo opened up about feeling tightness in his chest in his first broadcast since he tested positive.

The CNN host described the worrisome and potentially deadly sign of the virus to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, saying he is "confirmation" of the outbreak's reality on his nightly program Cuomo Prime Time.


"Let me serve as confirmation of the reality – you can get this," he said Tuesday night.

He also revealed that he initially wasn't sure whether his chest tightness was due to COVID-19 or a manifestation of his anxieties.

Shortness of breath is a serious symptom of the coronavirus – if a person feels a "persistent pain or pressure in the chest", the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they should seek medical attention.

An emotional Cuomo expressed the helplessness he feels as he remains quarantined in the basement of his home, away from his wife and children.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed Tuesday morning that Chris had tested positive for coronavirus and is quarantined in his basement.

The elder Cuomo brother described the situation as "frightening for everyone" but remained positive about his "best friend's" health, saying: "He's going to be fine, he's young and in good shape, but there's a lesson in this."

Chris tried to make light of the revelation, jokingly saying: "Unlike me, you will not have the added oddity of watching your brother tell the nation in real time that you have the virus."


The journalist is using his shocking diagnosis to bring a stark message to Americans: "If I can get it, you can get it."

"Remember, the good news is we are our best solution. Together as ever as one," he said before signing off.

"We know what to do to make this easier on all of us – we just have to do it.


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Boris Johnson's official photographer is diagnosed with coronavirus

Boris Johnson’s official photographer is diagnosed with coronavirus – having failed to isolate when the PM tested positive, visiting the new NHS Nightingale hospital and mixing with civil servants

  • Andrew Parsons failed to isolate after PM Boris Johnson’s coronavirus diagnosis 
  • The PM’s photographer instead went on to continue with two more engagements
  • He visited the NHS Nightingale hospital and snapped photos of soldiers there  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s photographer has coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating – just days after he visited a temporary field hospital set up to treat patients.

Andrew Parsons reportedly failed to isolate after Mr Johnson’s diagnosis and went on to visit the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCeL centre in East London and take photos of the soldiers helping to build it. 

He then went on to take photos of civil servants at Downing Street.  

The photographer is now believed to be self-isolating at home with mild coronavirus symptoms. 

Boris Johnson’s photographer Andrew Parsons reportedly failed to isolate after Mr Johnson’s diagnosis

Parsons had photographed Mr Johnson outside his Downing Street office during a moment of appreciation for NHS workers on March 26. 

The next day, the PM announced he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been suffering symptoms before the ‘clap for carers’ event.

However, the photographer carried on his work despite the PM’s announcement. 

On March 27, Parsons photographed the construction of the NHS Nightingale temporary hospital in East London and on March 28 he photographed staff inside the cabinet room of the prime minister’s residence, listening to Johnson on a video conference call. 

A source told the Sun: ‘After Boris was diagnosed, instead of self isolating he (Parsons) went over to the new hospital at Excel to do pictures.

‘Instead of doing the sensible thing he has potentially passed it on to all the squaddies working over there, as well as a number of civil servants and officials he’s been in touch with.

‘He was last close to the PM after the hand clap pics in Downing Street last Thursday – and was stood next to other photographers and film crews – potentially giving it to them too.’  

Parsons had photographed Mr Johnson outside his Downing Street office during a moment of appreciation for NHS workers on March 26

However, the photographer carried on his work despite the PM’s announcement. On March 27, Parsons photographed the construction of the NHS Nightingale temporary hospital in East London

Soldiers helping to build the Nightingale hospital in London last night compared the coronavirus crisis to the Battle of the Somme.

Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, who has carried out two tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan, said it was the biggest mission of his career.

As commanding officer of 256 City of London Field Hospital, he is in charge of military personnel working on the NHS facility at the ExCeL centre.

Built in around ten days, it will have 4,000 beds for coronavirus patients when it opens this week. Similar hospitals are being installed in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow to ease pressure on existing sites.

Colonel Boreham, who has helped create field hospitals around the world, said: ‘We are building a hospital for people in our nation. You are saving people’s lives and they could be the lives of your families. It’s the biggest job I’ve ever done.

‘My grandfather was at the Somme, this is no different. I’m just at a different battle. I’m from London, I have friends and family in London. Many of the people working here, many of the soldiers working here, are from London.

‘We are doing this to save the lives of Londoners. These are our comrades, there’s no difference. It doesn’t matter if they are civilian or military.’  

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Harry and Meghan hunt for a home in Malibu, near Diana and Dodi’s secret hideaway

London: Harry and Meghan are househunting in the area of Los Angeles where Diana, Princess of Wales planned to set down roots in 1997, it has emerged.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are understood to be looking for a beachside home in Malibu to raise Archie, their 10-month-old son.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are searching for a home in Malibu.Credit:Getty Images

Harry's mother planned to move there with Dodi Fayed, her then boyfriend, after he bought a palatial home in the area a few months before the couple died in a Paris car crash.

The Tuscan-style villa, set on two hectares and boasting a private beach and 40 metres of ocean frontage, used to belong to Julie Andrews, the Mary Poppins star, and Blake Edwards, her film director husband. In 2007, Paul Burrell, the Princess' former butler, confirmed she had planned to move to what he described as a "lovely house… in Malibu" adding that he had seen the plans for it.

He told ABC News: "She said, 'This is our new life, just won't it be great, think of the lifestyle the boys – nobody's judgmental here in America, you don't have the class system, you don't have the establishment.'"

The Malibu lifestyle has attracted many of the world’s biggest celebrities.

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are understood to be house hunting in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood, one of the most exclusive areas on the Pacific Coast Highway. The Malibu region is already home to a host of celebrities, including Robert Downey jnr, Mel Gibson, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox.



The area is an hour's drive away from the Hollywood studios, and former actress Meghan is understood to have told friends she had always wanted to "return home" and raise her family there.

"Over the last few months they have been looking at residences in that stretch of the city," said a source. "There is at least one very high-profile, high-end realtor, who has been home spotting for them privately.

"Meghan has made it no secret to those in her life from even before meeting Harry, she hoped to live on the beach eventually."

They are thought to be renting a home in a "quiet" LA neighbourhood while they search for something more permanent having caught one of the last US flights from Canada.

Wednesday is their first day as "non-royals" having announced in January they were stepping down to seek "financial independence".

It had long been rumoured that the couple eventually planned to end up in Malibu after resident celebrity Caitlyn Jenner revealed on British TV that she had heard they were househunting when their split from "The Firm" was announced three months ago.

Former Suits actress Meghan spent much of her childhood at the Malibu beaches, an hour's drive from Woodland Hills, where she grew up.

The area has beautiful locations such as Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, Meghan's parents, used to take her to Will Rogers beach, the location for Baywatch, the television series starring Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff.

Celebrity hang-outs in the region include the famous Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, where stars including David Beckham, Gwen Stefani and Robbie Williams have been spotted. Another famous Pacific Coast Highway eatery is Geoffrey's, a reservation-only spot frequented by the region's wealthiest patrons, while a few kilometres down the road is Moonshadows, a lively party bar, made famous when Mel Gibson, was arrested outside it after a boozy session in 2006.

The Telegraph, London

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Army helps finish building massive temporary hospital in London

Army join the front line in war on coronavirus as squaddies finish building emergency Nightingale Hospital in London ahead of first patients arriving TODAY

  • Soldiers helping build the London Nightingale hospital have compared the crisis to the Battle of the Somme 
  • Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, who has carried out two tours of Iraq, said it was the biggest mission of his career 
  • Built in around ten days, the east London hospital will have 4,000 beds for coronavirus patients when it opens
  • Up to 200 soldiers a day have been helping in the construction of the Docklands hospital at the ExCel centre 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Soldiers helping to build the Nightingale hospital in London last night compared the coronavirus crisis to the Battle of the Somme.

Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, who has carried out two tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan, said it was the biggest mission of his career.

As commanding officer of 256 City of London Field Hospital, he is in charge of military personnel working on the NHS facility at the ExCeL centre.

Built in around ten days, it will have 4,000 beds for coronavirus patients when it opens this week. Similar hospitals are being installed in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow to ease pressure on existing sites.

Colonel Boreham, who has helped create field hospitals around the world, said: ‘We are building a hospital for people in our nation. You are saving people’s lives and they could be the lives of your families. It’s the biggest job I’ve ever done.

‘My grandfather was at the Somme, this is no different. I’m just at a different battle. I’m from London, I have friends and family in London. Many of the people working here, many of the soldiers working here, are from London.

‘We are doing this to save the lives of Londoners. These are our comrades, there’s no difference. It doesn’t matter if they are civilian or military.’

Built in around ten days, the Nightingale hospital in London will have 4,000 beds for coronavirus patients when it opens this week

Members of the Queen’s Gurkha Engineer Regiment, 36 Engineer Regiment as they help build Nightingale Hospital

Medical equipment is labelled and prepared for use by NHS staff at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital (pictured on Tuesday)

Up to 200 soldiers a day have been helping in the construction of the Docklands hospital. They are carrying out medical planning, logistics, engineering and tasks such as building beds, laying floors, and carrying out electrics and plumbing (pictured on Tuesday)


Colonel Ashleigh Boreham (left), who has carried out two tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan, said transforming the conference centre into a hospital was the biggest mission of his career (right, medical equipment is labelled and prepared for use by NHS staff at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital)

Work continues at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital (pictured on Tuesday). The NHS Nightingale hospital, comprising of two wards, each of 2,000 people, has been created to help tackle coronavirus

He said the NHS, which is leading the project, and the military had ‘one single purpose, one single aim to save lives’. Colonel Boreham, who joined the Army in 1992, is due to retire in a few weeks and take up a job at an NHS clinical commissioning group.

The 54-year-old father of two said his wife was a front-line NHS worker and his daughter was volunteering to distribute food during the crisis.

Up to 200 soldiers a day have been helping in the construction of the Docklands hospital.

They are carrying out medical planning, logistics, engineering and tasks such as building beds, laying floors, and carrying out electrics and plumbing.

Sergeant Mark Anderson, 32, 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, is also on the project. He said: ‘It’s a new experience. It is an invisible enemy and we all need to work together to combat the outbreak. Everyone has been working flat out to the best of their ability to get this place up and running in the quickest possible time.’

More than 16,000 members of staff could be needed to run the temporary hospital if it reaches its near 4,000-bed capacity. It will be split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each.

The facility will be used to treat Covid-19 patients transferred from intensive care units across London.

Chief operating officer Natalie Forrest said last night: ‘If we have to use this facility, which I really hope we don’t because everyone is staying home and washing their hands and social distancing, we will need thousands of doctors and nurses and volunteers. To run one ward we need 200 members of staff.’

The hospital will initially care for 42 patients as a trial run. 

The ExCeL London Centre is being refitted to create thousands of new beds for COVID-19 sufferers, complete with oxygen, ventilators and other key equipment in the battle against the deadly virus (pictured on Tuesday)

Natalie Forrest, Chief Operating Officer of the Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital – the NHS Nightingale hospital, comprising of two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus

Before the scale of the crisis became clear, the UK was believed to have had one of the lowest proportions of intensive care units in Europe, but NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens says 33,000 beds are now available for COVID-19 patients (pictured, the temporary hospital in east London on Tuesday)

Ventilators are stored and ready to be used by Coronavirus patients at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital

Medical equipment is labelled and prepared for use by NHS staff at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital

Medical staff in protective gear in the new Nightingale Hospital in the Excel Centre, Canning Town

Ventilators are stored and ready to be used by Coronavirus patients at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital

CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL 24 PER CENT HIGHER WHEN NON-HOSPITAL VICTIMS INCLUDED 

The true death toll of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK could be 24 per cent higher than NHS figures show, according to statistics released today.

Patients who had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificates numbered 210 in England and Wales up to March 20, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

This was 24 per cent higher than the 170 deaths recorded by NHS England and Public Health Wales during the same time frame. 

If the ratio has stayed true since that time, the true current number of fatalities could be around 1,739 instead of the official 1,408.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched a new data series adding in the numbers of people who have died with or after having COVID-19 in the community, including those who died in care homes or their own houses.

Coronavirus was not necessarily the cause of death for every one of the patients, but was believed to have been a factor.  

The data does not include Scotland or Northern Ireland – up to March 20, eight people had died in the those countries (six in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland), suggesting the true figure could have been 10. 

More than 16,000 members of staff could be needed to run London’s new NHS Nightingale Hospital to treat coronavirus patients should it reach full capacity. 

Split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the Nightingale will become one of the biggest hospitals in the world, according to Ms Forrest.

The facility will be used to treat Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units (ICU) across London.

Speaking to visiting reporters, Ms Forrest said a ‘scary’ number of staff would be needed to run the facility at full capacity and appealed for volunteers to come forward.

‘If we have to use this facility, which I really hope we don’t because everyone is staying home and washing their hands and social distancing, we will need thousands of doctors and nurses and volunteers to run this facility,’ she said.

Asked to clarify how many are required, Ms Forrest said: ‘The numbers are scary, but if I tell you that to run one ward, including all of our ancillary staff, we need 200 members of staff.’

The hospital will initially aim to care for 42 patients, before its expansion is ‘ramped up’ to ensure it can meet its full 4,000-bed capacity in two weeks’ time if needed, the Nightingale’s chief medical director Alan McGlennan said.

He said coronavirus patients who are transferred to the hospital will already be on a ventilator and will remain at the Nightingale until their course of ventilation is finished.

Coronavirus patients suffering from other serious conditions – such as cardiac issues – will be better cared for at other specialist centres, Mr McGlennan said.

While the Nightingale will be able to provide up to 4,000 ventilator beds if they are needed, NHS London will still have control over the ‘most precious resources’, he added.

Eamonn Sullivan, the hospital’s director of nursing, said the facility will be able to operate as a large intensive care unit or a normal ward, depending on demand.

The Nightingale will also include support services found in other NHS hospitals, such as pharmacies and therapy treatment, Mr Sullivan said.

The exhibition centre, in East London, will become the NHS Nightingale Hospital , creating an impressive 4,000 beds. Before the scale of the crisis became clear, the UK was believed to have had one of the lowest proportions of intensive care units in Europe, but NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens says 33,000 beds are now available for COVID-19 patients

More than 16,000 members of staff could be needed to run London’s new NHS Nightingale Hospital to treat coronavirus patients should it reach full capacity

Images from inside the new hospital showed military personnel help workers in erecting cubicles and carrying equipment into the transformed centre- which is set to hold up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients and will initially have 500 beds

The new 4,000-bed temporary facility at the ExCel convention centre in east London is due to open this week despite building work only starting last Wednesday

Split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the Nightingale will become one of the biggest hospitals in the world, according to its chief operating officer Natalie Forrest

STATISTICS REVEAL DETAILS OF FIRST 108 UK COVID-19 DEATHS 

Three quarters of the UK’s first coronavirus fatalities were over the age of 75, according to official statistics. 

Details of the first 108 people to die from COVID-19 in England and Wales have emerged today in figures revealing deaths outside of NHS hospitals for the first time.

They show that 59 per cent of the victims up to March 20 were male, a total of 64 out of 108, while 44 women died.

Only one person under the age of 44 was counted among the fatalities and 73 per cent (79 people) were over the age of 75.

The numbers, published by the Government’s Office for National Statistics, revealed that the true death toll of the virus may be 24 per cent higher than NHS data shows.

The ONS recorded 210 deaths up to and including March 20 in England and Wales, during which time the Department of Health tallied only 170.

The higher figure includes anyone who had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate, whether it was a direct cause of death or not. Some may not have even been tested. 

Statistics show the majority of the first coronavirus deaths in England and Wales were among people aged over 85.

There were 45 deaths among over-85s; 34 deaths in the 75-84 age group; 21 deaths between 65 and 74; seven for 45 to 64-year-olds; and one between 15 and 44. There were none among children. 

The single hardest-hit age group was men over 85, among whom there were 27 fatalities. There were 20 among men aged 75-84, and 18 for female over-85s.

Meanwhile, staff working at the Nightingale will be able to sleep at nearby hotels once they finish their shift, Mr Sullivan said.

‘We have got the facility here at ExCel and there is many, many thousands of hotel rooms. It is a perfect location,’ he said.

‘If staff wanted to stay, they could stay, so it is optional. But if they want to go home, then they can.’

An NHS England spokesman said the equipment being used at the Nightingale was all ‘new kit’ and had not been borrowed from other hospitals.

The Guardian reported earlier this week that the temporary London hospital has been built to treat people who are at a lower risk of dying from the disease, so it will mostly treat the Capital’s younger patients who were healthy before the outbreak. 

Older patients or those who are at a higher risk of death will be treated at NHS hospitals around London.  

A senior doctor with knowledge of the government’s planned response told the paper: ‘There is a two-tier system but it’s a medically appropriate two-tier system,.

‘The sick will go to the ExCel and the very sick will stay in hospital, because that’s an appropriate use of NHS resources.

‘Anyone who goes to either place will be critically ill, be suffering lung failure and be on life support through a ventilator. But those at the ExCel will be those needing less life support as they will be the ones with nothing else wrong with them,’ the doctor added.

A retired nurse from Northern Ireland will go back to work on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic to head the UK’s new mega hospital at ExCel.  

Deirdre Barr, 62, will come out of retirement to work as director of operations at the new Nightingale Hospital in East London, which is preparing to house thousands of COVID-19 patients. 

Barr, from Bogside, has served the NHS for 40 years, after joining as a St John Ambulance cadet. 

She will now leave her home in Kent to work at the new hospital amid the global pandemic. 

The facility will be used to treat Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units (ICU) across London

Soldiers arrive at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCeL centre in Newham, East London, today as the hospital gears up to receive its first patients next week 

Pictured: A firefighter stands outside the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London, as the country tries to cope with the number of coronavirus patients 

 The new hospital in London will comprise of two wards which will each be able to house 2,000 sick patients 

Her sister Dolores, 74, said that although the family were concerned for Barr, they were extremely proud of her decision. 

‘This is a massive job, and we’re scared for Deirdre, but we are so very proud that she has taken it on. If anyone can do this, Deirdre can. She’s always been the one person her whole family turns to in times of trouble and sickness.

‘Now the whole of the UK will be turning to her. She’ll handle it well. She has broad shoulders and never shirks from responsibility.

‘This job is going to ask an awful lot of her but we know she’ll face it head on. The pictures we are seeing of the Nightingale Hospital are terrifying but our Deirdre will take it all in her stride,’ she told the Daily Mirror. 

It comes as NHS nurses from all over the UK are sent to London as the capital is set to be struck by a ‘tsunami’ of cases in the coming weeks. 

Air cabin crew will join doctors and nurses in staffing the new Nightingale hospitals built to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS has said.

Staff at Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet have been invited to volunteer at the new 4,000-bed clinic being built at the Excel centre in east London, and those planned in Birmingham and Manchester.

Their salaries will continue to be paid by the airlines as an astonishing 750,000 other Britons joined the NHS volunteer army in just five days. 

Many first-aid trained cabin crew across the world have been grounded as countries have closed borders and cancelled flights amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Statistics released this morning revealed basic details about the first 108 people in Britain to have COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate. Elderly people and men were the worst affected, the data showed

By March 20, the coronavirus had become a contributing factor or direct cause in one in every 100 deaths in the UK, according to the latest date from the Office for National Statistics

The number of Brits who have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus has now almost reached 10,000, since the outbreak began to take hold in early March 

Charts from Public Health England show how the UK’s outbreak compares to other countries battling similar situations. Despite being published today in the Downing Street press conference, it does not include the most up-to-date figures

London has recorded the most coronavirus-related deaths so far, followed by the South East and West Midlands, according to official statistics

Deirdre Barr, 62, (pictured) will come out of retirement to work as director of operations at the new Nightingale Hospital in East London

WHERE ARE THE UK CORONAVIRUS HOTSPOTS? 

By total cases

EasyJet has already written to its 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew trained in CPR to invite them to give their time to the NHS.

Virgin Atlantic will begin writing to 4,000 of its employees on Monday and will prioritise getting in touch with those who already have the required skills.

Those who join up will be given expert training and will then perform support roles such as changing beds under the guidance of trained nurses.

St John’s Ambulance have already said that hundreds of people will give their time at the first Nightingale hospital in London.

Corneel Koster, chief customer officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: ‘We are grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances and we’re committed to doing all we can to support the national effort against the rapid acceleration of Covid-19.’

EasyJet has said it is ‘proud’ its staff can support medics at this ‘crucial time’.

Tina Milton, director of cabin services, added: ‘The NHS is at the forefront of dealing with this health emergency but the training and skills our cabin crew have, working closely with the medical professionals, could help make a real difference.’

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said the NHS needs ‘all the support we can get’.

She added: ‘Thousands of nurses, medics and other expert staff are returning to work alongside us, but we need everyone to do their bit – whether that is working in one of our current health or social care services, working in the Nightingale Hospital, volunteering to help the NHS or following government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’

Earlier this week grim photos revealed the refrigerated morgue inside the new NHS Nightingale Hospital at London’s ExCel Centre.  

Pictures showed huge refrigerator units and rows of beds for the bodies of those killed by Covid-19 during the pandemic.    

Soldiers roll out mats and assist in the final preparations for the new field hospital in London as the country continues to control the coronavirus outbreak

A planning meeting is underway as staff from the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Queen’s Gurkha Engineer Regiment arrive to the centre to help 

Soldiers help transform the exhibition centre into the new Nightingale Hospital as the nation tries to cope with the rising number of Covid-19 patients

Soldiers help lay the flooring down as the new NHS Nightingale Hospital prepares for its first patients next week 

Soldiers help put up cubicles inside the new field hospital as the exhibition centre prepares for its first patients on April 4

Pictured: The units being used to cool the morgue at the Nightingale hospital which has been founded to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Pictured: The morgue that has been installed at the ExCel Centre in East London, which has become the Nightingale hospital

Incredible images from inside the ExCel Centre show construction work to transform the exhibition centre into London’s emergency coronavirus hospital is underway 

Work has also begun to transform the Welsh rugby stadium into a 500-bed hospital for coronavirus patients.   

The rugby union stadium in Wales is the latest venue to be turned into a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients, with Parc y Scarlets expected to be operational in two weeks and provide up to 500 extra beds.

Work began last Monday to convert three areas of the stadium complex in Llanelli for medical use as the Scarlets work in partnership with the Hywel Dda University Health Board and Carmarthenshire County Council.

The Juno Moneta Arena training facility will house 252 beds, while there will also be a hospital area in the Quinnell Lounge in the South Stand and the first-floor concourse.

The beds in Llanelli are in addition to around 2,000 which are set to be installed at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Wales prepares itself for the peak of the pandemic.

The Welsh locations will join others being be built inside UK venues including the SEC in Glasgow, Manchester Central Convention Complex, Birmingham’s NEC and the new NHS Nightingale hospital at ExCel in London.  

The news comes as a record-breaking 381 coronavirus deaths and 3,009 cases were declared in the UK yesterday, on what was Britain’s darkest day so far in the ever-worsening crisis. 

Some 1,789 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have now died, while the total infection toll has surpassed 25,000 – but the true size of the outbreak remains a mystery because of the UK’s controversial policy to only test patients in hospital.

The number of new deaths recorded yesterday was twice as high as the 180 victims recorded on Monday. But there was only a 14 per cent jump in daily cases – up from 2,619.

And the number of hospital admissions appears to have slowed, going up by a ‘constant amount’ each day, data shows – with around 1,000 new patients a day being treated by the NHS. 

One of Tuesday’s victims was only 19 years old and had no underlying conditions that made them more vulnerable to the life-threatening complications of the illness. MailOnline understands their death was recorded at North Middlesex University Hospital in Enfield, north London.

A 13-year-old London schoolboy was revealed last night to have become Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim. 

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, London, died alone at King’s College Hospital in London on Monday, with family members unable to visit him in fear of catching the deadly virus. He is not thought to have had any underlying health conditions.

News of Ismail’s death was shared on a GoFundMe page created by Madinah College, in Brixton, to raise money for his funeral and was later confirmed by King’s College Hospital. 

The boy’s family, who also recently lost his father to cancer, said they would not be releasing any photos of Ismail and that they were ‘beyond devastated’.  

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Trump officially DOUBLES the length of 'slow the spread' campaign

Donald Trump DOUBLES the length of ‘slow the spread’ campaign from 15 to 30 days after bowing to doctors and abandoning Easter target to re-open country

  • President Trump made the new ’30 Days to Slow the Spread’ policy official at Tuesday’s White House briefing
  • Reporters were given new fact sheets and TV screens in the briefing room displayed the new language 
  • Americans are advised to stay at home and follow social distancing guidelines through the end of April 
  • Trump previously floated Easter Sunday as a date he’d like to see businesses reopened post-pandemic 
  • But his medical experts warned that Easter would be premature and that Americans would need to stay home longer  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Trump made it official that social distancing and other coronavirus guidelines would extend beyond Easter and through the end of April by debuting new signage at Tuesday’s White House press briefing.  

Reporters were given handouts spelling out the new policy: ’30 Days to Slow the Spread,’ as the television screens that flanked the briefing room podium also relayed the message. 

‘Each of us has the power to our own choices and actions to save American lives and rescue the most vulnerable among us. That’s why we really have to do what we all know is right. Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices,’ Trump said at the top of the briefing. ‘Every citizen is being asked to fulfill their patriotic duty in making fundamental changes to how we live, work, and interact each and every day.’ 

President Trump debuted the administration’s new policy on combatting the coronavirus: ’30 Days to Slow the Spread’ at Tuesday’s White House press briefing 

Trump administration officials passed out handouts to reporters and showed off the new guidelines on television screens in the briefing room – as Americans are advised to stay home through April 

‘And I wouldn’t be surprised to see this going on long into the future when this virus is gone and faded,’ the president added.  

On Sunday, Trump had previewed the move, telling reporters in the White House Rose Garden that he would extend ’15 Days to Slow the Spread’ through April 30. 

He said his medical experts would show some of the data sets Tuesday that led him to make the decision.  

The week before, the president had floated the Easter holiday, which falls on April 12, to open back up American businesses, as some conservative allies pressed Trump to save the economy.  

But Trump’s medical experts impressed upon him that more than a million Americans could die if social distancing guidelines were relaxed prematurely. 

Even with the mitigation measures put into place, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the country should be prepared to lose 100,000.          

‘Think about what would have happened if we hadn’t done anything?’ Trump said, commenting on the grim statistic.  

‘I’ve had many friends, business people, people with great common sense … they said, why don’t we ride it out,’ Trump recalled. ‘And think of it as the flu.’ 

‘But it’s not the flu, it’s vicious,’ the president said.    

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