World News

Medical director gets parking ticket while fighting coronavirus

Medical director gets parking ticket when he is at hospital leading fight against coronavirus

  • Dr Mehdi Veisi, director of a mental health NHS trust in London, received ticket
  • He tweeted Haringey Council with a photograph to complain about recent fine 
  • The council contacted Dr Veisi soon after he received the ticket and cancelled it
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A medical director has been given a parking ticket while helping in the battle against COVID-19.

Dr Mehdi Veisi was shocked to finish work to find a fine notice placed on the windscreen of his car – right next to his NHS emergency badge.

The medical director for Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust took his complaint to Twitter where he told others he doesn’t have the time to fight the ticket and so will have to pay.

Dr Mehdi Veisi  (pictured) was shocked to finish work to find a fine notice placed on the windscreen of his car – right next to his NHS emergency badge

The medical director for Barnet, Enfield, and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust took his complaint to Twitter

In a sarcastic message to the Haringey Council he said: ‘Thank you Haringey Council for giving me a ticket whilst I’m fighting COVID-19.

‘You could see my NHS emergency badge too. Nicely done. Instead of saving patients, now I need to appeal a ticket. Get your priorities right for NHS staff.’

The tweet was met with outrage from the doctor’s followers.

One said: ‘Absolutely disgusting, please appeal against this unfair ticket.

‘Thank you to you and your hospital for everything you are doing and please keep safe but council officials acted quickly a quashed the fine.’

Other generous users even offered to pay the fine on his behalf. But within hours the council officials quashed the fine.

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said: ‘We contacted the doctor soon after he received the fine and have now cancelled it.

‘We want to thank him, and all of the UK’s fantastic NHS workers, for the brave work they are doing in tackling COVID-19.’

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Matt Hancock demands Sadiq Khan put on more Tubes saying 'no good reason' for crammed carriages

MATT Hancock has demanded Sadiq Khan put on more Tubes saying there is "no good reason" for crammed carriages.

The Mayor of London had earlier refused to increase train services despite workers now being forced to travel on packed Tubes because of the coronavirus.

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

Now the Health Secretary has bashed Mr Khan, and put pressure on his insistence they were forced to run a reduced service.

Speaking in this evenings press conference, he said: "There is no good reason in the information I’ve seen that the current levels of Tube provision should be as low as they are.

"We should have more Tube trains running.”

It came on the same day Mr Khan was asked by Charlotte Hawkins on GMB if he would "reconsider" the decision to cut services over the outbreak.

Mr Khan doubled down on reducing the number of Tubes, revealing 20 per cent of TFL were now sick and insisting people should not be leaving home anyway.

He said: “The reason why public transport is still running is to enable key workers to get to work and back home.

“Those people who can't work from home – nurses, clinicians,police officers, fire fighters.

“The other point I would make, we have more than 20 per cent in TFL sick or self isolating, and these include critical staff who we need to ensure it runs safely.

“My message is don't use public transport unless you really really need to go to work if you really have to – do not use rush hour.”

He explained they couldn’t add more trains anyway because of the shortages.

Mr Khan said: “We simply can't run Tubes that are unsafe.

“That 20 per cent of sickness/self isolating include critical staff who we need to ensure transport runs well.

“Some people on the Tube today and yesterday aren't essential, and that's why I have been concerned about the mixed messages and lack of clarity.”

TFL said the crisis is actually even worse than Mr Khan said, with around 30 per cent of Tube staff not working due to sickness/self-isolation.

Vernon Everitt, TfL’s Managing Director of Customers, Communication and Technology, said: “Everyone must follow the Government and Mayor’s orders to stay at home and only travel if absolutely necessary. Only critical workers should be using public transport and no one else. Ignoring these orders will put lives at risk.

“We will continue to run as much of a Tube service as we possibly can so that those critical NHS staff and other workers can get to work, but as our staff themselves fall ill or have to self-isolate we are simply not able to run a full service.

"The majority of people are playing their part and avoiding travel, but more people need to stop travelling immediately to save lives.”
GLA Conservative Leader Susan Hall AM said Mr Khan should ensure checks on who is travelling, a record of non-essential employers forcing workers to commute, and bring in crowd control measures.

In a letter, she said: “London’s NHS workers need to use the Tube, but too many Londoners are flouting the rules and turning it into a petri dish for coronavirus.

“Sadiq Khan should use the police to bolster the dwindling number of Tube staff to stop non-critical workers making unnecessary journeys, implement crowd-control measures, and check which employers are forcing staff to commute."

He was also bashed by the Tory candidate for mayor Shaun Bailey.

The former youth worker told The Sun: "I called for the Congestion charge and ULEZ to be suspended so that key workers, including NHS staff, wouldn't be penalised for driving into work in London to avoid public transport.

"But if the trains are packed, I urge the Mayor to restore more services to allow key workers to make essential journeys safely.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the London Major are set to speak later on.

Today Michael Gove suggested the Government could act to get more trains running.

He said: "I know that the Transport Secretary, the Prime Minister and the Mayor have been talking in order to ensure we can have the drivers in place to make sure we can have a service that limits the need for people to be crammed one against the other on the Tube.

"The conversation is going on at the moment to have the best possible Tube service."

This morning an NHS nurse was just one to share a photo of a packed Tube, saying: "This is my Tube this morning. I live in zone 4 and work in a zone 1 hospital.

"I love my job, but now I'm risking my health just on the journey in?!

"@SadiqKhan put the Tube service back to normal so we can all spread out, or @BorisJohnson start policing who's getting on. Help me!"

It comes after the drastic measures announced last night which will change every aspect of Brits' lives, including:

  • All gatherings of more than two people in public were forbidden – meaning a ban on all social events, including weddings and baptisms
  • Tens of thousands of non-essential shops were ordered to close
  • Communal play and exercise areas inside parks will also be shut down, but not parks themselves
  • Places of worship such as churches and mosques must also shut, except to host for funerals
  • Travel on roads, trains and buses was also banned, unless it’s essential to get to work.

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Elon Musk buys 1,255 coronavirus ventilators to help US response as Ford and Tesla ramp up production – The Sun

ELON Musk is helping America battle coronavirus by buying 1,255 much needed ventilators for stricken patients struggling to breathe for themselves.

The SpaceX and Tesla founder, 48, said he had snapped up the machines from China and had them shipped to the United States.

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

Yesterday coronavirus deaths topped more than 100 in just one day for the first time and total deaths exceeded 500.

About 200 million Americans were under lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as total cases in the US climbed to more than 43,000 with at least 533 deaths in 34 states.

Hospitals are already reporting they are overstretched, but wards are bracing themselves for a huge influx of coronavirus patients with severe breathing problems which has prompted the urgent call for more ventilators. 

But in a tweet Musk revealed he has come to the rescue, explaining how China "had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA".

He added: "If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!" 

The tech wizard also thanked his Tesla team in China as well as customs for "acting so swiftly" in importing the life-saving medical equipment.


His tweets came after California Gov Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference that Musk had made good a promise and praised it as "an heroic effort".

He said: "Elon Musk: how about this? I told you a few days ago he was likely to have 1,000 ventilators this week.

 "They arrived in Los Angeles and Elon Musk is already working with the hospital association and others to get those ventilators out in real time."

Authorities are hoping large-scale manufacturers can use their low-cost supply chains and digital design expertise.

This includes 3D printing, and repurpose some factories in order to make up the expected shortfall in vital medical hardware.

Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly

Donald Trump said on Sunday that US automakers GM, Ford Motor Co, and Tesla Inc had been given the green light to produce ventilators and other items needed during the coronavirus outbreak. 

When a Twitter user asked how many ventilators Musk’s Telsa planned on making, the tech mogul replied: "Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. 

"Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?"

General Motors is exploring the production of ventilators at a facility in Kokomo, Indiana. 

The automaker said it's working around the clock with Ventec Life Systems of Washington State to build more of the critical medical devices. 

GM spokesman Dan Flores said he can't comment on how many more ventilators Ventec will make or how soon they will come. 

But American carmakers have cautioned that assembling delicate medical equipment to standards adequate for use in hospital intensive care units remains a challenge.

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How are separated parents affected by the coronavirus lockdown and what did Michael Gove say? – The Sun

A WORRYING and uncertain time for families has been made confusing after Michael Gove gave conflicting advice to separated parents.

Piers Morgan has blasted the Cabinet minister for wrongly suggesting that kids of divorced parents CANNOT see both of them during the lockdown.

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

Can separated parents still see their children during lockdown?

To fight the spread of coronavirus, the government has beefed up measures to keep as many people as possible at home – and away from offices, public transport, parks and shops.

We are allowed to leave our houses for just four reasons: exercising; buying food and medicine; attending any medical needs, or travelling to or from work.

Rule-breakers could cop a fine.

It wasn't initially made clear, though, whether a child moving between separated parents' houses would be included as an authorised purpose.

After confusing families, the government has now confirmed that kids under 18 CAN be moved between their parents' homes.

What did Michael Gove say on Good Morning Britain?

During an interview this morning on ITV's GMB, the Cabinet minister told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: "You should not be moving children from home to home."

But then, just minutes later on BBC News, Gove was forced to correct his response, and clarified that kids would be able to see both parents.

He said: "On a previous broadcast on Good Morning Britain, I stressed – where possible – this [moving] should be kept to a minimum.

"It is the case that children under the age of 18 can see both parents.

"I was not clear earlier."

His about-turn had Morgan fuming on Twitter that it was "very damaging when government gets such important advice so wrong".

To make matters worse, Gove's initial information on GMB was quickly shared among separated parents on social media.

What are the rules on moving children between households?

Assuming that "no-one in either household is showing symptoms of the coronavirus, then child arrangements should continue as normal.

"And parents are permitted to travel between each other's houses to facilitate this", says Bristol-based family law and divorce solicitor, Samantha Hickman.

She adds: “The terms of your Child Arrangement Order will still apply and should be complied with unless this presents a risk to the child or another person.

"Child Arrangement Orders (and other agreements made between parents) tend to set out the arrangements during term time and then separate arrangements for school holidays.

"However, the situation we find ourselves in now fits into neither of those categories.

"It will be up to the parents to decide together how the children will spend their time while the schools are closed.

"These are not school holidays as such and it is likely that many children will still have school work to complete.

"Therefore, a good structure and routine will be important to children during this unsettling time.

"On this basis, parents may decide that their existing term-time arrangements should continue to ensure stability for the children."

Alternatively, Samantha adds, "some parents will decide that their holiday contact arrangements are more suitable while their children are at home, or they will agree different arrangements all together.

"This may be a practical decision as to how the children's time will be spent during this time as one parent may be able to provide child care while the other parent is at work."


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'Asterix and Obelix' co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

‘Asterix and Obelix’ co-creator Albert Uderzo dies in his sleep aged 92 at his home in France

  • Albert Uderzo died at his home on the outskirts of Paris aged 92 on Tuesday 
  • Asterix and Obelix co-creator suffered a heart attack and passed in his sleep 
  • Udzero created the comic in 1959 with Rene Goscinny, who died in 1977
  • After Goscinny’s death, Uderzo kept drawing the characters until retiring in 2011 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Albert Uderzo, the co-creator and illustrator of the ‘Asterix and Obelix’ comics that delighted legions of children and adults over the past six decades, has died aged 92, his family said Tuesday.

‘Albert Uderzo died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly, after a heart attack that was not linked to the coronavirus. He had been extremely tired for the past several weeks,’ his son-in-law Bernard de Choisy told AFP.

Uderzo created Asterix in 1959 with the fellow Frenchman and writer Rene Goscinny, who brought them to life in the French-Belgian comics magazine Pilote.

Albert Uderzo (pictured left with wife Ada Milani in 2014, and right in the Nineties), the French illustrator who along with writer Rene Goscinny created comic Asterix and Obelix in 1959, has died at his home near Paris aged 92

The adventures of the shrewd and indomitable Gaul, with his winged helmet and blonde moustache, and his massive sidekick Obelix as they gleefully thwarted Roman legionnaires became a huge hit, with translations into dozens of languages.

The series has extended into 38 books, most recently ‘Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter’ from last year, though Uderzo had stopped illustrating the series in 2011, having carried on alone after Goscinny’s death in 1977.

Nearly 1.6 million copies of ‘The Chieftain’s Daughter’ were sold last year in France alone, putting it at the top of best-seller lists.

Both men are considered founding fathers of modern comics and graphic novels, with 380 million of their books sold worldwide, and several stories turned into animated cartoons and feature films.

Uderzo was born colourblind and with six fingers on each hand, and only discovered illustration after World War II

The pun-filled series is brimming with fist-fights, drunken arguments, heroic rescues and romantic interludes, and the stories often include not-so-subtle references to politicians or popular figures of the day.

They have been translated into 111 languages and dialects, including Latin and Ancient Greek. 

Uderzo was born April 25, 1927, in Fismes, a village in northeast France near Reims, to Italian immigrants – his father was a luthier.

At birth he had six fingers on each hand – an anomaly corrected by surgery – and was colourblind, yet he discovered drawing after joining a Parisian publishing house after World War II, while also providing comic drawings for newspapers.

‘Making a living through comics was extremely hard in those days, I drew an astronomical amount of pages just to get through the month,’ he would recall.

He met Goscinny in 1951, beginning a friendship that would lead to their dreaming up Asterix and his village in Amorican Brittany, fuelled by cigarettes and pastis liquor, in a social housing apartment outside Paris eight years later.

Uderzo claimed he was inspired by tales from his older brother Bruno, who would head to western France to escape labour conscription by the Nazi occupiers.

The first Asterix book, ‘Asterix the Gaul,’ appeared in 1961 and became an overnight sensation, eventually introducing the world of comics to a much wider public.

Udzero said the comic was based on stories his older brother told of running away to western France to escape forced labour under Nazi occupation. He stopped drawing the comic in 2011

Marketing rights that extended to toys and even a popular French amusement park would make Uderzo a wealthy man, with a mansion in the posh Neuilly suburb of Paris and a collection of Ferrari supercars.

In 2017, an original Uderzo cover for one of the first Asterix books sold in Paris for a record 1.4 million euros.

Yet the easygoing Uderzo regarded his success with amused detachment, and largely avoid the media spotlight even as his reputation soared.

‘Nobody recognises me when I walk down the street,’ he said. ‘Characters can become mythical but not us, their fathers.’

He took up his crayons for one of the last times in 2015, to draw an Asterix in hommage to fellow illustrators and others killed in a jihadist massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

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What time is Boris Johnson’s coronavirus speech today? – The Sun

PRIME minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation again on Tuesday evening about the UK's ongoing fight against coronavirus.

The PM will speak at Downing Street this evening and update the country on the latest efforts to stop the spread of the killer bug.

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

What time is the coronavirus press conference today?

The daily coronavirus press briefing takes place between 4pm and 6pm UK time.

Most previous conferences have taken place just after 5pm from Downing Street.

There was no press conference on Monday night with Johnson chairing an emergency Cobra meeting.

After the meeting last night, he addressed the nation and begged everybody to stay at home to save lives.

What will Boris Johnson announce in the briefing?

Johnson is expected to elaborate on his speech on Monday night where he announced tough measures to keep people at home.

The PM said on Monday night: “Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

“To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.

“So it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease. And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic."

Johnson will also field questions from the media about the measures introduced last night and how the UK intends to police them.

He is also expected to announce help for self-employed workers after closing all non-essential shops.

What was unveiled in yesterday's announcement?

Johnson last night effectively placed the UK into lockdown and ordered people to stay home to save lives.

In his address to the nation, the PM said: "From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

People are only now allowed to leave their homes for one of four essential reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and this cannot be done from home

Why is the government holding daily briefings?

Johnson and his senior cabinet ministers had been criticised for a lack of regular updates into what is happening with the coronavirus outbreak.

Among them was Sir Keir Starmer – a candidate to become the next Labour leader – who called for daily press conferences.

The Shadow Secretary said he was “deeply concerned” that “ministers have been failing in their responsibilities to provide consistent and transparent public health advice”.

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Dutch firm creates coronavirus test with results in just 15 minutes

Dutch firm creates new coronavirus test that looks for antibodies and gives results in just 15 minutes – as pressure grows on the UK to test ALL suspected cases

  • Sensitest’s test, manufactured in China, shows results like a pregnancy stick
  • It looks for antibodies in the blood which signal the patient has had coronavirus
  • The small company said it would be open for negotiations with governments  
  • As global cases reached 400,000, the CEO said tests were ‘desperately needed’ 
  • It comes as UK health officials come under fire for their testing methods  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A Dutch firm has created a new coronavirus test that can give results in just 15 minutes in the same fashion as a pregnancy stick.

Sensitest’s blood test, manufactured in China, detects antibodies that signal the body is fighting the deadly infection.

It is not able to spot the virus in its early stages, but it can reveal if someone has already beaten the virus without showing symptoms.

The small company said it would be open to negotiate a deal with governments to supply tests for the masses. 

CEO Robert Das said a rapid diagnostic tool like this is ‘desperately needed’ to curb the global pandemic, as the number of cases reaches more than 400,000.

It follows increasing pressure on the UK Government to push rapid tests through the door and get more of the population swabbed.

Public Health England (PHE) is in the process of investigating tests on the market, but have not revealed which ones of the dozens emerging globally. 

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned today that Britain has lost track of the coronavirus crisis because of its controversial testing scheme to only test patients in hospital.

One million Britons will have caught the life-threatening infection by the end of next week, he predicts. Some 6,600 cases have officially been reported so far. 

A Dutch firm has created a new coronavirus test that can give results in just 15 minutes in the same fashion as a pregnancy stick as pressure grows on the UK government to test more people

Sensitest’s blood test, manufactured in China, detects antibodies that signal the body is fighting the deadly infection. It shows results like a pregnancy test

In Britain routine tests are only given to people so ill they have to go into hospital, or those who are already on wards.

It means only 5,000 patients are tested for the deadly virus each day in the UK, a fraction of the numbers tested in other countries. 

Even NHS staff, who are treating COVID-19 patients, don’t get tested.

The Government have promised to ramp up its daily capacity to 25,000, which will prioritise health workers first.

That means thousands are expected to be infected who will never get an official diagnosis.

Sensitest Corona Rapid test can show on the spot whether a patient has produced antibodies against the COVID-19 virus using a small sample of blood. 

Within 15 minutes, it shows whether a person’s body has produced antibodies IgM and IgG, which would signal they are battling the coronavirus, even if they do not have symptoms.   

CEO Mr Das told MailOnline: ‘It’s just like a pregnancy test. When you test too early it will be negative.

‘As soon as you produce enough antibodies, it will give a positive result within 15 minutes.

Sensitest Corona Rapid test can show on the spot whether a patient produces antibodies against the COVID-19 virus using a small sample of blood

The test result can be read after 15 minutes. The result is positive for two lines in the test window, and negative for one line. The result is not pictured in this test

‘The test will also give a positive result after the virus has gone and you have recovered, because your body will still be protected by IgG.’


Sensitest Corona Rapid test can show if someone has coronavirus within 15 minutes.

It may not work in the very early stages of the disease, the CEO admitted. 

Blood is collected and dropped onto a cassette. Then, two or three drops of a buffer liquid are added using a pipette. 

The test result can be read after 15 minutes. The result is positive for two lines in the test window, and negative for one line.

The product can only be used by doctors, and is not ideal for patients to use on themselves. 

Tests like this look at whether someone’s immune system is equipped to fight a specific disease or infection.

When someone gets infected with a virus their immune system must work out how to fight it off and produce substances called antibodies.

These are extremely specific and are usually only able to tackle one strain of one virus. They are produced in a way which makes them able to latch onto that specific virus and destroy it.

For example, if someone catches COVID-19, they will develop COVID-19 antibodies for their body to use to fight it off.

The body then stores versions of these antibodies in the immune system so that if it comes into contact with that same virus again it will be able to fight it off straight away and probably avoid someone feeling any symptoms at all.

To test for these antibodies, medics or scientists can take a fluid sample from someone – usually blood – and mix it with part of the virus to see if there is a reaction between the two.

If there is a reaction, it means someone has the antibodies and their body knows how to fight off the infection – they are immune. If there is no reaction it means they have not had it yet.

Mr Das said the test, which became available only last week, is currently being bought privately by doctors across the Netherlands.

The situation in Holland reflects that of the UK – 5,578 cases have been reported and 277 deaths.

Mr Das said: ‘In Holland, we are distributing the test among doctors all over the country especially in the east where concentrations of patients are. 

‘We are getting calls from physicians all day, especially in areas where they say there are not enough tests available.

‘We can supply thousands of these tests, but not millions. We would need government support. 

‘I would definitely be open to that and say let’s start to negotiate. I think this product is very important for us at the moment. We need it, desperately.’ 

Mr Das was not able to provide the accuracy result for the blood test, but said the manufacturers – who also make the company’s pregnancy tests – have a ‘good reputation’. 

Public Health England declined to comment on which commercial tests it is looking into as a viable option to use on the general population. 

As the coronavirus crisis escalates day by day in the UK, the Government continue to use a testing method which takes two days to produce a result. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson his aides have repeatedly defended the testing regime amid backlash over their efforts.

Initially the plan was to test anyone with symptoms or who had contact with a positive case. But as the outbreak worsened in February, the strategy shelved.

Now, people who believe they have the illness are urged to self-isolate unless their conditions became so severe they need medical help, at which point they will be tested.

It means health chiefs don’t know the true scale of the coronavirus epidemic in the UK. 

Today the former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt slammed the testing scheme in the UK – which is almost impossible for lay people to access.  

Mr Hunt, who was the longest serving Health Secretary before Matt Hancock took over in 2018, told MPs: ‘All our public focus has on social distancing. 

‘But testing and contact tracing to break the chain of transmission is every bit as important if not more important.

‘South Korea avoided national lockdown despite having a worse outbreak initially than us. 

‘Taiwan introduced temperature scanning in malls and office buildings but kept shops and restaurants open, they’ve had just two deaths.

‘In Singapore restaurants remain open and schools reopening.

‘But 10 days ago in this country we went in the opposite direction and stopped testing in the community. 

Mr Hunt added: ‘How can we possibly suppress the virus if we don’t know where it is?’ 

Mr Hunt noted that testing had not been increased in the past week despite repeated promises.

He said: ‘The concern is that we appear to be testing on a daily basis virtually no more people than over a week ago when the commitment was to increase the daily amount of tests from 5,000 to 25,000 tests.’

In response, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed ‘millions’ of tests had been purchased – but he could not say when the public would be able to access them or how.

He said: ‘We are in the middle of buying the tests that are needed and especially the new tests that have just come on stream.

‘We have now purchased millions of these tests which are arriving in the next days and weeks.’ 

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has also called for an overhaul on the testing strategy. 

More testing was needed, he said, adding: ‘On this side of the House we have called for testing for the virus to be carried out within our communities on a mass scale starting with NHS and care staff as a priority. 

‘We urge the Government to rapidly scale up testing.

‘I’m told that many labs at hospitals haven’t been able to start testing or are currently testing at under planned capacity because of supply chain issues with the relevant chemicals that are used and the kits to do the testing. 

‘If this is the case, could the Government update the House on what they are doing to urgently procure the testing kits we need?’ 

Today it’s been claimed that a desperate appeal to research labs was made by Mr Johnson to lend the government coronavirus testing kit. 

According to Politico, a Downing Street aide sent a message to research institutes on Sunday asking to borrow expensive equipment currently needed to carry out tests.

‘We urgently need to scale up testing. There is only a limited supply of these machines, so the PM is making an urgent appeal for you to lend us your machine(s) for the duration of the crisis,’ the email reportedly said.

‘We will meet all expenses and assume all liabilities and requirements associated with the use of these machines for this purpose. We undertake to return or replace the equipment when the emergency is over. We would very much like to collect any machines you have tomorrow (Mon 23) or Tuesday. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other experts have warned that mass checks are crucial for keeping the spread of the killer disease under control. 

BioMedomics claims its test can screen for coronavirus in 15 minutes using a small drop of blood and a tiny device that can be carried into the field

Test by test: The types of coronavirus kits from 10-minute finger-prick results to a mask which can diagnose instantly that the government could be using amid row over shortage – as PM brands impending antibody check a ‘game changer’


The UK Government is working with the inventors of the home pregnancy test to develop a coronavirus testing kit in Britain and Senegal.

Mologic was granted £1million to produce two different types of test which reveal if someone has ever had the deadly virus in the past. 

The kits – one will look for antigens in spit, the other will scour blood for antibodies – could also tell if a person currently has the infection. 

But the company, who laboratory in Bedfordshire was visited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month, estimates it will be up to six months before Brits can use them.

Antibody tests check to see if the body has substances in the immune system which are created when it comes into contact with the virus for the first time.

They could be a game-changer for the UK and allow health officials to work out when people are safe because they’ve already had COVID-19.  

However, the tests can’t accurately tell if a patient is currently infected, unlike swab tests – which take much longer to get a result. 

If a test comes back positive and they have a cough or fever, it suggests the patient is currently infected – but many patients only suffer mild symptoms. 

Mologic is also working on an antigen test. The firm hopes it will take just 10 minutes to produce a result, like that of the antibody test. 

Antigens are parts of a virus that trigger the immune system’s response to fight the infection, and can show up in blood before antibodies are made.  

Boris Johnson yesterday announced that coronavirus testing was to be ramped up to 25,000 per day after the government was slammed for potentially allowing tens of thousands of infected people to walk the streets undiagnosed.

Only 5,000 were being swabbed for COVID-19 previously, a fraction of the number seen elsewhere. 

Mr Johnson said a new ‘game changing’ coronavirus test which analyses antibodies in the blood could detect asymptomatic patients and those who have already shrugged off the bug. 

The Prime Minister said this would allow people to know whether they had gained immunity and get back to their working and social lives as soon as possible.   

Public Health England previously said that only patients who meet certain criteria will be able to be tested for the bug and those who were being screened were having nasal swabs. 

The Prime Minister conceded that the NHS will continue to use nasal swab tests that take up to 48 hours to be analysed in a lab.  

Other countries around the world – including the US, China, South Korea, Japan and Italy – have been using testing kits that take just minutes to produce results. 

And in a further development, Oxford University researchers claimed that they have created a new test which analyses viral RNA to detect COVID-19 in just 30 minutes.

Here, MailOnline looks at the cutting-edge testing kits currently being rolled out in other counties and at private clinics in Britain: 


Name: COVID-19 IgM IgG Rapid Test

Manufacturers: BioMedomics

Diagnostic time: 15 minutes 

The blood test is not being used in the UK, despite health bodies in China, Italy and Japan diagnosing patients with it.

On March 5, BioMedomics claimed its ‘quick and easy’ test was ready and being used in South Korea, Japan, Italy, China and some countries in the Middle East. 

After the sample of blood is collected, a technician injects it into the analysis device – which is about the size of an Apple TV or Roku remote – along with some buffer, and waits 15 minutes.

One line means negative, two lines in a spread-out configuration means the sample contains antibodies that the body starts making shortly after infection.

A blood sample is collected, inserted into the reader, a buffer is combined, and results come back within 15 minutes, the company claims 

Two lines closer together mean the person is positive for the later-stage antibodies, and three lines mean the patient is positive for both types of antibodies.  

A small study showed the test produced a correct response 80 per cent of the time.

PHE confirmed it was not using the advanced blood test because it was not accurate enough, and are hoping to develop their own. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also yet to approve it. 

A former PHE strategist said he was ‘not confident’ the test could produce correct results and is therefore unlikely to be rolled out. However, the method was desirable. 


Name: TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit 

Manufacturers: ThermoFisher

Diagnostic time: Four hours 

The DIY test detects specific DNA given off by the coronavirus in the noses of infected patients.

Samples are then delivered to labs where they are analysed and results are produced within four hours.

The test was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration this week and 5million kits will be sent across America in the coming days.

It is hoped the UK will follow suit after representatives from ThermoFisher, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, were seen entering Downing Street last night carrying a box with the tests. 

It is understood ministers were giving a demonstration of how the test works.


Name: COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette 

Manufacturers: SureScreen Diagnostics

Diagnostic time: Ten minutes 

The private firm, based in Derby, has created a test which can allegedly determine with 98 per cent certainty if a person is infected. 

It involves taking a blood sample via finger prick and then putting it into a screening device.

SureScreen Diagnostics says a prick of blood from the fingertip is sufficient to determine with more than 98 per cent accuracy

The private firm says its test has been validated and is already being used in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait and Oman. Currently, official swap-based methods take between 24 and 48 hours for results to come back

Public Health England cautions members of the public against using such tests amid fears they are unreliable, saying there is ‘little information on the accuracy of the tests’

Results are displayed in a similar fashion to those of an at-home pregnancy test within minutes and could potentially save delays in diagnosis. 

SureScreen says its test has been validated and is already being used by private buyers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait and Oman. 

It is believed around 175,000 tests have been conducted with the SureScreen kit so far. The company claims it has had over two million orders for next month. 

Director David Campbell said: ‘We’ve been working hard to produce a coronavirus test (COVID19) that can be used at the patient side, with capillary blood, easily taken from someone’s fingertip and diagnose them within 10 minutes.

‘There is a big problem with the diagnosis of the disease currently because the standard method of screening is to send samples to the laboratory, which takes a lot of time. 

‘Meanwhile, someone could be spreading the virus without knowing, or having the issue of self-isolation.’  


Manufacturers: University of Leicester

Diagnostic time: 12 hours

How it works: Breath test inserted in a mask

Scientists have started a trial of the pioneering £2 gadget, which tests have already proven can detect tuberculosis, a deadly lung infection.

Scientists have started a trial of the pioneering £2 gadget (pictured), which tests have already proven can detect tuberculosis

The researchers at the University of Leicester and the University of Pretoria designed 3D printed strips of polyvinyl alcohol that are inserted into the mask (pictured)

The masks, which could cost pennies if manufactured on a wider scale, are fitted with strips that soak up droplets from the wearer’s breath, which may be carrying traces of bacterial or viral infection.

The strips can be tested in labs with results coming back within hours. Current tests for coronavirus can take up to 48 hours. 

University of Leicester researchers believe it will be at least two months before they can test the masks on actual COVID-19 patients.

But they are hopeful it will work because it is a respiratory disease, meaning it infects the lungs and can is present in the air people breathe out.  

After 30 minutes, the strips can be tested in a laboratory (pictured)

First, the team have to test the gadgets on dozens of patients with other lung infections to prove they can pick up bugs other than tuberculosis, which they were designed for.

Patients with infections such as flu and bronchitis will have the results from their mask tests compared to those from throat swabs, which are known to be accurate. 

Tests on tuberculosis patients, the only ones that have been done so far, show the masks can detect the killer disease almost 90 per cent of the time.

Leicester’s Professor Mike Barer and colleagues are hopeful they will be successful because the coronavirus infects the lungs in a similar way to tuberculosis.


Manufacturers: Northumbria University, Newcastle

Diagnostic time: Almost instantly 

A breath test that helps rapidly identify patients with coronavirus has been developed by British scientists.

The technology, developed by a team at Northumbria University in Newcastle, is still in development and needs further testing.

But experts believe it could be quickly change the way the virus is spotted around the world. 

A breath test that helps rapidly identify patients with coronavirus has been developed by British scientists (file)

Dr Sterghios Moschos, right, said the test could be used to produce results in minutes

The Northumbria team’s test collects breath samples which can be tested separately for biological information – known as biomarkers.

These biomarkers, which include DNA, RNA, proteins and fat molecules, can spot diseases of the lung and other parts of the body.

People simply breath into the device, which is similar to a breathalyser used by the police.

Dr Sterghios Moschos, associate professor at Northumbria University, said: ‘Our ambition is to reduce the need for bloodletting for diagnosis in its broadest sense.’ 

The test is currently being trialled.  


Manufacturers: Private Harley Street Clinic

Diagnostic time: Three days

How it works: Nose and throat swab

Price: £375  

More than 2,000 people have ordered a £375 home testing kit from a Harley Street clinic in London after being turned down by the NHS, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In addition to individuals, some 60 firms including oil and telecoms companies, have bought them for their staff. 

On its website, the item can be easily ‘added to cart,’ much in the same way as conventional online products

Dr Mark Ali, director of the Private Harley Street Clinic on London’s world-renowned medical avenue, said his practice was offering a new kit for £375 each

The test is posted to the client’s home or preferred address, where the client takes swabs from both the nostrils and throat. 

The sample is then placed in the box provided and posted back as per the instructions. 

Dr Mark Ali, director of the Private Harley Street Clinic on London’s world-renowned medical avenue, said his practice was offering a new kit for £375 each.

On its website, the item can be easily ‘added to cart,’ much in the same way as conventional online products.

The practice says the test is ‘performed by a world renown UKAS accredited British laboratory and the test results are 100% accurate and do not require further tests to confirm any diagnoses.’

The website hastens to add, that though it oversees the entire process, patients should not attempt to pick up their kits from Harley Street.

‘Please note under no circumstances can this test be done in our clinic or be collected from our clinic.’ The website states.

‘It is sent to your designated address by courier service within 48 hrs. Please refer to the details below and order through the link at the bottom of this page.’

Dr Ali told The Telegraph he has received countless requests from buyers.

‘People are worried sick. They want to get some clarity back in their lives,’ he told The Telegraph. 

‘We’ve got university students in England who want to go back to Nepal, but need to know if they have the disease so they can be let back into their own country.

‘We’ve got a businessman who owns a construction company employing 60 people. He needs to know the state of play, or he risks letting down his customers. So every single person in that company is being tested.’ 


Manufacturers: Mologic

Diagnostic time: Ten minutes 

British firm Mologic is working on an antigen test after receiving £1million from the UK Government. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken on a tour of the Bedford laboratory of Mologic earlier this month

The firm hopes it will take just 10 minutes to produce a result, like that of the antibody test. 

Antigens are parts of a virus that trigger the immune system’s response to fight the infection, and can show up in blood before antibodies are made. 


Manufacturer: myLAB Box

US-based firm myLAB Box is mass producing a home test that requires a saliva swab to be sent away to an overnight lab to be analysed

Diagnostic time: One day  

US-based firm myLAB Box announced this week that it has opened pre-sales of its COVID-19 home test for health professionals, doctors surgeries and pharmacies. 

They require suspected patients to self-collect a saliva swab sample. These samples are sent away to a CDC lab to be analysed overnight.

myLAB Box also said that free telephone consultations will be made available to those who test positive for the virus.

It is planning to process up to 20,000 tests per day once it is approved by the FDA. It is currently under review. 


Manufacturer: Scanwell 

Diagnostic time: 15 minutes 

American startup Scanwell has produced a finger prick coronavirus test that takes just 15 minutes to complete at home.

It is posted to users via next-day delivery and is used alongside the Scanwell Health App. 

American startup Scanwell has produced a finger prick coronavirus test that takes just 15 minutes to complete at home. It will work in conjunction with a health app (similar to its UTI test)

The test can be completed and uploaded through the app within 15 minutes, according to the company  

The test is being fast-tracked for approval by the FDA but isn’t expected to hit the US market for another six to eight weeks.

Scanwell is best known for its smartphone-based urinary tract infection screening platform.


Who came up with the idea? Mount Sinai Health System, New York

Diagnostic time: 1 hour 30 minutes

How it works: Detects lung damage  

Doctors from The Mount Sinai Health System in New York say CT scans may be faster than nasal and throat swabs at diagnosing coronavirus patients. 

The team were the first in the US to analyze lung scans of patients in China with the highly contagious disease.   

They said they were able to identify specific patterns in the lungs as markers of the virus, also known as COVID-19, as it developed over the course of about two weeks>

Patients who received scans zero to two days after symptoms first appeared had little to no evidence of lung disease in their results like this 19-year-old male who had a CT scan one day after symptoms first appeared

The team said the pattern in the lung of coronavirus patients are similar to scans of patients with SARS and very different from diseases such as bacterial pneumonia (pictured)

The researchers say these quicker diagnoses could help keep patients isolated in early stages of the disease, perhaps even before symptoms appear and when it may not show up on other scans such as chest X-rays. 

‘CT scans are an extremely powerful diagnostic tool, because you can seen the inner organs in a three-dimensional way,’ lead author Dr Adam Bernheim, an assistant professor of diagnostic, molecular and interventional radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told

‘And you can see the manifestation of many diseases.’ 

For the study, published in the journal Radiology, the team analyzed scans of 94 patients at four medical centers in four Chinese provinces.

The patients had been admitted between January 18 and February 2, and all had either recently traveled to Wuhan – the epicenter of an outbreak – or had come into contact with an infected person.

Radiologists reviewed the scan and took notes based on when symptoms first appeared and when the CT scan was performed.

Thirty-six patients received scans zero to two days after reporting symptoms and more than half showed no evidence of lung disease.

The team says this is important because it suggests that CT scans cannot reliably detect coronavirus in its very earliest stages.

Nasal and throat swabs test can identify patients even before patients become symptomatic, although some may still have the virus if they first test negative. 

Its results, however, may take days to get back from the agency’s labs.

But 33 patients who received scans three to five days after symptoms developed had patterns of ‘ground glass opacities,’ or haziness in the lungs. 

‘The lung abnormalities are very round in shape and affect the perimeter of the lung,’ co-author Dr Michael Chung, an assistant professor of diagnostic, molecular and interventional radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told 

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World News

Olympic tickets could be non-refundable after postponement

Tickets for Tokyo 2020 may be non-refundable due to ‘public health emergency’ clause, leaving fans out of pocket… as coronavirus delay also hits TV ad revenues and Japan’s economy

  • Millions of seats have already been sold for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics
  • Some spectators say they may not be able to attend a rearranged Games in 2021
  • Organisers have yet to confirm whether such fans will be eligible for refunds 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Olympic ticket holders are facing an anxious wait to discover if they will get a refund after Tokyo 2020 organisers finally gave in and postponed the Games. 

Millions of tickets have already been sold for the two-week showpiece, raising at least $800million (£680million) before the coronavirus outbreak began.  

Some spectators say they may not be able to attend a rearranged Olympics in 2021 and fear they will not be eligible for a refund.  

The terms and conditions say that unforeseeable circumstances – including a ‘public health emergency’ – would allow organisers to rip up the rule-book. 

Organisers have not yet committed themselves, saying merely that refunds are not ruled out. 

Meanwhile, TV networks who paid millions for Olympic broadcast rights will face a two-week gap in their schedules and a drop in advertising revenue, although they say they are insured. 

Japan’s economy is also expected to take a hit as foreign sports fans abandon their trips to Tokyo and the postponement deals a blow to consumer confidence.  

Two women take a selfie in front of Tokyo’s new national stadium today, which was due to be the centrepiece of the Olympics this summer. The Games have now been postponed

The wording of the ticket rules is that ‘Tokyo 2020 shall not be liable for any failure to perform any obligation under the terms and conditions to the extent that the failure is caused by a force majeure’.  

A force majeure is defined as ‘any cause beyond Tokyo 2020’s reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God, war, insurrection, riot, civil disturbance, acts of terrorism, fire, explosion, flood, theft, malicious damage, strike, lock out, weather, third party injunction, national defence requirements, public health emergency, and acts or regulations of national or local governments’. 

There is no specific section on what happens to refunds, but they are part of the overall rules which can be abandoned in case of special circumstances.  

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun voiced the fears of many ticket-holders last week, suggesting that tickets might not be refundable. 

Tokyo 2020 organisers downplayed the story, insisting that the terms and conditions do not exclude the possibility of a refund. 

But they did not deny the claim that special circumstances may apply, saying they were monitoring the situation. 

Organisers have not confirmed how many tickets have been sold, but previously said that more than seven million seats would be available.   

All domestic tickets have already been sold, according to organisers. In the most recent Games budget from December 2019, organisers said $800 million (£680million) had been raised through ticket sales.

One ticket holder, Kokoro Yamada, has two tickets for the closing ceremony, which have cost her 440,000 yen (£3,370).

Yamada turns 30 the day after the Games closing ceremony on August 9 and the tickets were a present to herself.

‘In case of postponement, it is a little disappointing because the closing ceremony is the day before my birthday… so I was thinking it would be a very special day,’ she said.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters today after speaking to IOC president Thomas Bach, as Tokyo 2020 organisers finally gave in and postponed the Games 

Photographers take pictures during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. TV networks who have paid millions to broadcast the Games will now face a drop in ad revenue

Yamada said she has read through the tickets terms and conditions several times but still cannot work out what postponement would mean.  

Others are less certain they will be able to attend a rearranged Games. 

‘I am worried about what I should do. I adjusted my schedule and bought them,’ said businesswoman Manari Osaki.

‘If the Olympic games are postponed, it will mess up my plans and I may not be able to go see the Games.’

Another Tokyo resident, Keiko Morita, has spent approximately 2 million yen (£15,300) on tickets, including for the opening ceremony.

Despite being worried over the inconvenience postponement would cause her, Morita can go next year and understands the world is going through an unprecedented crisis.

‘Of course it would be disappointing… but of course this crisis is happening all over the world,’ said Morita, who lives in Tokyo.

‘It is not just about me and about the Olympics. There are many people in pain so we must accept it.’

A school student lights the ‘Fire of Recovery’ for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch exhibition in Fukushima today. The torch relay was meant to help symbolise Fukushima’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami 

The delay to the two-week showpiece also blasts a hole in summer broadcast schedules after networks paid millions for Olympic rights. 

To make matters worse, organisers have yet to say exactly when the Games will take place. A statement today calls for them to be moved ‘to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021’.  

The owners of networks such as NBC and Eurosport say they have insurance – leaving insurers and re-insurers facing bills up to $300million. 

NBCUniversal said as recently as March 3 that it had sold more than $1.25billion in advertising for the Tokyo Olympics, a new record for any broadcaster. 

The Comcast-owned network, also hoped to use the Olympics to promote its new streaming service, Peacock.  

In the UK, the BBC was due to cover the Games but will now have to find alternative ways to fill its schedule. 

Some Britons have even called for the corporation to show repeats of the widely celebrated London 2012 Olympics to boost the national mood. 

Specialist sports broadcasters have already had their schedules torn up after major events such as the Premier League, Masters and Formula One season fell victim to the health crisis. 

Olympic organisers had insisted for weeks that the Games would go ahead as planned, but finally caved in today under pressure from many participants. 

Canada’s Olympic team had already announced it would not send any athletes to the Games if they were held this summer.            

The postponement is the first time that the Games have been knocked off schedule since World War II. Tokyo was also due to host the aborted 1940 Games.  

What will the postponement of the Olympics cost Japan? 


At the end of 2019, organisers estimated the total cost of the Games at around 1.35 trillion yen ($12.6 billion).

That is divided between the city of Tokyo, which is paying 597billion yen, the Japanese organising committee, which contributes 60 billion yen and the central government, which is paying 150billion yen.

But the actual costs for the country have been hotly debated, with a widely publicised audit report estimating national government spending from the bid in 2013 until 2018 at 1.06 trillion yen, nearly 10 times the budget.

Japanese businesses have also poured money into the event in sponsorships, paying out a record 348 billion yen ($3.3 billion).

And that figure doesn’t include the partnerships signed between major companies and the International Olympic Committee for rights to sponsor several Games. Among those are giants including Japan’s Toyota, Bridgestone and Panasonic.

Toshiro Muto, CEO of Tokyo 2020, asked about how much delaying the games will cost Japan, said: ‘The basic policy of postponement was decided today. How exactly are we going to achieve the postponement? That will be discussed among the IOC, us and Tokyo. I am sure it will be very difficult.’

Which sectors would be affected?

According to analysts at Capital Economics, one key factor to consider in terms of how a postponement might hit Japan’s economy is that most of the spending has already happened.

That means the effects of outlays, most notably on construction of new sporting venues, has already been factored into GDP in recent years.

But a postponement could drag down tourism as well as general consumption in the country, already under pressure after a controversial sales tax hike last year.

Tourism in Japan was already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic, amid a diplomatic spat with South Korea that prompted boycott calls. Visitors from South Korea previously made up the second largest contingent of tourists to Japan, behind only China.

And with the virus outbreak, Japan has seen a further fall in South Korean numbers, as well as a plunge in travellers from China, which together accounted for nearly half the 31.9 million foreign visitors to the country in 2019.

In February, the number of foreign visitors to Japan fell 58.3 percent compared to a year early, with a plunge of 87.9 percent in tourists coming from China, official figures show.

Japan has an industrialised and diversified economy not heavily reliant on tourism, with foreign visitor expenditures making up just 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2018, according to economic research organisation CEIC.

But with domestic spending already weak, the hit from a postponement could ripple through the economy and further depress local purchasing.

What would the impact on GDP be?

The coronavirus pandemic has already helped push Japan towards a recession, with GDP contracting 1.8 per cent in the October-December quarter.

Economists at research firm Fitch on Monday revised its 2020 growth forecast for Japan to -1.1 per cent from -0.2 per cent, reflecting the risks to consumption, tourism and exports posed by the pandemic.

But it said that a postponement of the Games could worsen the situation significantly, and ‘could impact GDP between 0.5 and 0.8 percentage points to our forecast.’

A postponement ‘would badly affect Japanese consumer confidence’ Takashi Miwa, an economist at Nomura, told AFP.

It is also unclear what effect it might have on the 240 billion yen ($2.28 billion) in spending from foreign spectators expected to attend the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 organisers decline to say how many foreign visitors they expect to visit Japan specifically to watch the sporting action.

So far 4.5million tickets have been sold in Japan, with around 7.8million expected to be sold overall, 20 to 30 per cent of them internationally.

How the postponement will affect those tickets is not yet clear.

Economists at SMBC Nikko Securities said Tuesday that postponing the Games would reduce the country’s GDP this year by some $6 billion. But, they added, the same amount would be gained when the Games are eventually held, effectively cancelling out the losses.

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World News

Super-fit cycling fanatic, 40, battles COVID-19'

EXCLUSIVE: Super-fit cycling fanatic, 40, with no underlying health conditions, battles COVID-19 as wife tells young people ‘you are not invincible’

  • Daniel Schuchman, 40, is fighting for his life at Northwick Park hospital
  • He has spent seven days in hospital receiving round-the-clock care
  • The IT worker and father-of-four came down with a fever and a cough last Sunday
  • Within three days he was rushed to hospital after becoming confused and losing the ability to walk
  • His wife, Anna Schuchman, 38, is begging young people to take it seriously 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A super-fit cycling fanatic is fighting for his life in hospital as his wife begs younger people to ‘understand you are not invincible’ from the deadly Coronavirus. 

Daniel Schuchman, 40, an IT executive and father-of-four from North London, came down with Covid-19 symptoms last week and was hospitalised three days later.

He has now spent seven days in hospital where he is struggling to speak or walk, requiring constant oxygen.

His wife, Anna Schuchman, said: ‘There is a face and name behind every one of these statistics. Don’t think it will happen to you. Being fit and healthy and young is not a get-out clause.’

Super-fit cycling fanatic Daniel Schuchman, 40, who is battling coronavirus in hospital

Daniel Schuchman in his hospital bed wearing an oxygen mask at Northwick Park hospital

Friend Charlotte Winkler, left, Daniel Schuchman, centre, and Anna Schuchman

Mrs Schuchman, 38, a personal trainer and nutritionist, said her husband cycled 30 miles every Sunday morning and had no underlying health conditions.

‘He came down with a fever on Sunday night and we could hear him coughing all the way from downstairs,’ she said.

‘By Tuesday, my big, tall, strapping husband was a shadow of himself. He was crumpled in his chair and he couldn’t lift his chin up.

‘The following day we rushed him to hospital and we haven’t seen him since.’

Mrs Schuchman said she had a very clear message for the British public. ‘Whether you are young or old, healthy or overweight, take this seriously,’ she said. 

‘You’re infectious before you get hit. It’s invisible. You can’t see where you’re leaving your germs and you can infect lots of other people. I just want everyone to stay indoors.’

Mrs Schuchman took the decision to rush her husband to hospital when his breathing was very laboured and he became confused, not even knowing where he was.

His fever was not responding to over-the-counter drugs, she said, and he lost the ability to walk.

‘It took me 20 minutes to get him to the toilet and I couldn’t get him out,’ she said. ‘I started panicking. That’s when I knew it was an emergency.’

Mr Schuchman was taken to Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, which has since declared a ‘critical incident’ after its intensive care unit was overwhelmed with Coronavirus patients.

He was transferred to the emergency ward in a wheelchair and that was the last his wife saw of him. He has now been there for seven days.

Daniel Schuchman wearing an oxygen mask in hospital as he battles the coronavirus

Daniel Schuchman, left, and Anna Schuchman, right, on holiday before the virus hit

‘He wasn’t strong enough to use his phone at first so we had to call the ward for updates,’ Mrs Schuchman said. ‘The doctors and nurses were rushed off their feet and you could hear the panic in their voices, but they didn’t scrimp on the time or information they gave us.

‘They were absolutely amazing. Hats off to them.’

After four days, Mr Schuchman was able to use his phone and the couple communicated via a Facetime call.

He was still unable to speak, however, and could only nod or shake his head in response to questions.

By day five, the keen cyclist was able to say a few words. ‘He doesn’t have the energy to say more than one short sentence at a time,’ Mrs Schuchman said. ‘Speaking takes an awful lot of strength.

‘There is no treatment for Coronavirus, so all the doctors can do is take as much strain off the body as possible so it can fight the virus itself.

‘Yesterday he had a positive morning and they tried to get him into a chair to allow oxygen to circulate into his lungs.

‘Then everything plummeted and he was back to square one.’

Doctors hope that Mr Schuchman has now reached the ‘plateau stage’ of the virus, meaning that his condition will remain stable for a few days before improving.

His wife is self-isolating at home with their four children, aged between six and 16, as she has experienced mild Coronavirus symptoms herself.

‘I’m pretty sure we’ve all had it here,’ she said. ‘The main thing is that we’ve lost our sense of taste. That has recently been recognised as a symptom.

‘I’ve had headaches, ringing in the ears and a tight chest. I got so out of breath teaching a workout class last week.’

Being a single parent to four children is hard, she said, and the children are going ‘stir crazy’.

She added: ‘I’ve had some awful thoughts over the past week, but Dani is more stable now. It’s going to be a long journey.’

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World News

NHS coronavirus worker reveals heartbreaking moment child, 2, asked ‘can I come mummy?’ as she moved out of family home – The Sun

A FRONTLINE NHS coronavirus worker isolating herself from her family to protect them has revealed the heartbreaking moment her two-year-old daughter asked to come with her as she moved out.

In a video shared online, tearful Chanice Cushion urged Brits to stay indoors to halt the spread of Covid-19.

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

The mum, who works at Southend Hospital in Essex, can't see her little girl for the next three months to protect her from potentially catching the deadly bug.

In the film, posted on Facebook yesterday, she revealed she and her partner made the decision for her to move out because they live with her high-risk mother-in-law – who has chronic asthma – as well as their tot.

She welled up as she said her daughter was "going about her day as normal" as she packed to leave.

Chanice said: "She's a two-year-old, she doesn't understand.


"I left home earlier, and I said 'mummy's going away for a little while. Mummy's got work.'

"And she said, 'Mummy, I come'.

"I said 'no baby, you can't. I said I'm going to Nanny's house and Nanny's going to stay here with you.'

"So today's my first day of 12 weeks away from my kid, and it's very hard.

"So I said my goodbyes to her and, as a normal parent would do, started to cry.


"She just looked at me and went 'Mummy, why are you sad'. I didn't know how to answer it, so I just replied with 'Mummy is sad'.

"She grabbed her sleeve and she was wiping my tears away with her sleeve and said 'don't cry Mummy.'"

The video has been shared more than 80,000 times online, and she has received thousands of comments of support.

Breaking down into tears, Chanice added: "I've had to leave my daughter for three months because I don't want to put her in that vulnerable situation.

"She has no idea what's going on.

"No idea at all."


Chanice says she is petrified of going in to work.

She said hospital staff are "basically suspecting anyone" who comes through the doors with either a cough or temperature of having coronavirus.

It comes as Britain's death toll soared again , with 54 more people confirmed yesterday to have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

So far, 336 people have died of the disease in the UK, with confirmed cases jumping from 6,650 to 6,710 today.


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Last night, Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown in a bid to stop the virus's advance.

Heroic NHS workers on the UK's coronavirus frontline have also begged Brits to stay at home to protect lives.

Medical staff in Belfast battling the disease release a video warning “this is not a rehearsal".

But there are fears that building sites remaining open and packed London tubes will put NHS staff at risk.

One NHS trauma surgeon sent a desperate text to BBC News host Sophie Raworth saying: “All builders are still at work!

“Clogging roads and Tubes.

“They need to know that we won’t be able to do [the] usual heroic salvage of limbs when they have the inevitable industrial accidents."

I'm petrified of going to work – I'm petrified – but I have to go to work.

Medical emergency assistant Chanice pleaded for Brits to "stay indoors".

She said: "I'm petrified of going to work – I'm petrified – but I have to go to work.

"You have to stay indoors. There is nothing so special out there for you to be going out.

"Yeah, the sun's shining – you might be dead in a few weeks because you wanted to go out and get some fresh air and mingle with people and not keep a two-metre distance.

"You need to really get your priorities straight. Go home, stay home, protect your children, protect the vulnerable people that you could potentially be infecting.

"Shelves are being stripped of fruit, veg, meat. I even struggled to get eggs.

"It just seems so surreal. How are the NHS workers supposed to stay healthy and fit when we've got nothing to feed us, we've got nothing to build our energy.

"Just stay indoors and if you need to come out, one person come out from a family and go do what they've got to do, then go straight home.

"Get straight in the shower, wash your hands for 20 seconds. You need to be so vigilant guys."

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