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Celebrities

Ben Foden welcomes daughter Farrah with wife Jackie Belanoff Smith

Ben Foden and Jackie Belanoff Smith have welcomed their first child together.

Jackie confirmed her baby news on Instagram, sharing a string of photos as she snuggled their daughter in hospital.

Alongside the upload, the new mum penned: ‘Farrah Abra Foden, 5/20/2020, 6lbs 12oz, 19.5 inches of pure adorable alien old man cuteness.

‘We love you so much little one.’

Right on cue, fans rushed to congratulate the happy couple on their new arrival.

‘Feel better soon and congratulations to you and your new family,’ one penned.

‘So incredible!!! Very happy for you, congrats,’ another said.

An Instagram user commented: ‘Congratulations!!! She is absolutely beautiful (even though with mums and dads genes it would be impossible not to be)! 

‘Sending you love and wishes for a restful and peaceful recovery with your new sunshine alien! Can’t wait to meet her!!’

While a follower added: ‘A beauty just like you.’

Ben previously gave fans a glimpse into how Jackie was doing in labour – something she didn’t quite find helpful.

Little Farrah is their first child together, while the rugby player shares two children with ex-wife Una Healy – Aoife Belle and Tadhg John.

The former couple split in 2018, with Ben meeting marrying Jackie last August.

An insider revealed earlier this year that the pair are planning to move back to the UK and raise their little one here.

‘Ben and Jackie are over the moon,’ they told the MailOnline. 

‘They’re so excited to become parents together for the first time and are looking forward to starting their new lives as a family. 

‘The plan is to move from America back to the UK and raise the baby here – there’s lots to organise but they can’t wait for their new arrival.’

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Lifestyle

British Airways staff 'face up to £30,000 pay cut as airline forces 14,000 cabin crew to sign new contracts'

THOUSANDS of British Airways cabin crew face losing up to £30,000 under new contracts – and the airline has threatened to fire them if they don’t sign. 

In a letter seen by The Sun, British Airways says its planning to move 14,300 cabin crew onto new contracts requiring them to work on both short haul and long haul flights. 

The airline also warned that staff who don’t sign up to them will be dismissed or made redundant, and that the new contracts will include a clause to temporarily layoff workers.   

The airline is introducing new contracts across its 42,000 strong workforce. 

It comes as the airline only recently revealed it may have to axe 12,000 jobs across its workforce as the travel industry takes a battering from coronavirus lockdowns and travel bans. 

Job cuts have also been announced at Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. 

Can my employer cut my wages?

WHETHER an employer can change your wage will likely depend on if your contract allows for this.

If it doesn't, your employer may ask you to agree to a new contract.

It can't force you to sign a new contract but ultimately you can be dismissed if you don't.

In the meantime, you can try to reach an agreement with your employer by working "under protest" while you try to resolve the issue.

It's also worth checking if there's a relevant trade union you could turn to for help or advice.

If you feel you've been discriminated against, you could also consider bringing a claim to an employment tribunal. But if pay cuts are company-wide you may struggle to argue your case.

But one British Airways cabin crew member who is currently on furlough told The Sun that shaking-up contracts in this way will penalise loyal workers.

The letter seen by The Sun reveals that around 8,300 cabin crew either work on short haul European flights or long haul worldwide flights, while the rest do a mix. 

But it goes on to say that British Airways wants to combine teams so that everyone works on both types of flight, and so that everyone moves to a “harmonised” pay structure. 

Trade union Unite, which represents British Airways workers, told The Sun this could mean estimated reductions in pay of between £1,000 and £30,000 a year, although the average is believed to be much less than this. 

It adds that all British Airways workers are affected – not just cabin crew.

The cabin crew member, who has been with British Airways for more than a decade, explained to The Sun that long haul workers fly less frequently, which means they often don’t need to live near British Airways’ hub in London Heathrow. 

But they said having to fly more frequently could leave many forced between the choice of relocating nearer Heathrow but on less money, or being left with no choice but to resign. 

“Lots of people would take unpaid leave or pay cuts for a year. We want the survival of the airline and a job to go back to,” they told The Sun. 

“But British Airways has come at this with a view to ripping up our terms and conditions and making them so unfavourable that if you're not made redundant you don't want to sign up to them and then you have no job.

“It’s the ruthlessness of how it’s gone about it. Loyalty doesn’t count for anything.” 

The cabin crew member told The Sun they’re now worried about the future with a family to provide for and a mortgage pay, and with little experience in roles outside of the travel industry. 

British Airways says all planned contract changes are proposals at this stage, but wouldn’t comment further given discussions are ongoing. 

The airline is currently locked in a 45-day consultation period with workers and unions who have labelled the proposals “smash and grab opportunism”. 

Unite points out that British Airways owner, IAG, isn’t making similar cutbacks to its Iberia workforce in Spain. 

UK redundancies are expected to be made between June 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the letter states. 

IAG’s revenue fell by 13 per cent to 4.6billion euros in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year when it made 5.3billion euros. 

Alex Cruz chief executive of British Airways added: “The scale of this challenge requires substantial change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just to address the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also to withstand any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or other events that could affect us.”

In the UK the government has warned against all but essential travel leading to millions of flights and holidays being cancelled, with many saying they're struggling to get refunds for these trips.

Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned the Covid-19 crisis will see airline passenger revenues drop by $314billion (£254million) in 2020, a 55 per cent decline compared to 2019.

It adds that "the industry’s outlook grows darker by the day.", and says recovery is more likely to take the form of a "U shape" as opposed to a "V shape".

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Lifestyle

UFC chief Dana White to let FAN pick fighters to face each other and hang out with Halle Berry in coronavirus fundraiser – The Sun

DANA WHITE is going to let one lucky fan pick the fighters to face off and hang out with Halle Berry as part of a coronavirus fundraiser.

The UFC president has teamed up with the Academy Award-winning, combat sport-loving actress to offer up the experience of a lifetime for any MMA fan.


As part of the All In Challenge to raise support and funds for those suffering through the Covid-19 pandemic, White, Berry and the UFC are putting on a mega package for a very fortunate winner.

The deal includes two return flights to Las Vegas, three nights at a four-star hotel, a private tour and training session at the UFC performance institute with Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin and Berry's training partner and champ Valentina Shevchenko.

After sitting down with the UFC bosses to work out a bout and dinner with Berry, the fan and their guest will take their place in White's VIP section with the actress for fight night and then go home with a bundle of signed and personalised merchandise, including their very own BMF belt.

Speaking about the offer, White told TMZ: "It doesn't suck and for a fan to be able to win this, this is the biggest package we've ever done.

"They're gonna sit in with a matchmaking meeting and I'm gonna let them make a fight

"On stage for the weigh-ins, go to dinner with Halle Berry, sit with her at the fight and hang out.

"She's one of the sweetest, coolest people on earth and she's a huge MMA fan just like whoever is going to win this thing so you can sit there and talk fights with her too.

"Dinner with Halle Berry, she actually knows what she's talking about when it comes to fights and you can talk fights with one of the hottest women to ever walk the face of the earth and all the other s*** we're throwing in there too.

"What is better than that? And on top of that, normally we put these on and it's always rich guys that get it by outbidding some other rich guy.

"This time you can put in $10, $25 and it gives you more entries to win so anybody can actually win."

But White warned that even if the winner does want to see Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov II, they are not guaranteed to be able to make it happen.

The UFC chief added: "It's a process to the matchmaking. There's four of us as well.

"We argue, we fight … [the winner] will be part of the bickering and the arguing and we'll see what they get in the end."

I accept the #AllInChallenge and am teaming up with @ufc president @danawhite to give you the chance to win the most BADASS experience we could put together! Enter to win a trip to Vegas, dinner and VIP seats for the fight of your choice with me and SO MUCH MORE! Go to allinchallenge.com to enter NOW 👊🏽👊🏽 @therock, @thenotoriousmma , @ava, @tylerperry, @markwahlberg – you’re NEXT.

A post shared byHalle Berry (@halleberry) on

To be in with a chance of winning the awesome competition, fans must be 21 or over and simply need to go to the All In Challenge website where they can enter and see plenty of other offers including playing 5-a-side with David Beckham and tennis with Novak Djokovic.

Ten entries cost $10, 25 cost $25, 100 cost $50 and 200 cost $100 with a maximum of 1,000 entries.

All the money raised through the sweepstake will go directly to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

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Celebrities

Coleen and Wayne Rooney and family clap for NHS heroes in matching pyjamas

Coleen and Wayne Rooney and their family joined the rest of the nation to clap for NHS carers, getting the whole gang involved.

The couple, along with their sons Kit, Kai, Klay and Cass, could be seen standing in front of their house in matching pyjamas for the event.

While Wayne and Coleen clapped away, the boys brought out their toy drums, with them even running around and getting their dance moves out for the occasion.

Because why not?

‘Clap for our heroes 🌈❤️ We are truly thankful for everything you have done and everything you are doing! God bless you all,’ Coleen wrote next to the video.

She’s not the only star to be joining in on the applause, with Stacey Solomon explaining that she and Joe would also be getting in on it.

‘No matter what has happened this week, never forget, you are enough,’ the Loose Women star wrote in a sweet update. ‘We will be out the front soon Clapping for our carers at 8 as always 🤍 we love you, and can’t thank you enough.’

Kate Garraway also shared a clip of herself clapping along with her children, William and Darcey.

The Good Moning Britain host wrote an update to fans on her husband Derek Draper’s condition, after he was admitted to intensive care and tested positive for coronavirus.

Although she explained that Derek is ‘still critically ill’, she added: ‘Where there is life there is hope.’

Kate went on to say: ‘Another emotional #clapthecarers & never has it been more needed. If this pandemic #lockdown is dragging on for us, imagine what it is like for them.

‘Shift after endlessly long shift , bravely going to work, to battle the virus and give our loved ones a chance.

‘None of those keeping my Derek alive have ever made me feel it’s a chore, they want to win this as much as I want them to, but it must be so hard.’

More than 18,000 people have died of coronavirus in the UK, with the number of confirmed cases worldwide reaching at least two million.

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If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

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Celebrities

Kim Kardashian Trolled by Taylor Swift’s Fans After Asking for Quarantine Tips

Swifties quickly flood the comment section of Kim’s Instagram post, but instead of giving helpful suggestions, they troll the wife of Kanye West over their feud with the singer.

AceShowbiz -It seems like Taylor Swift‘s fans have yet to leave Kim Kardashian alone. The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star recently took to her social media account to ask her online devotees for some suggestion on how to keep their kids entertained during self-quarantine amid Coronavirus outbreak.

“What is everyone doing to keep your kids entertained???” the 39-year-old cosmetics mogul captioned the selfie featuring her alongside with her family. “As a family we are social distancing but need some fun ideas of what to do! Any suggestions would help!”

Swifties quickly flooded the comment section, but instead of giving helpful suggestions, they trolled the wife of Kanye West over their feud with the “Blank Space” singer. “Try illegally recording phone calls and editing them,” one suggested, referring to the infamous 2016 phone call between Kanye and Taylor which full version was leaked earlier this month.

“Maybe discuss with the consequences of lying and how important it is to tell people the truth,” someone wrote. Another comment read, “You know set the example, never mind.”

One other commented, “You can spend time editing videos to frame people. You’re gonna have a lot of fun trust me,” with one person adding, “Have a Taylor Swift marathon.” Meanwhile, several suggested Kim to watch Taylor’s Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana“.

Taylor and Kanye’s feud reignited in 2016 after the “Black Skinhead” spitter included the lyrics, “I made that b***h famous,” on his song “Famous”. Taylor felt disrespected and called him out over that, but both Kanye and his wife Kim insisted that the 30-year-old singer/songwriter had given him her permission. Kim even posted a video of their phone call and dubbed Taylor a “snake.”

However, the full version of the phone call seemed to back up Taylor’s claim. Responding to the leaked video, the country-turned-pop star said on her Instagram Stories that it only proves “that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call*.” She additionally stressed that the call “was illegally recorded,” “edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family, and fans through hell for 4 years.”

Kim then fired back at Taylor on Twitter, calling her out for her self-serving comments amid the coronavirus pandemic. The reality TV star went on accusing Taylor of lying about Kanye never asking for her permission to release the song.

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World News

A man was arrested after claiming he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during a Facebook Live broadcast in a North Carolina Walmart

  • A man was charged with perpetrating a hoax after stating on a Facebook Live broadcast inside a North Carolina Walmart that he tested positive for the coronavirus, ABC 30 reported.
  • The man's arrest comes as similar incidents captured on social media have added to paranoia surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
  • For example, last week, two teenagers were found coughing on produce and near patrons in a Virginia grocery store, and they filmed the occurrence and uploaded it on social media.
  • The teens weren't charged, according to the Purcellville Police Department, but authorities warned parents of keeping an eye on their kids' social media behavior to prevent similar trends or challenges.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A man has reportedly been charged with perpetrating a hoax after filming Facebook Live inside a North Carolina Walmart store, and, during the broadcast, claiming he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The incident occurred on Wednesday, March 18, ABC 30 reported. Justin Rhodes, 31, was the man found inside the Walmart store sharing over Facebook Live that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Albemarle Police Department authorities told ABC 30. 

Rhodes was charged with perpetrating a hoax in a public building and disorderly conduct, according to ABC 30.

This is not the only report of an apparent coronavirus hoax taking place in a public area. Reports of teens filming each other coughing in supermarket aisles as part of a social media challenge have adding to the existing paranoia surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, two teenagers reportedly coughed on produce and near other customers at a grocery store in Purcellville, Virginia, then uploaded videos on social media, according to news station WJLA and the Purcellville Police Department.

The teenagers are not being charged, as police found no criminal intent, but local authorities warned parents to be aware of teens' social media behavior, specifically regarding "fear-inducing behavior."

The Purcellville Police Department wrote on Facebook: "With school closures in effect, this allows for more idle time among children, especially teenagers who are often not supervised as closely. However, we still ask that parents continue to monitor their children's activities, including social media viewing and posting, and to discourage the promotion of any such fear-inducing behavior."

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TV and Movies

Cheyenne Floyd Reveals Where She Stands With Cory and Taylor

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When it comes to family, Cheyenne Floyd is the first to admit that hers isn’t the most conventional.

As she continues to co-parent her daughter Ryder with ex-boyfriend Cory Wharton, the Teen Mom OG star has another element to her crew.

This season on the MTV reality show, Cory reveals that his girlfriend Taylor Selfridge is pregnant.

“It’s definitely one big, weird, blended, dysfunctional family,” Cheyenne shared with E! News exclusively ahead of Tuesday night’s season premiere. “I actually helped them plan their gender reveal and gave them all the vendors and places to call. People hear that and they’re like, ‘You helped your child’s father plan their new child’s gender reveal?’ and it sounds so weird but it works for us.”

The MTV reality star added, “I would take our situation over us hating each other any day. It might be weird to some people, but it works for us.”

While it’s certainly been a process to get to this point, Cheyenne has always made it clear that she wanted the father of her child to be very involved from the very beginning.

“Our biggest thing since day one of Cory coming into Ryder’s life was what kind of dad he wanted to be and what kind of parent he wanted to be,” Cheyenne explained. “I wasn’t going to allow him to be a Disneyland dad or an Instagram dad or just in the moment…He had to be 100 percent. I think from the beginning, he saw my mindset and appreciated it so that’s why we co-parent so well.”

Instagram

Recently, the duo established a non-profit called Rage Regardless Ry that takes initiative in supporting the lifestyle changes that come with raising children living with metabolic conditions. The couple’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare condition named VLCAD.

“She’s doing good. With all the health stuff and viruses, we have to keep her close to us and take extra precautions,” Cheyenne explained. “But she’s doing well. She does regular doctor appointments and sees a nutritionist and a genetics doctor but everyone says her levels are really good. We are just trying to get through flu season.”

Health obstacles aside, Cheyenne is also focused on continuing a healthy relationship with Cory and his current girlfriend. It certainly helps that Taylor gets along with Ryder so well.

“I’m not going to let my kid go anywhere if I’m not cool with the person and so we might as well be friends and get to know each other so it’s a peaceful relationship,” Cheyenne explained. “Ryder honestly loves Taylor and Taylor is really good with her and talks more about Taylor than her dad. I can’t hate. I have to respect their relationship and Taylor and I have our own relationship.”

And you never know when the rolls will reverse and Cheyenne will meet a special man in her life.

“In the beginning of the season, viewers will see what happened between Matt and I,” she teased. “I’m not really focused on dating. I’m just focused on being a good mom and starting the non-profit and the business. If someone comes into my life, I’d be open but I’m not looking. But if you have a nice guy that’s single and six feet four inches tall, bring him my way. The DMs are open.”

Teen Mom OG returns with new episodes Tuesday night at 8 p.m. only on MTV.

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Lifestyle

Teacher’s shock after her novel coronavirus hand washing hack goes viral

An enterprising teacher has come up with a novel way of cutting her class's hand-washing time in half as they look to prevent the coronavirus spread.

Rachel Stroe's Facebook video already has more than 75,000 hits in less than week after the Basingstoke teacher uploaded it last Wednesday.

With the coronavirus outbreak – which has already killed four people in Britain – the top of the country's agenda, particularly school staff, the hygiene hack has really struck a cord online.

Teachers are finding it difficult to keep on top of their packed curriculums and with the added pressure of having to ensure all their pupils are regularly washing their hands, Rachel's video is a real time-saver.


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In her accompanying caption, she apologises to her fellow teachers if she is stating the obvious but encourages them to share if they find it useful.

"To my teacher friends… I’m really sorry if this is teaching people to suck eggs but this made my life so much easier today with washing our hands as frequently as needed! Please feel free to share," she wrote.

In the video , the young teacher, wearing over-sized glasses and a cardigan, goes on to explain how her method works.

"The bane of every teacher's existence at the moment is obviously getting the children to wash their hands as frequently as we need to because of the coronavirus," she says.

"So, I did an experiment today with my 30 five and six-year-olds in Year 1 and we cut our time of washing our hands in half.

"I get all 30 children to lineup at the sink.

"They wet their hands and pump and go straight to the back of the line rubbing their hands in.

"By the time they get to the front they've washed their hands for more than 20 seconds so they can rinse and dry them with a paper towel, therefore no more spreading of germs."

She says it takes "a lot less time" than it was doing and she hopes it will be useful to other teachers.

"I'm hoping this will help some other teachers with getting it done quicker and more effectively and obviously safer," she says. "So good luck to us teachers fighting the coronavirus."

Speaking to the Manchester Evening Post , Rachel, who teaches at Tower Hill Primary school in Farnborough, Hampshire, said she was "surprised" by just how popular her video has been.

"I never expected it to get so big," she said. "I shared it on a few teacher pages I’m a member of and it just took off.

"I did it because in our staff meeting we were discussing the guidelines shared by the government and how often we would need to wash the children’s hands and then I shared how we did it.

"The first time we did it – with the children singing happy birthday twice – it took us almost 20 minutes and doing that seven times a day we wouldn’t get any teaching done so then I thought about how to make it more efficient.

"With the curriculum, as teachers we need all the teaching time we can get," she added.

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World News

Singapore COVID-19 patients face jail if don't reveal travel history

Singapore threatens coronavirus patients with jail or a hefty fine of up to £5,500 if they lie to officials about exactly where they have been

  • Singapore is ‘working around the clock’ to trace potential coronavirus carriers 
  • More than 110 cases of the infection have already been diagnosed in Singapore
  • An infected Chinese couple were charged with lying to Singaporean authorities
  • If convicted, the pair face fines of up to £5,580/$7,250 and six months in prison
  • Do you have a coronavirus story? Email [email protected] 

Singapore is threatening coronavirus patients with jail or a fine of up to £5,500, if they don’t tell officials where they have been.

In a desperate attempt to contain a crisis, the Asian nation is ‘working around the clock’ to trace potential carriers of the killer infection.

More than 110 cases of the coronavirus have already been diagnosed in Singapore, which is home to 5.6million people and sits off the coast of Malaysia.  

An infected Chinese couple were last month charged with lying to health authorities in Singapore who were investigating whether they had passed the illness to others.

If the pair are convicted on March 20, they face fines of up to 10,000 Singaporean dollars (£5,580/$7,250) as well as six months in prison.


An infected Chinese couple last month were charged with lying to health authorities in Singapore who were investigating whether they had passed the illness to others. Hu Jun is pictured left and his wife Shi Sha is pictured right

Channel News Asia reports the husband, Hu Jun, from Wuhan, entered Singapore on January 22 and tested positive for COVID-19 on the last day of the month.

But the 38-year-old allegedly lied to authorities tasked with discovering where he had been between arriving in the country and falling ill.

His wife, Shi Sha, was charged with three counts of obstructing health officials and one count of failing to quarantine herself after her husband tested positive. 

The 36-year-old Chinese national, who lives in Singapore, was ordered to isolate at home on February 1 but allegedly chose to stay in a hotel, according to CNA. 

She also reportedly lied to health officials, with her charge sheet claiming that she did not reveal she took a taxi to the Singapore General Hospital.  

Despite the claims of lying, Singapore’s Ministry of Health was able to trace people the couple came into contact with through deeper investigations. 

A person wears a face mask as they walk along the Merlion park in Singapore today

Tourists wearing face masks take pictures at the Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore

Business Insider reports Singapore’s Ministry of Health employs 140 contact tracers, who work until 10pm every night to contain the outbreak.

Under the nation’s Infectious Diseases Act, all residents must comply with the work of health officials to contain potential outbreaks.

It means patients diagnosed with COVID-19, or other infectious diseases, will have in-depth interviews about their travel history to create an ‘activity map’.

According to one doctor in Singapore, the questions can include: ‘What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you meet?’

But Singaporean bosses can also tap into surveillance footage of patients to double-check details and fill in holes, according to Business Insider.

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital, told The World: ‘They make use of all resources, including the police.  

‘If you realize it, everywhere we go, we leave a digital signature, be it from the cash we draw, or the use of the ATM card or the credit card. 

‘It leaves digital signatures all around. Now with all this information, we actually try to track and find out where the person has gone.’ 

Public Health England contacts any people who have been within two metres of an infected patients for at least 15 minutes, as well as those who live in the same house. 

Authorities in Singapore also reveal the exact street where each case is diagnosed – unlike the UK, which has been accused of secrecy.  

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

More than 3,300 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and over 98,000 have been infected. Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths.

By February 25, around 80,000 people had been infected and some 2,700 had died. February 25 was the first day in the outbreak when fewer cases were diagnosed within China than in the rest of the world. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

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When is FA Cup quarter final draw? Start time, live stream, TV channel and ball numbers for TONIGHT’s draw – The Sun

FA CUP returns once again as 16 teams battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.

There are plenty of Premier League outfits still left in the competition, including Arsenal after their 2-0 win at Portsmouth on Monday night.

Yet, with a match at Wembley in the semi finals on offer, teams will be eager to see who they have to beat next.

When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw?

  • The FA Cup quarter-final draw will take place on Wednesday, March 4.
  • Mark Chapman will host the draw, with Martin Keown and Chris Waddle picking the names out.
  • It will be held after the FA Cup Last 16 clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City at Hillsborough.
  • The draw is expected to get underway at 9.50pm – but this is subject to any extra time and penalties in the game.

What TV channel is the FA Cup quarter-final draw on and can I live stream it for FREE?

The FA Cup quarter-final draw will be shown live on BBC One, following the Sheffield Wednesday vs Man City match.

This is a free-to-air channel , providing you have a valid TV license – which can be purchased for £154.50 a year.

Alternatively, you can live stream it on BBC iPlayer or via TV Player.

When will the ties be played?

The matches will take place on the weekend of Saturday, March 21.

Each victor will pocket £720,000 for winning in the quarter-finals.

Yet, these will not feature replays, with 30 minutes of extra-time and penalties deciding if level after 90 minutes.

What are the ball numbers?

Eight balls will go into the hat for the draw and the clubs for each are:

Sheffield Wednesday or Manchester City

2 Sheffield United

Chelsea

4 Newcastle United

Leicester City or Birmingham City

Derby County or Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur or Norwich City

8 Arsenal

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