Categories
Lifestyle

What's going on in our holiday hotspots AROUDN Europe?

As European resorts finally start to re-open… What’s going on in our holiday hotspots?

  • Many hotels have re-opened in Spain but their pools, gyms and spas are closed 
  • Italy’s coastline has been declared open with umbrellas set 1.5 metres apart 
  • The tourist season will begin in Greece on June 15, with hotels gradually opening 

Travel bubbles, sea bridges, quarantines — no wonder there’s a lot of confusion surrounding holidays as restrictions ease.

The UK’s blanket quarantine on all those coming into the country will be reviewed every three weeks, and could be lifted by early July. 

Countries across Europe are preparing to reopen, too. We look at what your chances are for a summer getaway…

SPAIN

Many hotels have reopened in Spain and beaches are expected to reopen on Monday. Pictured is Cala Gat beach in Majorca 

Many hotels have reopened, but their pools, gyms and spas are closed. Some restaurants and bars can serve customers in outside spaces, although most will not be fully operational until June. Beaches are expected to reopen on Monday. 

Tourists may be restricted to four-hour stays at popular ones, including those in the Costa del Sol.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: The 14-day quarantine for international arrivals is likely to last only until June 29, when Spain plans to reopen its borders fully. 3.5/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ half board with flights at Hotel Rocamarina in Majorca from £452 pp (was £616 pp, tui.co.uk).

PORTUGAL

In Portugal, beaches will be open from June 6, but sunbathers need to keep 1.5 metres apart 

Restaurants, cafes, museums and many shops reopened on Monday. Beaches will be open from June 6, but sunbathers will need to keep 1.5 metres apart. They can use an app to see which beaches are full.

Hotels hope to resume business as early as June 1. They can display ‘Clean & Safe’ stamps awarded by tourism officials to prove they have introduced the recommended hygiene and safety procedures.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Portugal is not imposing a quarantine rule, and its 1,277 Covid-19 deaths compares favourably with neighbouring Spain’s 28,000, so it’s a prime contender. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ half board with flights at Hotel Falesia in Acoteias from £572 pp (was £705 pp, firstchoice.co.uk).

ITALY

Italian idyll: Limone on Lake Garda. Bars, restaurants, shops and churches reopened  in Italy this week

Bars, restaurants, shops and churches reopened this week, and the coastline was declared open. Umbrellas are being set 1.5 metres apart on some beaches. Hotels are likely to reopen in early June.

Sicily will subsidise travel for tourists via a £67 million fund.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: EU tourists can visit from June 3 without self-isolating. Britons can, too, if the UK drops quarantine plans for arrivals from Italy. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights all-inclusive with flights at the Leonardo Da Vinci Hotel in Limone on Lake Garda from £511 pp (was £722 pp, loveholidays.com).

GREECE

Kalamitsii beach in Halkidiki, Greece. The tourist season will begin in Greece on June 15 

The tourist season will begin here on June 15, with hotels gradually opening. International flights will resume two weeks later.

There is a limit of 40 people per 1,000 square metres on beaches. Umbrellas are spaced four metres apart, and some are screened off.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: It proposed an ‘air bridge’ to let Britons visit without quarantining, but its tourism minister said the UK was unlikely to be one of the first countries allowed to enter. 3/5

…And here’s a deal: Five nights’ half-board with flights at Eagles Palace in Halkidiki from £399 pp (was £686 pp, travelzoo.co.uk).

FRANCE

The government in France has indicated foreigners will not be able to holiday there until July 24

Restaurants and bars will open from June 2. Visitors must present a certificate stating they do not have Covid-19, or quarantine for 14 days. 

Three-hour slots must be booked on some beaches. Masks are mandatory on public transport, including the Eurostar.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Its Government indicated foreigners will not be able to holiday there until July 24 at the earliest. It will give an update on Monday. 3/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ room-only with flights at the Hotel Vacances Bleues Le Royal in Nice from £501 pp (was £738 pp, loveholidays.com).

TURKEY

Overseas travellers to Turkey must quarantine for 14 days at present. Pictured is the resort of Bodrum 

Hotels and restaurants can get a new safety certificate by doing twice-daily temperature checks on staff, for instance. 

They will open at the end of the month, along with beaches. Overseas travellers must quarantine for 14 days at present.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Its Government is aiming to welcome tourists by mid-June, and test visitors when they arrive. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ self-catering at Agar Apartments in Bodrum with flights from £240 pp (was £372 pp, jet2holidays.com).

USA

Britons are currently banned from entering the U.S from the UK at present, meaning no trips to Walt Disney World in Florida 

The U.S. has the highest number of recorded Covid-19 cases, at more than 1.6 million. Restrictions are handled by states. 

Some have plans to restart tourism on June 1, when their hotels and campsites will open at 50 per cent capacity. Britons are banned from entering the U.S from the UK at present.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Low. Autumn is a better bet. 1/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ room-only at Rosen Inn in Orlando, with flights, from £795 pp (was £1,052 pp, tui.co.uk).

…AND THE UK

Restrictions on travel to beaches and national parks were lifted in England this month. Pictured is the harbour at Port Isaac in Cornwall 

Campsites, holiday parks and self-catering properties are likely to reopen from July 4 at the earliest. Hotels and B&Bs may have to wait longer. 

Restrictions on travel to beaches and national parks were lifted in England this month, but Scotland and Wales have made more modest changes.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Certain, unless there’s a spike in cases or deaths. 5/5

…And here’s a deal: Pitches at Cornish Tipi Holidays near Port Isaac from £18 per night (cornishtipiholidays.co.uk).

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Categories
World News

US attorney going ‘full throttle’ with review of Russia probe’s origins

A US attorney’s review into the origins of the Russia investigation is going “full throttle” and adding top prosecutors who are breaking down individual aspects of the case, including the prosecution of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a report on Monday.

Jeff Jensen, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, who reviewed the Flynn case for the Justice Department, and interim US Attorney for the District of Columbia Timothy Shea are assisting the probe being headed up by US Attorney for Connecticut John Durham.

“They farmed the investigation out because it is too much for Durham and he didn’t want to be distracted,” Fox News reported, citing a source. “He’s going full throttle, and they’re looking at everything.”

Barr was asked last week whether he thought the FBI under then-Director James Comey conspired against Flynn.

“I think, you know, that’s a question that really has to wait [for] an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump’s administration,” Barr told CBS News.

Barr also said Durham was looking at events before and after Trump’s election.

The Fox News report said Durham is looking into whether the FBI misrepresented its FISA application to obtain warrants to monitor former Trump campaign associated Carter Page.

“Barr talks to Durham every day,” a source told Fox News. “The president has been briefed that the case is being pursued, and it’s serious.”

Transcripts of interviews from the House Intelligence Committee’s Russian investigation revealed that top officials in the Obama administration acknowledged they knew of no “empirical evidence” of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified in 2017. “That’s not to say that there weren’t concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence. … But I do not recall any instance where I had direct evidence.”

Former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of criminal coordination between Trump and the Russians during the 2016 election.


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Categories
Celebrities

NikkieTutorials Says Going on 'Ellen' Was Like "Teletubbies After Dark"

Nikkie de Jager of NikkieTutorials recently went on The Ellen Show, and apparently the experience was…not great! In a recent interview, the YouTuber said she was super pumped to do the show but her experience didn’t exactly live up to expectations.

“Call me naive, but I kind of expected to be welcomed with confetti cannons: ‘Welcome to The Ellen DeGeneres Show!’ she told Dutch publication &C in a translated interview. “But instead I was greeted by an angry intern who was a bit overworked. I was expecting a Disney show, but got Teletubbies after dark.”

Nikkie elaborated with “Every guest at Ellen’s had a private toilet, but I didn’t. I was not allowed to use the nearest toilet, because it was reserved for the Jonas Brothers. Why do they get a private toilet, I thought. But in the end my item had eight million views afterwards and theirs two million, ha!”

At the end of the day, Nikkie says she was “happy with the experience.” Buuuut as E! notes, she previously went on the Dutch show De Wereld Draait Door and said Ellen “wasn’t as nice” as expected, saying, “It’s nice that you say ‘hi’ before the show… she didn’t. Ellen is just such a different world.”

Yikes.


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Categories
Beauty and Fashion

Kylie Jenner Is Going Au Naturel While in Quarantine

Kylie Jenner is using her time in self-quarantine to reset her beauty routine and let her hair recoup from all the wigs and extensions she wears in her usual life.

On Friday, April 3, the Lip Kit creator posted a video to her Instagram Stories showcasing her natural bob haircut. Overtop the snap, she wrote, “Hair health journey rn.”

The Best Celebrity Hair Transformations of 2020: Miley Cyrus, Barbie Ferreira, Jada Pinkett Smith and More!

Later that day, when appearing on an Instagram Live session with her BFF Stassie Karanikolaou, she further explained her current au naturel process. “This is actually the first time I’ve worn my natural hair,” she said during the chat, revealing that she still “used her little Dyson thing,” possibly referring to the new Corrale straightener. She explained that she’s also been using hair masks and argan oil on her dirty blonde strands, to give it a bit of a boost.

But it’s not just her hair she’s letting recover. The Kylie Cosmetics founder is also letting her natural nails breathe, going acrylic-free for what feels like the first time in forever.

See All the Celebrities Who Have Done Their Own At-Home Haircuts Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

“I feel so uncomfortable [about my natural nails] I don’t know how to type on my phone anymore because I usually type with the flats,” she told her friend during Friday’s session. “My nails didn’t even need to be taken off, this is just such a good time to take your hair out, nails out, go no lashes.” Then she joked, “We’re so natural, Stass.”

Her older sister Kim Kardashian is indulging in a similar beauty detox at the moment. However, she has big plans for when it’s over.  The Skims founder posted a throwback image of herself sporting bleach blonde locks on Sunday, March 29. “My hair is gonna be so healthy after this quarantined time,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “Contemplating dying it blonde when we can have human interaction again.”

Listen on Spotify to Get Tressed With Us to get the details of every hair love affair in Hollywood, from the hits and misses on the red carpet to your favorite celebrities’ street style ‘dos (and don’ts!)

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Categories
Celebrities

What’s really going on with Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan

If you can’t keep up with Peter Weber’s love life, we completely understand. From falling for Bachelorette Hannah Brown to proposing to Hannah Ann Sluss only to break up with her to pursue his feelings for Madison Prewett in a relationship that only lasted a couple of days, the past few months have been quite the roller coaster for the reality star.

The rumor mill has linked Peter to yet another Bachelor contestant, Kelley, who was eliminated on the show and didn’t even make it into Peter’s final four. The rumors started shortly after the finale. Kelley revealed that Peter’s mom, Barb, came up to her at The Bachelor finale on March 10, telling ET, “She would not leave the finale until she met me,” adding that Barb told her, “You’re beautiful, I love you. I was your fan since day one.”

This, combined with the fact that Peter was seen on March 25 with Kelley in Chicago (per People), is making people wonder if the couple is back together.

Are Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan dating?

Kelley previously sparked romance rumors with fellow Bachelor Nation star Nick Viall, who posted a picture on Instagram of himself standing next to Kelley with the caption “She’s not with Peter” on March 12. After the news of Peter getting cozy with Kelley broke, though, Nick again took to Instagram, this time posting a screenshot of the picture of him and Kelley next to a TMZ headline that announced she was seen with Peter. He wrote, “I stand corrected.”

Does Nick know something we don’t, or is he just as clueless as the rest of us?

While sparks definitely flew between Peter and Kelly on The Bachelor, the couple has not said whether there’s any truth to the dating rumors. After the show’s finale, Kelley told E! News “I promise I’m not dating Peter,” but that was weeks ago. Is it possible things have changed since then? What’s really going on is anyone’s guess, at least for now.

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Categories
World News

Young people, stop going to pubs, UK's chief scientific adviser warns

Young people, stop going to pubs! Britain’s chief scientific adviser warns ‘mixing’ at bars and restaurants ‘needs to stop’ because it is allowing coronavirus to spread rapidly

  • Sir Patrick Vallance criticised young people’s complacency about coronavirus
  • Said mixing in bars and restaurants had to stop as it was helping the virus spread
  • His plea came after Britons partied into early hours in packed venues this week
  • So far coronavirus has killed  at least 137 people in the UK and infected 2,695
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Britain’s chief scientific adviser has begged young people to stop going to the pub and claims the UK won’t beat coronavirus if they keep flouting home confinement rules.  

Sir Patrick Vallance slammed young people’s complacency about the virus and said ‘mixing’ in bars and restaurants ‘needs to stop’ because it is allowing the disease run rampant.

He warned a coronavirus vaccine was still at least six months away and said the only way the outbreak could be delayed until then was if everyone stuck to the Government’s tough new social restrictions.

His plea came after Britons were filmed partying into the early hours in packed pubs and nightclubs around the country this week, defying ministers.

On Monday, Boris Johnson ordered the country to avoid socialising, going to work or using public transport indefinitely in a desperate bid to contain the escalating crisis.

So far the highly contagious coronavirus has officially killed at least 137 people in the UK and infected 2,695. Experts estimate the true number of infections to be over 80,000. 

Sir Patrick Vallance slammed young people’s complacency about the virus and said ‘mixing’ in bars and restaurants ‘needs to stop’ because it is allowing the disease run rampant


People were not worried about coronavirus at Cirque Le Soir in Soho on Monday night

Speaking at a press conference in London today, Sir Patrick and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned: 

  • A vaccine is unlikely to ‘come to the rescue’ in six months and the coronavirus is now ‘here to stay’
  • It will be weeks, if not months, until the NHS switches to new speedier testing kits. It currently takes 24 to 28 hours to find out if a person has the virus 
  • The Government is looking at ‘easy to use’ home testing kits so people can send swabs to labs while quarantining at home 
  • Normal public health responses to a disease, like those used to isolate ebola in West Africa, were no longer effective in the UK because of the scale of the crisis
  • Contact tracing is becoming ineffective because the rate of infection is soaring exponentially  

Sir Patrick told the briefing organised by the respected Science Media Centre: ‘It’s really important… unless everybody looks at the measures that have been introduced by the Government on trying to encourage social distancing, unless everybody does that, it doesn’t have the effect. 

‘What we absolutely shouldn’t encourage is the idea that young people can somehow ignore it [social distancing] because they’re going to be fine [if they catch it]. 

‘The mixing in pubs and restaurants is really part of allowing the disease to spread. It needs to stop among young people – as well as older people.’ 

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty admitted today a vaccine would not ‘come to the rescue’ in six months as he admitted the coronavirus was now here to stay.

 He told the SMC briefing in London: ‘However much we would like there to be a vaccine riding to the rescue in six months time. 

‘Currently, we think that’s improbable. So now we’ve got to work on a different theoretical framework for actually managing this epidemic.’

Professor Whitty added that eradicating the disease in a matter of months war near-impossible.

He said: ‘It is our judgement, and it is my judgement certainly, if you look around the world, the idea that we’re going to put this virus back to going away and completely whilst not theoretically impossible, seems so improbable that based on scientific theory that is something we are trying to do. Seems to me a mistake.’

Professor Whitty said normal public health responses to a disease, like those used to isolate ebola in West Africa were no longer likely to be effective against what was now a global pandemic virus.

He said those tools such as containing and isolating infected people might work for some countries but the stage of the epidemic in the UK had gone beyond that position.  

At the same press briefing, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, also urged young people not to get complacent about catching the virus.

He admitted it was mostly older people and those with chronic conditions, but pointed to a small number of young people who’ve ended up in intensive care.

Professor Whitty said: ‘It is clear that children get this disease much less strongly than adults, I think the data on that is pretty strong now, and it certainly is the case that the majority of those that end up dying sadly are people who tend to be either in the later part of their lives, usually quite elderly, or those with pre-existing health conditions.

‘But there are also some young people who have ended up in intensive care or who have ended up with severe disease around the world. 

‘I think it’s important that we don’t give the impression that every single person who is young and healthy is just going to breeze through this.’

He added the ‘great majority’ of people will suffer no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms, but a very small proportion of young people ‘will have severe disease even though they are young and healthy’.

Professor Whitty continued: ‘It’s important we’re clear in not trying to say ‘really, really worry’, but we also need to be clear in saying this is not a trivial infection for everybody, even if they are a young adult.’

The CMO admitted there were ‘significant health and social downsides’ to strict social distancing measures, which discouraged the Government from implementing them sooner. 

Ministers’ original ‘contain and delay’ strategy was given the green light because the downsides of social restrictions did not outweigh the upsides, he added.

But Professor Whitty said that the crisis had now escalated so much that the consensus had changed. 

When asked about long-term strategy he added: ‘Clearly a vaccine is one way out of this but we don’t expect that to happen quickly. Globally… science will help us over time.’  

The statue of former British PM Winston Churchill was spotted wearing a face mask in his old constituency of Woodford Green in London on Wednesday morning

In the centre of the capital streets are largely empty as people stay away amid the spread of coronavirus. Pictured is Parliament Square

Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick agreed that a vaccine would not ‘come to the rescue’ in six months, and it was likely to take far longer.  

Professor Whitty said: ‘However much we would like there to be a vaccine riding to the rescue in six months time. 

‘Currently, we think that’s improbable. So now we’ve got to work on a different theoretical framework for actually managing this epidemic.’ 

In a bid to delay the peak until then, ministers are mulling a decision to put London into total lockdown within days. 

Some 20,000 troops were put on standby overnight and the Prime Minister refused to rule out the possibility of ‘further and faster measures’ to control the spread of the virus on the busy streets of the capital, where the epidemic is running ahead of the rest of the country. 

Mr Johnson said ‘ruthless’ enforcement of so-called social distancing measures – such as working from home and avoiding social gatherings in pubs, cinemas and restaurants – was needed. 

Professor Whitty added that eradicating the disease in a matter of months war near-impossible.

He said: ‘It is our judgement, and it is my judgement certainly, if you look around the world, the idea that we’re going to put this virus back to going away and completely whilst not theoretically impossible, seems so improbable that based on scientific theory that is something we are trying to do. Seems to me a mistake.’

Professor Whitty said normal public health responses to a disease, like those used to isolate ebola in West Africa were no longer likely to be effective against what was now a global pandemic virus.

He said those tools such as containing and isolating infected people might work for some countries but the stage of the epidemic in the UK had gone beyond that position.   

The normally bustling Circle Line on the London Underground was deserted this morning after people were warned to avoid public transport at all costs

A commuter wears a protective face mask at London Bridge Underground Station this morning

When asked about different strains of the virus, Professor Whitty said ‘with a strong caveat of scientific speculation’ that it was expected to mutate.

He said there was a chance that the virus could mutate ‘around the vaccine’, but that some mutations could be ‘actually useful’.

‘Smaller mutations… help to track family trees of the virus,’ said Prof Whitty, adding that this would help scientists to understand and tackle the disease.

Sir Patrick added that the UK was ‘absolutely world-class’ in addressing viral mutations.

Professor Whitty also warned that Britons will die both directly and indirectly during the epidemic.

He said: ‘People die in these epidemics… for two reasons. They die directly of the infection, unavoidably, best medical care, sadly this is still going to happen for some people.

‘But also they can die because the health service they are in is overwhelmed and therefore there’s an indirect death because there’s a difference between what could happen with health and what we were able to provide in this situation.’

On reducing the peak of the infection, he added: ‘It has an additional advantage, if you let an epidemic run its full course you get what’s called overshoot where more people get infected than you would need if it were to run at a lower peak.

‘Actually by lowering the peak you reduce the overall number of people who will get the infection.’

Brits hit the pubs and clubs as they defy Boris Johnson’s ‘social distancing’ warnings to party through the night despite coronavirus fears

By Amie Gordon for MailOnline

Brits defied the government’s warnings as they hit pubs and nightclubs this week amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Revellers hit nightclubs across London, Newcastle and Manchester on Monday night, despite scientists warning that ‘social distancing’ was necessary in a bid to quell the number of Covid-19 fatalities. 

Popworld in Essex told customers it would remain open on Fridays and Saturdays as normal, while Walkabout in Chelmsford assured part goers it would be business as usual, albeit with different opening hours. 

Drinkers were also seen in full swing at Cirque Le Soir in Soho, London and Walkabout Chelmsford, Essex. 


People enjoying an evening at a JD Wetherspoon in The Mile Castle, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

American actor William Shatner also held an audience with fans at the Hammersmith Apollo yesterday evening, after Boris Johnson addressed the nation. 

Hours earlier, the government issued a stark warning to Britons, urging them to avoid social situations unless absolutely necessary.   

In a report, scientists warned that around 250,000 people would die in Britain as a result of the coronavirus outbreak unless more draconian measures are adopted to protect the population.

The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which has been advising ministers – said that even with the ‘social distancing’ plans set out by the Government, the health system will be ‘overwhelmed many times over’.

In its latest report, it said the only ‘viable strategy’ was a Chinese-style policy of ‘suppression’ involving the social distancing of the entire population. 

In response, some of the Capital’s top clubs told customers they would close temporarily to protect public health. 

Ministry of Sound nightclub in the Capital last night announced it would temporarily close, as did Egg London and Fabric London.    

 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

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. 

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. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.

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. 

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 was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’. 

Previously, the UN agency said 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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Is Wimbledon going to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak? – The Sun

WIMBLEDON is a British institution and one of summer's big sporting highlights.

The world's best tennis stars head to SW19 for two weeks of intense competition – but this year's tournament is under threat from the global coronavirus pandemic.

One of the big four Slams of the year, Wimbledon follows the French Open in the calendar with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep out to defend their singles title's.

When is Wimbledon 2020?

A HIGHLIGHT of the sporting summer, Wimbledon is traditionally the third Grand Slam of each year.

This year's tournament is due to get underway on Monday, June 29.

It will run for two weeks, ending on Sunday, July 12 with the men's singles final.

You will be able to watch every serve, volley and forehand live on free-to-air TV, with the BBC retaining the rights to broadcast from the All England Club.

Is it going to be cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak?

THE policy of major sporting events taking place behind closed-doors is set to be implemented across the UK.

Should there be a crackdown on mass gatherings during the pandemic, it is likely that this year's tournament would be postponed and played at a later date.

The last time Wimbledon was cancelled was during the Second World War.

If the worst case scenario happens, SunSport understands their insurance policies mean they can offer refunds to ticket holders and debenture holders.

It is also understood the All-England Club would be reluctant to play the iconic Grand Slam without fans.

Currently though, the competition official remains ON, unless chiefs receive government advice that they should postpone the Championships.

A spokesperson for the AEC told ubitennis: "The AELTC is continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation, working closely with the government and the relevant health authorities, and we are following their advice regarding promoting good hygiene practices across our Estate.

"While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time, we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society.

"In the event that the government required us to cancel, our insurance policies would enable us to offer refunds to ticket holders and debenture holders."

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