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Lifestyle

Kate Middleton Is Not Known as the Duchess of Cambridge in Certain Parts of the UK

When it comes to Kate Middleton’s titles, royal watchers know her best as the Duchess of Cambridge, a title she received after tying the knot with Prince William in 2011. Although most fans recognize her as Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, she actually goes by a different name in certain parts of the United Kingdom. Here’s a look at all of Kate’s titles and why they change depending on the location.

Is Kate Middleton a princess?

Members of the royal family often get a slew of titles over time, some of which mark important milestones. For example, Queen Elizabeth usually grants new titles following weddings. In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they got hitched, and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were named the Duke and Duchess of York following their wedding in 1986.

The rules are different, however, in regard to who is called aprince or princess. Only individuals who are born into the royal family carrythose styles. This means that Kate will never be known as a princess,regardless of the fact that William will be the King someday.

RELATED: Kate Middleton’s New ‘Down-to-Earth’ Approach Confirmed By Body Language Expert as She Continues to Step Up Her Royal Duties

That said, when William takes the crown, there is a good chance that Kate will receive the title of Queen Consort, something Camilla Parker Bowles will likely never get. When she exchanged vows with Prince Charles in 2005, Clarence House revealed that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be called Princess Consort when Charles is on the throne.

As a side note, Princess Diana was not actually a princess. Her full title was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. The only reason she was known as Princess Diana was that the media referred to her as a princess and it stuck.

The Duchess of Cambridge has different titles depending on whereshe is in the world

Kate is best known as the Duchess of Cambridge, but she goes by adifferent title depending on where she is staying. According to Express,Kate’s title in Northern Ireland is Lady Carrickfergus while she goes by the Countessof Strathearn in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth bestowed these titles on Kate upon her marriageto William in 2011. William holds the same titles as Kate, though he also hasthe style of a prince since he was born into the royal family.

RELATED: Prince William and Kate Middleton Become the Face of the Royal Family Amid News Harry and Meghan Are Never Coming Back

Kate’s three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — also have HRH titles. But not all who are born into the royal family received HRH styles.

Princess Anne’s children — Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips — did not receive the titles of prince or princess when they were born, and neither did Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Harry’s son, Archie Harrison.

The reason they did not get these titles is that they are not grandchildren of the sovereign’s sons. Harry and Meghan also decided against giving Archie a royal title as they wanted him to have a more normal upbringing.

This will be Kate Middleton’s title when Prince William is king

Camilla’s complicated history with Charles is why she will probably not get the title of Queen Consort once he is on the throne. When he was still married to Diana, Charles and Camilla had an ongoing affair that destroyed his marriage and damaged their public image.

Although they have worked hard to rebuild their public image,naming Camilla Queen Consort remains a touchy subject in the UK. This is onereason why Clarence House has already issued a statement regarding Camilla’sfuture title.

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Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. • The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus. • But it’s at times like this when we realise just how much the NHS represents the very best of our country and society – people from all backgrounds and walks of life with different experiences and skills, pulling together for the common good. • Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. • They need our support as much as we need theirs. • All of us have a part to play if we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. • That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. • — The Duke of Cambridge

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RELATED: Will Kate Middleton Have to Curtsy to Prince William When He Becomes King?

Kate, on the other hand, does not have to worry about facing that sort of backlash. In an interview with Express, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams explained why he believes Kate will be the next Queen Consort, not Camilla.

“Camilla’s become popular in the country because they realize that she does a good job,” he shared, adding that her future title is “an issue which is hypersensitive and remains a problem. Kate will be Queen Consort without any question.”

Kate Middleton has not commented on the reports surrounding hertitles. William is currently second in line to the throne following Charles.

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TV and Movies

Ariana Grande Did Not Approve One 'Tiger King' Couple For the 'Stuck With U' Music Video

Being stuck at home isn’t always bad. Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber make that pretty clear with their newest music video and single. One popular couple from Netflix’s Tiger King, however, didn’t make the cut. Here’s why Ariana Grande decided not to include Carole and Harold Baskin in her music video for “Stuck With U.”

Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber debuted their song and music video for ‘Stuck With U’

As a fundraiser for the First Responders Children’s Foundation, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber released a duet together, titled “Stuck With U.” The music video for this song included Justin and Hailey Bieber taking a walk together and the introduction of Ariana Grande’s new boyfriend, Dalton Gomez.

Other celebrity couples made an appearance in the music video, dancing in their homes together. One couple who did not make an appearance was Carole Baskin and her current husband, Harold. According to Ariana Grande’s Twitter account, the Tiger King duo didn’t make the cut.

Justin Bieber tweeted a video of Carole Baskin and her husband

Seven hours prior to the premiere of “Stuck With U,” some fans of both musicians took to Twitter to share their excitement. To promote their new song, Justin Bieber sent out a tweet of the song playing the background of one couple. The couple in question was very familiar to all the cool cats and kittens out there. 

It was Carole Baskin and Howard Baskin of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King, smiling and dressed in their best cat print. The tweet earned a number of likes from fans. However, Ariana Grande wasn’t exactly happy with this clip. She responded to the social media post, sharing that she barred this clip from appearing in the official music video for “Stuck With U.” 

“For the record, I did not allow or approve this clip to be in the actual video. But. Nonetheless. It exists and that’s…. unique. Anyway, 7.5 hours,” Ariana Grande replied. 

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💧🤍 🌫 two

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Turns out, Ariana Grande isn’t a fan of Carole Baskin

“Stuck With You” takes on a new meaning with these two. As one of the main characters from Netflix’s documentary series, viewers had some mixed opinions regarding this “character.” There’s some speculation regarding Carole Baskin and her relationship with her late husband, although the big cat enthusiast has since denied these allegations.

Ariana Grande may not exactly be a “big cat” person, but she does have a few dogs and even a pet pig, named Piggy Smallz. She’s often talking about her dog, Toulouse, who made the cover of Vogue Magazine and appeared in several of Grande’s music videos, including “7 Rings.”

Ariana Grande has always been a huge fan of animals, though. In 2013, she shared that she’s 100% vegan. Earlier during the democratic primary, the artist shared her support for longtime climate change activist, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. 

Music by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, including their recently released single “Stuck With U,” is available on most major streaming platforms. 

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World News

Rand Paul says he’s not wearing a mask in Senate because he already got coronavirus

As senators returned this week to Capitol Hill for the first time since mid-March, many were spotted entering their chambers wearing the now-ubiquitous face masks meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

One notable exception: Sen. Rand Paul.

The Kentucky Republican, who is the only senator to have so far tested positive for COVID-19, explained Tuesday that he doesn’t need a mask because he’s already had the virus.

“I’ve already had the virus. So I can’t get it again, and I can’t give it to anybody,” Paul told reporters at the Capitol.

While it is unclear if people who have been infected with the coronavirus develop a full immunity to the disease, most scientists agree that the coronavirus should act like others and people will develop antibodies to it once they have recovered from an infection.

“There is always some immunity when you get a virus — but the question is, how long does it last? Right now, we are learning the answers to that question,” former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Amler told Fox News.

There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses that account for about 10 to 30 percent of common colds. Most people have been exposed to these coronaviruses before and may have developed some immunity against one or more following infection, but immunity doesn’t appear to be lifelong.

What’s more, the virus could mutate — a recent study conducted by Chinese scientists suggests that it has once already — meaning the same people infected once before could be infected again with a new strain, ultimately causing a second wave of illness.

When questioned about the possibility that he could become infected by another, mutated strain of the virus, Paul brushed off any concerns.

“I can’t get it again nor can I transmit it,” Paul said. “So of all the people you’ll meet here, I’m about the only safe person in Washington you’ll meet.”

There is a sharp, partisan divide over whether or not it is safe for senators to return to work on Capitol Hill amid the ongoing public health crisis.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., lashed out at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday for calling the upper chamber of Congress back into session despite warnings against doing so by the Capitol physician and worries that the virus could worsen in the Washington, D.C., area.

“The Republican leader has called the Senate back into session despite the District of Columbia appearing to be reaching a peak phase,” of the virus, Schumer said. “If we are going to make these fine people come into work in these conditions, the Senate should focus like a laser on COVID-19 … but the majority leader has scheduled no hearings on COVID-19.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., earlier defended his decision to return to the Senate amid the outbreak, calling his fellow lawmakers “essential workers” and roundly criticizing Democrats for obstructing the confirmation of judges and key government posts for months and forcing the Senate to hold roll calls and floor votes during the public health crisis.

“The deadly coronavirus does not take time off, so neither does the U.S. Senate,” McConnell said. “Qualified nominees who have been held up for too long are already more essential at this time.”

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Lifestyle

The coronavirus is not transmitted sexually, study finds

During the coronavirus lockdown, sex is safe.

The coronavirus can be transmitted from a simple cough — but it does not appear to transmit through semen, according to new research.

An international group of scientists in the US and China found no evidence of COVID-19 in the semen of 34 adult Chinese men who had, on average, tested positive for the deadly virus a month prior, according to the findings published Friday in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The authors note that their findings were admittedly based on a small sample size, but were still significant because they showed the virus might not show up in testes.

“If a disease like COVID-19 were sexually transmittable that would have major implications for disease prevention and could have serious consequences for a man’s long-term reproductive health,” study co-author Dr. James M. Hotaling says in a press release.

The new findings also set COVID-19 apart from diseases including Ebola and Zika, which can be sexually transmitted.

Participants in the current research, however, only had mild to moderate cases of the novel coronavirus — it’s possible (but yet to be confirmed) that men who contract the disease more intensely can transmit it through sex, the researchers say.

“It could be that a man who is critically ill with COVID-19 might have a higher viral load, which could lead to a greater likelihood of infecting the semen. We just don’t have the answer to that right now,” says Hotaling. “But knowing that we didn’t find that kind of activity among the patients in this study who were recovering from mild to moderate forms of the disease is reassuring.”

While sex as an isolated action likely can’t pass along the virus, other intimate acts including kissing certainly can. But all’s fair in love and the coronavirus, says government expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who recently gave heartsick isolationists the green light to hook up with asymptomatic Tinder matches in real life — as long as they’re willing to take on some risk.

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TV and Movies

Tiger King Is Not Netflix's Most-Watched Original In 2020 So Far, Here's What Is

As part of Netflix’s new earnings report, the company provided numbers regarding its most popular shows and movies so far in 2020. While the true crime series Tiger King has made headlines and generated a lot of buzz, it was not the platform’s most popular original project so far this year by a wide margin.

The Netflix original movie Spenser Confidential, which stars Mark Wahlberg, was seen by 85 million households in its first month, according to Netflix. This compares to 64 million for Tiger King. Netflix’s unscripted dating show Love is Blind was seen by 30 million households, while the Spanish language drama Casa de Papel (Money Heist) was seen by 65 million homes. Another Netflix original show, Season 3 of Ozark, is projected to reach 29 million households over its first four weeks.

These numbers come from Netflix, and they are based on unique reporting principles. If a user watches at least two minutes of a movie, TV show, or original series, it counts as a view.

“Our Q1 slate highlighted the variety of content that people enjoy en masse all over the world on Netflix,” Netflix said in its earnings report.

Netflix also announced that it added a whopping 15.7 million new paid subscribers during the quarter, which is well ahead of expectations. The surge in growth is due to more and more people staying home amid global COVID-19 lockdowns. The uptick in subscriber growth has helped Netflix’s stock price reach new heights.

Most Popular Netflix Content Released In Q1

  1. Spenser Confidential — 85 million
  2. Casa de Papel — 65 million
  3. Tiger King — 64 million
  4. Love Is Blind — 30 million
  5. Ozark Season 3 — 29 million

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World News

Anti-malaria drug does NOT speed up COVID-19 recovery, study finds

Anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does NOT speed up coronavirus recovery, Chinese study finds in another blow for drug hopeful after Brazilian trial was called off because of heart problems

  • Hydroxychloroquine is being trialled in hospitals all over the world
  • It is one of the biggest hopes for a treatment for COVID-19 but having a bad week
  • In Brazil a quarter of patients on high doses develop abnormal heart rhythms
  • Chinese doctors found no difference in recovery rates with the medicine 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine did not speed up coronavirus patients’ recovery in a trial in China, scientists have revealed. 

In a disappointing blow for the promising drug, which is being trialled against COVID-19 in the UK and around the world, doctors said it did not work as a cure.

Patients who were taking it suffered fewer symptoms than others who were treated alongside them without the medication but their recovery time was the same.

It is the second setback in a week for the medication, after a clinical trial in Brazil had to be stopped because patients developed heart problems.

Hydroxychloroquine, marketed as plaquenil, was touted as a wonder treatment by President Donald Trump and is already being used in hospitals around the world and in a trial co-ordinated by the World Health Organiation.

Scientists think it might work by controlling the immune system to prevent COVID-19 infection getting too severe.

Hydroxychloroquine, also known as Plaquenil, is one of the most promising drugs emerging as a potential treatment for COVID-19. It is being trialled worldwide

In a scientific paper published online, doctors from across China, including in Wuhan and Hubei, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, revealed their study’s disappointing results.

They had tested hydroxychloroquine on 75 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and compared their illnesses to 75 patients who didn’t receive the drug.

Patients received the medication for two or three weeks depending on the severity of their illness and all were tested 28 days after being diagnosed. 

The doctors, led by Wei Tang from Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai, wanted to compare ‘negative conversion rates’ – the number of people who healed completely and tested negative for the virus after a month.

An eccentric French doctor has become a YouTube sensation and been approached by the French president for advice after he claims he has gotten astonishing results using Donald Trump’s favorite coronavirus treatment on sick patients. 

Didier Raoult, a 68-year-old French infectious-disease specialist, has been using controversial antimalarial drug hydroxycholoroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. 

The doctor has a history of defying conventional medicine practices and even denying climate change. But Raoult has now become an unlikely hero amid the pandemic after he said he has given the experimental drug to more than 2,400 patients, with highly positive results.  

Didier Raoult has been experimenting with  hydroxycholoroquine on his COVID-19 patients

The doctor has spoken out on Twitter and YouTube urging healthcare professionals and governments to not delay their use of hydroxychloroquine until after clinical trials.

Trials could take several months by which point thousands more lives could be lost to the killer virus.  

‘Some people have gone crazy with methodology,’ Raoult argues in a video posted this week. 

‘Our objective as doctors is to make people better.’ 

Emmanuel Macron met Raoult this week at his research institute in Marseille, where the doctor presented his research on coronavirus to the French President.  

French authorities have now permitted the drug to be used in ‘the most severe cases.’   

However, Raoult’s approach has come under fire from many in the medical world.

Several experts have argued that further clinical trials are needed to determine its effectiveness in treating coronavirus.

Concerns have also been raised that it can have fatal side effects, especially in people with pre-existing heart conditions. 

‘The overall 28-day negative conversion rate was not different between [standard care plus hydroxychloroquine] and [standard care] groups,’ they wrote.

They said that 85.4 per cent of people taking hydroxychloroquine tested negative after four weeks along with 81.3 per cent of those without the drug – a non-significant effect.

After careful analysis of the data from the study, the scientists did find that symptoms appeared to be milder in people being given the antimalarial medication, which is used in the UK to treat people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. 

And their white blood cell counts and C-reactive protein, which increases during a body’s fight against an infection, returned to normal faster than other patients’.

The researchers added hydroxychloroquine results in ‘more alleviation of clinical symptoms than [standard care] alone in patients hospitalized with COVID-19’. 

They said diarrhoea was the most common side effect and occurred in 10 per cent of the patients. 

The study has not been reviewed by other scientists or published in a journal but was published directly onto the website medRxiv by the doctors.

More in-depth, larger studies of hydroxychloroquine are being done around the world.

Notably, the World Health Organization is co-ordinating a trial named ‘Solidarity’ and hydroxychloroquine is one of four drugs on test.

When results from this are compiled they will provide a much larger, more accrurate set of data for doctors to judge whether the medication works.

Its prospects were dealt another big blow just days ago when a trial in Brazil had to be halted because a quarter of the patients developed abnormal heart rhythms.   

The Brazilian study, taking place in the Amazonian city of Manaus, had planned to enroll 440 severely ill COVID-19 patients to test two doses of chloroquine.

But researchers reported their results and called a halt to the experiment after only 81 people had received the high-dose treatment which gave them 1,200mg per day.

One in four of the patients had developed heart rhythm problems and early data suggested death rates were higher among those patients.

Results of trials of hydroxychloroquine have been mixed. The drug has already been widely deployed in countries like South Korea and China, but data on its safety and efficacy are still being collected in those countries as well as in the US. 

However, a recent worldwide survey found that hydroxychloroquine was not only the potential treatment used most often by doctors internationally, but the one they thought most likely to be effective.

Brazil’s trial failure came amid growing concerns that coronavirus itself may attack the heart.  

The first evidence that the virus may be dangerous to the heart came out of China, which, as the origin of coronavirus, has been the bellwether for the disease’s patterns. 

Nearly 20 percent of 416 hospitalized coronavirus patients in one study conducted there showed signs of heart damage. 

And more than half of the patients that had heart damage died while hospitalized for coronavirus. By comparison, just 4.5 percent of patients without heart damage died.  

So the combination of the impact of coronavirus itself on the heart combined with hydroxychloroquine’s potential to trigger heart arrhythmias could prove dangerous to patients. 

But it may be that at a lower dose – a trial by America’s National Institutes of Health is giving patients two 400mg doses of the drug on the first day of treatment, followed by 200mg twice daily for the following eight days – the drug poses a lesser cardiac risk.

ARE CHLOROQUINE AND HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE PROMISING DRUGS? 

Chloroquine – sold under the brand name Arlan – kills malaria parasites in the blood, stopping the tropical disease in its tracks.

But tests of the drug – which has been used for 70 years – on COVID-19 patients in China show it has potential in fighting the life-threatening virus.

Chinese officials claimed the drug ‘demonstrated efficacy and acceptable safety in treating COVID-19 associated pneumonia’.

South Korea and China both say the drug is an ‘effective’ antiviral treatment against the disease, according to a report by US virologists.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology – in the city where the crisis began – claimed the drug was ‘highly effective’ in petri dish tests.

Tests by those researchers, as well as others, showed it has the power to stop the virus replicating in cells, and taking hold in the body.

Twenty-three clinical trials on the drug are already underway on patients in China, and one is planned in the US and another in South Korea. 

Professor Robin May, an infectious disease specialist at Birmingham University, said the safety profile of the drug is ‘well-established’.

He added: ‘It is cheap and relatively easy to manufacture, so it would be fairly easy to accelerate into clinical trials and, if successful, eventually into treatment.’

Professor May suggested chloroquine may work by altering the acidity of the area of cells that it attacks, making it harder for the virus to replicate. 

Chinese scientists investigating hydroxychloroquine penned a letter to a prestigious journal saying the ‘less toxic’ derivative may also help’.

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Celebrities

Concerts May Not Return Until Fall 2021, a Health Expert Warns

Social distancing is one of the best measures to help fight the current coronavirus outbreak, and while (most) people have been complying with the call to stay home, many are still wondering when we’ll be able to return to some semblance of normalcy.

To answer those questions, The New York Times Magazine recently asked a panel of five experts about how and when the United States could ease the current social distancing and stay-at-home measures that have been put in place. There was a general consensus that the return to work and school could take place in the fall, but it would be gradual, and it would later be followed by slowly opening up other spaces like restaurants.

What remains unclear is what will happen when it comes to large-scale gatherings like conferences, sporting events, and graduations, but one leading expert believes that concerts and other gatherings shouldn’t be held until fall 2021. Zeke Emanuel is vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and he explained how the country could reopen:

While the news that you might not be able to attend your favorite artist’s concert for over a year is probably unsettling, there are still some measures that need to be taken (a national shelter-in-place policy, faster testing, and contact tracing) before we’ll be able to gather large numbers of people in one place.

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World News

Bronx Zoo says tiger did not get human coronavirus test

The coronavirus test administered to the Bronx Zoo tiger that tested positive for the illness is different from ones given to humans, according to the zoo’s chief veterinarian.

“The COVID-19 testing that was performed on our Malayan tiger Nadia was performed in a veterinary school laboratory and is not the same test as is used for people,” Dr. Paul Calle said in a statement tweeted Sunday night.

“You cannot send human samples to the veterinary laboratory, and you cannot send animal tests to the human laboratories, so there is no competition for testing between these very different situations.”

After the Wildlife Conservation Society revealed Nadia’s diagnosis on Sunday, many people on social media, including city politicians, expressed frustration that an animal had testing access while many humans haven’t been so fortunate.

“A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has more access to testing than the people of the South Bronx, where the risk of dying from COVID-19 is twice as high as the rest of the City,” City Councilman Ritchie Torres tweeted.

Nadia, and five other big cats that developed a dry cough, are expected to recover, the WCS said.

None of the other cats at the zoo, which includes leopards, cheetahs, and pumas, have shown symptoms, the society said.

Zoo officials said they hope Nadia’s diagnosis “will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”

The zoo has been closed since March 16 due to the spread of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals can become infected by the coronavirus, but scientists don’t believe they can spread the bug to humans.

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World News

Fury as UK is STILL not carrying out 10,000 coronavirus tests a day

Fury as UK is STILL not carrying out 10,000 coronavirus tests a day despite ministers claiming the level had been hit yesterday

  • Ministers claimed yesterday 10,000 coronavirus tests were being done per day
  • They admitted today that level had not been reached despite ‘capacity’ in place
  • Backlash has been growing about the slow pace towards mass testing in the UK  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Ministers are facing a furious backlash today after it emerged the UK is still not carrying out 10,000 tests a day – despite claims the level had been hit.

Michael Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock both hailed the target having been reached yesterday amid mounting criticism of the government response.

However, Public Health England has revealed that the latest daily number of tests of whether people were currently suffering from the disease was actually 9,114. 

And health minister Helen Whately conceded today that while the ‘capacity’ was now in place to carry out 10,000 checks a day, the actual figure was still below that. 

The confusion fuelled anger about delays in scaling up the testing regime, with questions over how Germany is managing to carry out more than 500,000 a week.

Routine testing is only just being offered to NHS staff, with 800 per day initially expected to get access to tests

Health minister Helen Whately conceded today that while the ‘capacity’ was now in place to carry out 10,000 checks a day, the actual figure was still below that

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the target having been reached yesterday amid mounting criticism of the government response

Ministers have agreed deals to buy 17.5million coronavirus testing kits for use by mid-April.

The checks can detect who has previously had the disease, rather than who is currently suffering. 

The government hopes to identify contagion hotspots as well as people who are immune and can potentially return to work.

The tests would help get NHS staff back to work with screening of frontline workers, such as teachers and police officers, to follow.

‘The top priority is randomised testing to establish how far the disease has spread,’ a Whitehall source said.

‘That is critical to understanding what we are dealing with and shaping our response.’

Officials have identified suppliers that can make the tests and have agreed ‘in principle’ to purchase 17.5million if they pass medical checks.

Britain is currently conducting only ‘antigen’ testing – a swab that requires laboratory analysis.

However the new ‘antibody’ fingerprick tests take 15 minutes to detect whether someone has had the virus.

Ex-health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that mass testing might be the only way to end the UK’s draconian lockdown restrictions.  

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised countries like South Korea have for their wide-scale testing regimes, which have helped limit cases.  

However, the UK shelved efforts to test everyone with symptoms on March 12, when the response moved into a ‘delay’ phase.

Instead people who thought they had the illness were urged to self-isolate unless their conditions became so severe they needed medical help. 

Amid criticism, Mr Johnson then declared just under a fortnight ago that there would be a big expansion of tests from under 5,000 a day to 25,000. 

Routine testing is only just being offered to NHS staff, with 800 per day expected to get access to tests. There are fears that many will have been put at risk, amid complaints that they do not even have enough personal protection kit.  

Ms Whately said the Government is ‘ramping up’ its capacity to test health and social care staff for the coronavirus.

She said it now had ‘achieved the capacity to have 10,000 people a day tested’ – although at the weekend around 7,000 a day were actually carried out.

‘Within the next three weeks we expect to get to 25,000 tests a day,’ she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

‘The really important thing about that – the effort to test NHS and social care staff – is that we can prioritise the testing to parts of the health and care system where we have particular staff shortages so that we can help by testing people so that we can identify if they are negative so they would no longer need to isolate and they can go back to work.

PHE tweeted that the latest figure for the daily number of Covid-19 tests conducted is 9,114. This was accurate as of 9am on Saturday, it said.

The ‘testing capacity for patient care’ was 10,949 a day, it added. 

A separate drive is under way for ‘antibody’ tests – which show if individuals have had coronavirus and developed immunity.  

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘Experts continue to call for the UK to significantly ramp up testing. 

‘When Germany is testing around 500,000 people a week, many are asking why we are still not even hitting the 10,000 a day promised on March 11th.

‘We called for enforced social distancing, but it is a blunt tool without a national strategy to test and contact trace. 

‘At today’s Downing Street Press Conference we call on ministers to outline why testing is still not being scaled up at sufficient levels and what bottlenecks domestically and globally are hindering this.’

 

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Lifestyle

Brits told not to use the microwave to conserve Wi-Fi

It’s slightly strange tech advice, but Brits are being told not to use the microwave at the same time as their Wi-Fi to improve connection speeds.

The message comes from media regulator Ofcom, which is issuing the advice to help Brits cope amid the coronavirus lockdown. At a time when our internet signal is the connection to the outside world, it’s crucial to keep it running as speedily as possible.

‘Did you know that microwave ovens can also reduce wi-fi signals?’ Ofcom writes.

‘So don’t use the microwave when you’re making video calls, watching HD videos or doing something important online.’

The warning comes as broadband providers like BT’s Openreach are reporting a 20% surge in usage as millions of people are now working and learning from home.

  • Position your internet router as far as possible from other devices that may interfere with the signal, such as on a table or shelf rather than the floor.
  • Keep your router switched on.
  • If you’re carrying out video calls or meetings, turning the video off and using audio will require much less of your internet connection.
  • Try starting those calls at less common times, rather than on the hour or half hour.
  • For the best broadband speeds, use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using Wi-Fi.
  • Where possible, try not to use a telephone extension lead, as these can cause interference which could lower your speed.

BT-owned Openreach – which maintains the telephone cables and cabinets across the country used by most broadband providers – said that, despite the jump, usage is still lower than the usual peaks it experiences in the evening.

‘We’re not seeing any significant issues across our broadband or phone network,’ an Openreach spokesman said. ‘We’ve seen a circa 20% increase in daytime usage over our fibre network, but that’s in line with what we expected and not as high as the usage levels we see during evening peak times.’

Meanwhile, Virgin Media has reported similar rise in demand, but said its network is ‘built to withstand this daily evening peak, and right now is comfortably accommodating this daytime increase’.

‘Despite increased data use on our network, we’re not at capacity and are continuing to provide our customers with the ultrafast and reliable services they expect,’ said Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s chief technology and information officer.

‘The coronavirus pandemic has still not pushed up demand to the levels seen during recent computer game releases or when multiple premier league games were streamed simultaneously.

‘While we don’t know exactly what lies ahead, it’s clear that our network is performing a more critical role and we’re committed to playing our part in keeping the country connected.’

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