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NYC hospital worker beats coronavirus — and returns to work

A respiratory therapist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center got infected with the coronavirus — but was able to fight it off and eagerly returned to the front line.

Raeburn Fairweather, 47, told The Post that his fever spiked to 104 degrees during a two-week ordeal of battling the deadly disease.

“The Tylenol would not bring it down. My body felt like it was falling apart,” he told a reporter granted access inside the hospital.

“Headaches were immense. They were making my eyeballs feel like they were on springs.”

Fairweather — who said the respiratory illness temporarily robbed him of his senses of smell and taste — also described coughing up “thick, white mucus during Day Three — and that carried on until Thursday of last week.”

“If your body cannot fight, you will not make it,” he warned.

“It wears your body down.”

While Fairweather was beating the virus, the married father of five — four of whom are adults — quarantined himself in an extra room in his family’s Canarsie rowhouse, and used a bathroom that his wife and 11-year-old son avoided, he said.

Neither of them has shown any symptoms, he said.

The native of Jamaica said that in addition to Tylenol, he treated himself with traditional Caribbean home remedies made with turmeric, garlic and ginger.

Fairweather — whose job includes the hazardous task of inserting and removing ventilator tubes from the tracheas of coronavirus patients — said Wednesday that his symptoms appeared shortly after a grueling, triple shift at Maimonides on March 17.

He also admitted that while treating patients during the early days of the pandemic, with “the ones that were not suspected, we did not wear protective gear.”

“I’m going to be honest with you, the staff was still somewhat laid back about it,” he said.

Fairweather said he was tested for COVID-19 on March 18, and learned the test came back positive on Monday.

Ironically, he was allowed to return to work the same day he got the result because he hadn’t had a fever during the previous three days, he said.

Maimonides spokeswoman Eileen Tynion confirmed the hospital’s policy allowed employees who recover from the coronavirus to resume work on their fourth consecutive day without a fever.

Officials at the hospital in Borough Park said several other workers have also tested positive for the coronavirus, but declined to provide additional details.

Fairweather said he “didn’t hesitate” to resume his duties helping others, even though he had to work “17 hours non-stop” on Monday, which left him extremely tired.

“I love my job, and I was very bored at home,” he said.

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Melbourne aged care worker diagnosed with coronavirus

A Melbourne aged care worker has been diagnosed with coronavirus just days after working at a nursing home with vulnerable residents.

The Assisi Centre staff member last worked on Wednesday at the home in Rosanna, in Melbourne's north-east, ahead of developing any symptoms.

Assisi Centre in Rosanna.Credit:Wayne Hawkins

Assisi Centre chief executive Paul Cohen informed families of the diagnosis on Monday, but said health authorities had deemed the case low-risk.

"I am sorry to inform you that one of our staff, who last worked in St Claire on Wednesday March 25, has today tested positive for COVID-19. She is the first one of our staff to test positive for the virus," Mr Cohen said in a letter, supplied to Nine News and seen by The Age.

"We discussed the matter with the Department of Health this morning and have been told they do not consider this case to be a risk to our residents. This is because she became unwell two days after her last shift. Despite this, I wanted to let you know."

No residents have tested positive to the coronavirus, but Mr Cohen said Assisi Centre had increased screening and cleaning.

In Sydney, four residents of aged care facility Dorothy Henderson Lodge have died from the coronavirus.

The Rosanna aged care worker is the ninth healthcare worker in Victoria to test positive, on top of four staff at Mercy Hospital, three at The Alfred Hospital and a Toorak GP.

The case is the first-known diagnosis at a Victorian nursing home.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he was not aware of the case, but said authorities were closely monitoring aged care.

"Certainly nursing homes are a huge risk, we understand the vulnerability of everyone who lives in nursing homes, it's a closed setting so transmission becomes really difficult to manage," Dr Sutton told Nine News.

He said aged care staff who feel unwell should immediately self-isolate.

"It doesn't mean that we're going to have an outbreak if a staff member has become unwell."

Assisi Centre specialises in aged care for the Italian community.

'It doesn't mean that we're going to have an outbreak if a staff member has become unwell.'

On March 14, an online update from Mr Cohen said that staff who had travelled to high-risk countries would not be rostered for two weeks.

"We are suspending external lifestyle activities including visits by the kindergarten children and the men's choir."

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Melbourne construction worker tests positive for COVID-19

A Melbourne construction worker has tested positive for COVID-19 in what may become a pressure point in the industry's bid to remain open through the coronavirus crisis.

A statement from the CFMEU on Thursday said the employee was at work shortly after coming home from an overseas trip, but prior to the government's mandatory self-isolation rule for returning travellers and visitors.

Knock off time: construction workers leave a city building site on Tuesday with far less than the advised 1.5 metres between them.Credit:Joe Armao

"Upon feeling unwell, he did not return to work and was tested the following day," the union's statement said.

"After receiving a positive result of COVID-19, he contacted his employer who immediately shut down the site, contacting the DHHS and the CFMEU.

"All employees who were working on site were contacted straight away. Those who were identified
as being in ‘close contact’ with the diagnosed employee were forced to quarantine for 14-days."

The statement said the workers who were self-isolating had so far shown no symptoms.

Construction is one of the state’s biggest industries, accounting for 9 per cent of Victorian jobs and a shutdown under further government restrictions would have enormous ramifications for the state.

Both unions and construction companies insist their work must continue, despite acknowledging some sites are not observing strict social distancing rules

The CFMEU said the infected employee's worksite had been cleaned by a specialist company to "hospital-grade" standards and work had now resumed.

"The CFMEU and the building and construction industry stakeholders will continue to enforce all
necessary hygiene and social distancing measures with the upmost importance to ensure the
collective health and safety of the entire community during this difficult time," the statement said.

"Currently, the national cabinet’s stance is that the building and construction industry is deemed an
essential service and the CFMEU and industry bodies will continue to work through this challenging
period, abiding by all government rules and enforcing strict social distancing and hygiene practices
in all sites to ensure the health and safety of workers and their families."

The union said any builder or site that did not follow COVID-19 guidelines set out to protect workers' safety should be reported.



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

MUM'S AGONY

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

"She has no idea what's going on.

"No idea at all."

'I'M PETRIFIED'

Chanice says she is petrified of going in to work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Clogging roads and Tubes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More than 2,600 medical workers infected with coronavirus in Italy

2,629 medics are infected with coronavirus in Italy: Country will extend lockdown into April as figures show doctors and nurses make up 8.3% of cases following highest daily death rate yet

  • A health foundation released the figures last night and warned that protection for doctors were ‘inadequate’
  • Nearly 0.3 per cent of Italy’s health workers have been infected, taking them out of service at time of need 
  • Number of cases and deaths spiked last night in a blow to hopes that the quarantine was starting to work 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

More than 2,600 medical workers have been infected with coronavirus in Italy – 8.3 per cent of the country’s total cases, it emerged last night, as the government extended lockdown measures beyond the start of April today. 

The figures were released by a health foundation which said the ‘huge number’ of infected medics showed that procedures and protection equipment for doctors were ‘still inadequate’. 

The problem is far worse than in China, because ‘8.3 per cent is more than double the percentage of the Chinese cohort’, the Gimbe foundation’s president Nino Cartabellotta told Italian media. 

According to the figures, which are drawn from official data, the number of infected medics has risen by more than 1,500 just in the last eight days. 

The figure of 2,629 infected medical professionals also means that nearly 0.3 per cent of Italy’s health workers have caught the disease – taking them out of service when they are desperately needed.  

‘No more talking: adequately protect those who must protect us,’ Cartabellotta urged last night.

It came as Italy recorded a record 4,207 infections and 475 new deaths from the virus yesterday, squashing hopes that the unprecedented national lockdown was beginning to slow the spread of the pathogen. 

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte has now warned that quarantine measures ‘must be extended beyond their original deadline’. Some had initially been due to expire as early as next Wednesday. 

Medical staff collect a patient from an ambulance at a hospital in Rome earlier this week – with more than 2,600 medical workers infected across Italy, adding to the country’s crisis 

Health workers in face masks work in a crowded area outside the Spedali di Brescia hospital in Italy, amid warnings that protection equipment and procedures for doctors are ‘inadequate’ 

A triage department of the Spedali di Brescia hospital shows the first recovery of patients suspected of having coronavirus

This graph published by the Gimbe foundation showed that the number of infected medical workers has risen sharply 

This graph shows the number of daily coronavirus cases in Italy, which jumped to a record 4,207 yesterday, squashing hopes that the lockdown was beginning to stall infections 

Italy’s 475 new deaths are the largest number that any country, even China, has reported in a single day since the outbreak began late last year. 

The previous record high of 368 deaths was also recorded in Italy, on Sunday. 

The new surge in cases, which takes the total to 35,713, puts an end to four days of stalling infection numbers and dampens hopes that the quarantine is working. 

Italians have been ordered to stay indoors, with schools and universities shut, shops closed except for grocery stores and pharmacies, and heavy restrictions on travel. 

However, officials warn there is a lag time between the lockdown being imposed and its effects becoming noticeable in the figures.  

‘The main thing is, do not give up,’ Italian National Institute of Health chief Silvio Brusaferro said in a nationally televised press conference.

‘It will take a few days before we see the benefits’ of containment measures, said Brusaferro.

‘We must maintain these measures to see their effect, and above all to protect the most vulnerable.’ 

Imposed nationally on March 12, the shutdown of most Italian businesses and a ban on public gatherings were initially due to expire on March 25 with schools shut until April 3. 

But prime minister Giuseppe Conte said today that the lockdown will be extended beyond the April 3 deadline.

‘The measures we have taken… must be extended beyond their original deadline,’ Conte told Thursday’s edition of the Corriere della Sera newspaper.  

A top government minister hinted yesterday that the school closure could be extended well into next month, if not longer.  

Health workers take a patient on a wheelchair into an ambulance outside a hospital in Brescia in northern Italy this week 

Hospital workers prepare coffins at the Ponte San Pietro hospital in Bergamo on Tuesday, in the province of Lombardy which has been the worst-affected region of Italy 

Medics and paramedics from China arrived in Milan on Wednesday. The 37-strong team of doctors and paramedics will be deployed to hospitals in Italy’s most affected areas, bringing with them 20 tons of equipment to combat coronavirus

Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) expects a ‘significant reduction’ in the growth rate of new infections in the Lombardy region around Rome by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The northern region of around 10million people has been at the epicentre of the crisis since the start, reporting two thirds of all the deaths in the nation of 60 million.

It has been under lockdown since March 8.

Noting that infections are starting to rise in the south, where many Italians moved after the start of containment measures in the north, the CNR predicts that figures across Italy will only stabilise between March 25 and April 15.

There have been fears that the health system of the poorer south would be entirely unable to cope with an outbreak on the scale which the north has suffered.  

The rates within Italy itself remained stable yesterday, with two-thirds of the deaths – 1,959 in all – reported in the northern Lombardy region around Milan, the Italian financial and fashion capital.

The neighbouring Emilia-Romagna region of Bologna has suffered a total of 458 fatalities, and Turin’s Piedmont region has had 154 deaths.

Rome’s Lazio region has a toll of 32 deaths and 724 infections.     

Cardiac surgeon Antonino Marchese looks at hospital beds in the Casal Palocco hospital near Rome yesterday 

A triage department of the Spedali di Brescia hospital in northern Italy which has been the worst-affected region of Italy 

A deserted area outside the Colosseum in Rome, which is usually heaving with tourists, after Italians were ordered to stay inside unless necessary 

Hospital workers in face masks stand over trolleys at the Ponte San Pietro hospital in Bergamo on Tuesday as they prepare coffins

A family who were relaxing on a lawn were ordered to move by Italian police in San Donato Milanese near the city of Milan on Tuesday, after they flouted the country’s coronavirus quarantine rules 

Medical staff collect a patient from an ambulance at the second Covid-19 hospital in Rome, Italy, which is fighting the biggest virus outbreak outside of China

Doctors on the front line of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak have described ‘catastrophic’ scenes in hospitals which are creaking with the sheer volume of cases.

A new Oxford University study has suggested that Italy may be particularly vulnerable  because it has such an old population and the elderly come into frequent contact with the young. 

Italy’s population is the second-oldest in the world, behind only Japan. 

Oxford researchers said it was common for young adults in rural areas to live with their parents and grandparents but to commute into cities, such as Milan, to work and socialise.

Young people may have been picking up the virus while travelling and brought it home without realising they were ill, the Oxford researchers said. 

The study is a warning to Britain, which has an ageing population. Older people are known to be more likely to die of Covid-19 if they are infected with the virus.     

An Italian solider stands guard at an unknown soldier altar in Rome on Wednesday. The country was rocked by more than 400 coronavirus related deaths today, the highest one-day total of any country since the first case was detected in China in late 2019

In a sign that Italy is scrambling to react to the outbreak, Dr Sergio Cattaneo (pictured) said he has seen unused wards outfitted into an intensive care unit in six days

Doctors on the front line of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak have described ‘catastrophic’ scenes in hospitals which are creaking with the sheer volume of cases. Pictured: staff preparing to open a new hospital in Rome

Italy’s outbreak – the worst outside of China – spiralled further today as infections hit 35,713 and the death toll jumped by more than 400 to 2,978. Pictured: Hazmat suited medics in Rome on Tuesday

Italy is also rushing 10,000 student doctors into service, scrapping their final exams, in an effort to help the struggling health service cope with the coronavirus. 

University Minister Gaetano Manfredi said the government would let this year’s medicine graduates start work some eight or nine months ahead of schedule and waive the mandatory exams they normally sit before qualifying.

‘This means immediately releasing into the National Health System the energy of about 10,000 doctors, which is fundamental to dealing with the shortage that our country is suffering,’ he said in a statement. 

The graduates will be sent to work in general practitioners’ clinics and at old peoples’ homes, freeing up more experienced colleagues who will be sent to the rapidly filling hospitals.

Over three weeks, 1,135 people have needed intensive care in Lombardy, the northern region hardest hit. 

The region has only 800 intensive care beds, according to Giacomo Grasselli, head of the intensive care unit at Milan’s Policlinico hospital. 

Authorities have been working to set up hundreds of intensive care beds in a specially created facility in the Fiera Milano exhibition center, but are still waiting for sufficient respirators and qualified personnel.     

Medical director Antonino Marchese holds a press conference before the opening of the third coronavirus Hospital in Casal Palocco, Rome

Italian Medics are struggling to keep pace with the escalating number of cases

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Healthcare worker at Jacobi Medical Center tests positive for coronavirus

A healthcare worker at Jacobi Medical Center recently tested positive for the coronavirus, The Post has learned.

The staffer is from Westchester and has a connection to the coronavirus cluster there, a hospital spokesperson said.

The person is in self-quarantine at home, in stable condition, and is not currently experiencing symptoms, the spokesperson said.

There is no risk of infection to staff or patients, said Dr. Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.

“Clinicians and nurses are the heart of NYC Health + Hospitals, and recently one of our health care workers tested positive for Covid-19,” Katz said in a statement.

“After consulting with the state Health Department, it was determined that there was no risk of infection to staff or patients,” the statement continued.

“As a public health system, we continue to maintain vigilance for our staff and patients as this outbreak grows and evolves.”

No other information was immediately available.

At least 52 cases were confirmed in New York City on Wednesday, among 216 statewide.

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Warning as bogus NHS worker goes door-to-door offering coronavirus ‘immunity’ jabs for kids under-five – The Sun

PARENTS are being warned against a fake NHS worker offering coronavirus 'immunity' jabs to kids under-five.

The man, who carries NHS ID, has been going door-to-door in the Staffs area where he is offering to give kids the 'immunity injections'.

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He has struck at several addresses in Blythe Bridge where he asked if any under-fives lived there.

Mayfield Drive, Elmwood Drive and The Avenue were among some of the streets targeted on Thursday and Friday last week.

He is also believed to have knocked on doors in Stoke-on-Trent, StokeonTrentLive reports.

There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine and the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it could be a year until there is one.

'NO COLD CALLS'

The bogus worker was reported to a GP surgery in Blythe Bridge before being passed on to the police.

A warning post on Facebook reads: "Be aware! There is a white male, English, doing the rounds in the Blythe Bride area knocking on doors asking if there's children under five in the house.

"He was literally offering door-to-door immunity injections with no pre-warning so be suspicious if you have a knock at the door.

"He was around the Mayfield Drive area at 1.30pm."

But the NHS has made clear this is not normal behaviour.

A spokesperson for the health service said: "The NHS does not cold call."

The Sun Online has contacted Staffordshire Police for comment.

URGENT JAB PLEA

Last month, the UK donated £20million to help speed up the process, hoping to get a jab made in six months.

Meanwhile scientists are racing to find a vaccine, even offering to pay £3,500 to volunteers willing to be infected with a strain of the deadly bug.

It would mean up to 24 people at a time being paid to be infected with a less harmful form of Covid-19 at a lab in east London, as part of a global experiment.

It comes as doctors warned Brits today they could face a coronavirus lockdown like Italy in 14 days – with pubs shutting and sporting events being suspended.

The whole of Italy is in lockdown with travel and public gatherings banned as the number of deaths soared past 450.


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