Britons urged to join another Clap for Carers

Britons urged to join another Clap for Carers

Restrictions have been placed on movement around an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town in western Israel that has become an epicentre of the coronavirus.
Police have erected cordons around Bnei Barak, on the edge of Tel Aviv, limiting traffic passing in and out of the town, and residents who have to be quarantined will be accommodated in hotels. Bnei Barak has the second-highest rate of infection in the country.
There has been growing disquiet in Israel about the slowness of some ultra-Orthodox communities to adopt official measures to curb the spread of the disease.
Many ultra-Orthodox live within large families in crowded neighbourhoods and their access to the internet and social media is limited for religious reasons, meaning news and information from the outside world is comparatively poor.
Britons urged to join another Clap for Carers
People across the UK are being urged to join in another national applause for health workers this evening.
Last week people around the country stood at their doorways and on their apartment balconies in a moving tribute to the NHS and care workers treating those affected by coronavirus.
And the woman behind Clap for our Carers, Annemarie Plas, who lives in south London, has called on the UK to do it again at 20:00 BST tonight - and every Thursday until the end of the pandemic.

Cuba - that knock on the door

You often hear about Cuba's health system and may remember statistics suggesting they have a much higher number of doctors than developed Western countries. And you often see some of these doctors going on humanitarian missions abroad - the latest in Italy, the world's worst affected country as far as fatalities are concerned.
Well, within the island, authorities are taking the pandemic just as seriously. Doctors in the making - nearly 30,000 of them - have been knocking on doors asking people whether they had been in contact with any virus-carrying foreigners and making them aware of rules to follow. And these students repeat this exercise all day, across the country. Some visit 300 families a day, AFP news agency reports.
Cuba has just over 200 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Why Dua Lipa put out her album in the midst of the lockdown
Pop stars including Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and Haim have all postponed albums during the coronavirus pandemic. Not Dua Lipa.
The British singer actually moved the release of her second record, Future Nostalgia, forward by a week - hoping it would give fans a boost during the lockdown.
Lipa said she was "conflicted about whether it's the right thing to do" when "people are suffering". Eventually, she decided "the thing we need the most at the moment is music, and we need joy and we need to be trying to see the light".
The decision seems to have paid off. Variety magazine called the album "the exact right record at the exact wrong time"; and it's heading for number one in this week's charts.
The star called us up from her Air B&B in London (her flat flooded just before the lockdown) to discuss how she's passing the time when she should have been rehearsing for her tour; and what it means to put out a record designed for the dancefloor when everyone is supposed to stay two metres apart.
Analysis: 'UK Government sees antibody test as exit strategy'
I thought it was interesting in the video posted by the prime minister he did not mention this 25,000 daily testing target we have heard from government ministers throughout the crisis. There is a sense, I think, it is beginning to slip as they find it increasingly difficult to get the necessary test.
It is clear the government’s hope of attacking the virus rests not with a current coronavirus test, but with the separate proposed antibody test which will establish if people have immunity from the virus.
It is not up and running, it is still in the development stage, but the government has ordered 3.5m of those tests and the hope is that it will help ministers establish if people have built up an immunity to the virus and can be released from the lockdown.
That is which the government believes could provide way out of this crisis and that is which they are looking to mass test.
It doesn't get us out of the current situation or help to identify people who have coronavirus. So that test is of no use now but down the road the government believes that could be the exit strategy..

When 76 strangers wish you a happy birthday

Celebrating your birthday while under lockdown isn't very easy nor fun, so one American woman decided to spring a surprise on her fiancé.
Hannah Chung and Jason Shields had moved into their new home in Los Angeles just weeks before social distancing rules came into effect. When Jason's birthday rolled round soon after, Hannah roped in their neighbours for a celebration..
UK prosecutors advised not to 'clog up' courts

UK prosecutors are being advised not to charge suspected fraudsters and gangsters to avoid "clogging up" courts during the outbreak.
Cases involving serious organised crime and major fraud are among those listed as “lower priority”, in new, emergency guidance.
The document, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), suggests placing offences into one of three categories, according to how quickly criminal proceedings have to be brought.
The priority cases, classed as “immediate”, include murder and serious domestic abuse where there’s a risk of further offending.
Attacks on emergency workers and other crimes linked to coronavirus would also be passed to the courts immediately.
The next type of case, referred to as “high priority”, would involve the suspect not appearing in court for up to eight weeks after being charged.
Cases in this category include certain types of domestic abuse and serious violence.
The last category, known as “other cases” - which would be delayed - include criminal damage and benefit fraud - as well as serious fraud and large-scale serious organised crime cases
Jessie Clark was hospitalised after she struggled with her breathing.
While the number of coronavirus deaths has risen above 2,000 in the UK, most people who contract the virus go on to get better.

Some people experience relatively mild symptoms, or even no symptoms at all. Others have no option but hospital treatment. We have spoken to three people who were hospitalised after developing Covid-19.

All are at different stages of their lives, and are recovering in isolation.

'I was fighting for mine and my baby's life'
Karen Mannering with her husband before she contracted Covid-19.
Karen Mannering from Herne Bay in Kent is six months pregnant with her fourth child. The 39-year-old started struggling with a persistent cough and a fever during the second week of March, but hospital staff were wary of bringing her in. On day 11, that changed.

"I called 999 and my breathing sounded so bad an ambulance was at our house within minutes," explains Karen. "I was literally gasping for air so they put me on oxygen straight away."

Karen tested positive for Covid-19. She had pneumonia in both of her lungs and was isolated in a hospital room for a week.

"No one was allowed to come and see me," she says. "It was a very lonely, dark time. I was bed-bound for two or three days. I couldn't even go to the toilet. If they needed to change the bed sheets, they would have to turn me over.

"When I struggled to breathe, I would buzz for help and would have to wait for staff to get their protective equipment on before they could attend to me. I was constantly on the phone to my family to keep me calm. I was scared I was going to die and my family say they had prepared for the worst.

"I was fighting for every single breath. I was fighting for mine and my baby's life."

Karen says she will never forget the feeling of crisp, cold air on her face the day she left hospital.

"My husband and I drove home with our face masks on and the windows open," she says. "The breeze felt amazing. I suddenly appreciated the smallest of things."

Karen is now self-isolating at home, but in a room away from the rest of her family. She is getting stronger, but still has a dry cough which could last months.

She believes she could have contracted coronavirus at the beauty salon where she works, but she may never know for sure. She may also never know how her family seems to have escaped the virus.

"I just wanted someone to help me"
Jessie Clark from Sheffield knew she would be vulnerable if she contracted Covid-19 - she has chronic kidney disease and five years ago had a kidney removed. When the 26-year-old started coughing and becoming increasingly breathless she started to worry. Within days, she was struggling to walk.

Jessie Clark was hospitalised after she struggled with her breathing.
"I also had a lot of pain in my ribs, back and abdomen," explains Jessie. "I felt like I had been beaten up."

Two days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK was going into lockdown, Jessie's fiance Tom drove her to A&E. They were quickly separated because of safety restrictions.

"I was scared to be alone, but I was so poorly I just wanted someone to help me," Jessie says. "I was given a green mask with a wired bit around the nose to keep it up. I was taken to a unit which seemed to be being used for Covid-19 patients. Social distancing was in place so we had bays separated by walls with a bed in each bay.

"I wasn't tested for Covid-19. My doctor told they 'couldn't swab everyone, but it was safe to assume I had it'. He said the pain I was experiencing was the inflammation from my lungs and that I should keep self-isolating and taking painkillers.

"I have never had breathing issues before. It is scary not knowing if you are going to stop breathing or if what you are feeling is normal for the virus."

Jessie was in hospital for six hours. Tom waited for his fiancé in the car park, unsure what was happening. He is a key worker and the couple think he may be asymptomatic and accidentally gave Jessie the virus.

Five days after leaving hospital, Jessie still struggles to walk and sleeps up to 18 hours a day. She sometimes has coughing fits but can breathe more easily.

"I think some young people think they're invincible, but most are taking coronavirus seriously now," she said. "There has been a lot of information telling us this virus doesn't affect people my age, but it definitely does."

"I was within a whisper of a very dark place"

Stewart Boyle says he could feel the virus attack his lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
Stewart Boyle is almost certain he contracted coronavirus at one of his choir meetings a few weeks ago.

"We were all social distancing when we met on the Thursday, but by Sunday a high number of people had come down with flu-like symptoms," he says.

Over the following 10 days, the 64-year-old's health declined.

"It's quite subtle at first," he explains. "But then I would try to climb the stairs and be wheezing like an old man. Soon I didn't have the ability to exercise or move at all. The virus was attacking my lungs and I was losing the capacity to fight back."

Stewart's family called 111 and he was taken to hospital.

"It was like something out of a movie," he says. "I was wheeled into the 'red zone' and there were loads of tests being carried out and swabs being taken. They thought I had coronavirus so they upped my oxygen. There were a couple of hours where I was within a whisper of a very dark place and I thought, 'maybe my time is up'. But I wanted to live.

"I could feel the battle in my lungs and it required all my reserves to get through it. The extra oxygen gave my lungs a break and gave me the added energy to push out the disease. The NHS staff were incredible, but all they can do is help you fight the virus. There's no vaccination or magical potion that can save you. It's about your own resilience."

On Saturday, Stewart left hospital and is now self-isolating at home. He has been drinking a lot of water to help his lungs and throat recover.

Meanwhile, his choir has performed a special song for him via Zoom.

"The song was about looking after me and holding me. It was stunning," he says. "I'm a long way off to getting my singing voice back. All I can do right now is croak."

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