Man climbs the height of Mount Everest on his stairs for charity

Husband, 53, of frontline NHS worker climbs the height of Mount Everest by running up and down his stairs at home 1,363 times

  • Mr Griffin did the challenge to raise cash for the Trussell Trust charity  
  • Each ascent of Mr Griffin’s stairs took him 6.5m higher over 30 steps, so the challenge required him to complete 1363 ascents or 40,846 steps
  • Mr Griffin completed the ascent a little ahead of schedule on April 3

The husband of a frontline NHS worker has completed an epic challenge for charity by climbing the height of the world’s tallest mountain inside his own house.

John Griffin climbed 8,850 vertical meters – the height of Mount Everest – on the stairs of his three-storey semi-detached home while in lockdown over a period of just four days.

The 53-year-old, who climbed for hours with a bag of frozen peas strapped to his leg, said it was the ‘hardest thing he had ever done’.

Mr Griffin did the challenge to raise cash for the Trussell Trust, which supports food banks across the UK.

John with his dog Houndslow. The husband of a frontline NHS worker has completed an epic challenge by climbing the height of the world’s tallest mountain inside his own house

The father of one began his challenge on March 31 and each morning – after getting his daughter started on her schoolwork – he would begin climbing the stairs.

Each ascent of Mr Griffin’s stairs took him 6.5m higher over 30 steps, so the challenge required him to complete 1363 ascents or 40,846 steps.

He completed the incredible effort in his semi-detached four-bedroom house in Shoreham, West Sussex, where he lives with his wife Niri, 45 who is a GP and his daughter Daisy, 11.

Speaking after the challenge he said: ‘It was quite a shock after the first day as to quite how strenuous it was.

‘I also obviously had to walk down the stairs each time as well – so funnily enough, I reached the bottom of Everest shortly after I reached the top.

‘That was actually one of the hardest parts because it puts a lot of strain on the back of your legs so sometimes I would walk down the stairs backwards when it got too painful.

‘But still, what I have done pales in comparison when you look at the dedication of NHS workers like my wife. They work tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe.’

On the first day Mr Griffin, who is currently also setting up a vegan takeaway business, ascended 2020m in 6.5 hours.

In total, he was walking up and down his stairs for 29 hours and kept himself entertained by listening to BBC Radio 4.

John strapped frozen peas to his knees during the attempt to add weight during his attempt

Prior to the challenge, his biggest outdoor climb had been the 271m high Blackdown hill in the South Downs.

He said the hardest part came on day three when he started having an issue with his knee.

His wife suggested strapping a bag of peas to his leg to help and so he climbed for hours with the frozen veg attached to him – before having them with egg-fried rice for dinner that night.

He would stop for a drink of water and a snack every 306m – the equivalent height of the tallest building in the UK – the Shard.

John Griffin during the attempt which was in aid of the Tussel Trust charity

The challenge was live-streamed on his Facebook page and he tracked his ascent via a computer programme a member of a coronavirus support page made for him.

He was accompanied part of the way by his dog loyal, but lazy, dog Houndslow and estimated he burned around 6,000 calories a day.

He added: ‘It was the hardest thing I have ever done by far. Waking up each morning and thinking ‘oh god I am doing it again.’ But I had lots of people relying on me so I just kept going.’

Mr Griffin completed the ascent a little ahead of schedule on April 3, exhausted and delighted he said ‘I am absolutely shattered, but I must thank my family, friends and neighbours for their support, encouragement and donations.

‘Now, I think I might move into my little office on the ground floor for a while.’

In total he has managed to raise nearly £2,000 for the Trussell Trust who support over 1,200 food bank centres across the UK, providing emergency food and support to people struggling to make ends meet.

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Surgeon General makes face mask with T-shirt and rubber bands

Surgeon General tells Americans how to make their own ‘cloth face covering’ by using an old T-shirt and rubber bands, amid face mask shortage during coronavirus crisis

  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams has instructed Americans on how to make their own ‘cloth face covering’ by using an old T-shirt and rubber bands
  • The country is in the midst of a face mask shortage during the coronavirus crisis 
  • Dr Adams says in ‘a few easy steps’ people can make their own personal protective equipment with items from around their homes in a new CDC clip
  • Other items to use include scarves, towels and bandannas 
  • The DIY video comes after the CDC recommended that Americans wear non-medical cloth masks  
  • Trump said he probably wouldn’t be following the guidelines at his Friday briefing 

The Surgeon General has instructed Americans on how to make their own ‘cloth face covering’ by using an old T-shirt and rubber bands, as the country is in the midst of a face mask shortage. 

Dr. Jerome Adams says in ‘a few easy steps’ people can make their own personal protective equipment with items from around their homes, he explains in a CDC video released on Friday night.

Besides bandannas, scarves or towels, Dr. Adams said a T-shirt is a suitable option to keep safe during the coronavirus crisis, as he demonstrated how to make the makeshift mask using a ‘got naloxone’ shirt, the drug used to revive opioid overdoses. 

The DIY video comes after the CDC recommended that Americans wear non-medical cloth masks, as there is a shortage of face masks needed to protect doctors, nurses, first responders and others on the front lines after Americans rushed to scoop up personal protective equipment. 

Surgeon General Jerome Adams has instructed Americans on how to make their own ‘cloth face covering’ by using an old T-shirt and rubber bands. Dr Jerome Adams says in ‘a few easy steps’ people can make their own personal protective equipment with items from around their homes, he explains in a CDC video released on Friday night

He demonstrated how to make the makeshift mask using a ‘Got naloxone’ shirt, the drug used to revive opioid overdoses

Besides bandannas, scarves or towels, Dr Adams said a T-shirt is another suitable option to keep safe during the coronavirus crisis

The video comes after the CDC recommended that Americans wear non-medical cloth masks, as there is a shortage of face masks needed to protect doctors, nurses, first responders and others on the front lines after Americans rushed to scoop up personal protective equipment 

President Trump said he probably wouldn’t be following the guidelines at his Friday press briefing.

Trump stressed it wasn’t a mandate, saying: ‘So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to be doing it. This is voluntary, I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.’ 

Minutes later, first lady Melania Trump tweeted that Americans should take mask-wearing seriously.

‘As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously,’ she tweeted from her FLOTUS account. ‘#COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone – we can stop this together.’   

But the president suggested it might make him look foolish as he communicated with world leaders.  

‘I’m feeling good,’ Trump said when asked why he wouldn’t sport face-wear. ‘Somehow sitting in the Oval Office, sitting behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, I just don’t see it for myself,’ Trump said.  

For days, top experts, including members of Trump’s coronavirus taskforce said they were debating whether or not to put out a mask recommendation. 

President Trump said he probably wouldn’t be following the guidelines at his Friday press briefing. Trump stressed it wasn’t a mandate, saying: ‘So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to be doing it. This is voluntary, I don’t think I’m going to be doing it’  

Minutes later, first lady Melania Trump tweeted that Americans should take mask-wearing seriously 

Dr. Adams also spoke at the briefing, adding: ‘Remember this is all about me protecting you and you protecting me.

‘And if people voluntarily choose to wear a face covering they’re wearing it to protect their neighbors from getting coronavirus because they could have asymptomatic spread.’  

For days, Trump suggested that Americans could simply wear scarves to get by. 

But on Friday he said the CDC was putting out the new recommendation for masks. 

‘From recent studies we know that transmissions from individuals without symptoms is playing a more significant role in the spread of the virus than previously understood, so you don’t seem to have symptoms and it still gets transferred,’ the president explained. 

In light of these studies the CDC is advising the sue of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure,’ he said. 

The president suggested cloth or fabric masks that could be ordered online or made at home. 

They should also be able to be washed. 

‘I want to emphasize that the CDC is not recommending the use of medical grade or surgical grade masks and we want that to be used for our great medical people that are working so hard and doing some job,’ the president said. 

Trump also said that mask-wearing did not replace the social distancing guidelines the government already put out, including standing six feet apart and ‘practicing hand hygiene’ as the president put it. 

‘Again, we’re all going to come back together here,’ he assured the American people.  

But then reiterated he wouldn’t be caught wearing a mask. 

‘I’m choosing not to do it,’ the president said.   

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Tesco emails customers encouraging them to visit stores

Tesco emails customers urging them to shop IN STORE instead of online, saying shelves are full – despite government’s warnings on social distancing

  • Retail giant encouraged healthy shoppers to go to stores to help the vulnerable  
  • Shop announced its deliveries are currently at full capacity for next few weeks 
  • Tesco has announced its shelves are well-stocked are getting daily deliveries 

Tesco has emailed its customers encouraging them to visit stores in person rather than shopping online in a bid to free up delivery slots for vulnerable shoppers. 

It has also announced that its shelves are well-stocked and that shops are receiving daily deliveries in order to keep product flowing freely.  

The supermarket giant wrote: ‘We know that it’s difficult right now to get a delivery slot for online shopping. We’re at full capacity for the next few weeks, so if you’re able to shop in-store safely instead of booking a delivery, it would be a great help. 

Tesco has emailed its customers encouraging them to visit stores in person rather than shopping online in a bid to free up delivery slots for vulnerable shoppers

It has also announced that its shelves are well-stocked and that shops are receiving daily deliveries in order to keep product flowing freely

‘This will allow us to start freeing up more slots for the more vulnerable.

‘We’re looking at every opportunity to increase the number of slots available. As we increase our capacity, we’ll also set aside more of these slots for our most vulnerable customers.’ 

It has already increased its online delivery slots by 145,000, and is aiming to increase that number by hundreds of thousands in the next few weeks. 

The superstore has also put measures in place on its website which allows those who are self-isolating to write in the delivery notes section if they want their groceries left on their doorstep. 

For those who do shop online, Tesco has introduced a shopping limit of 80 items per order and has removed its multi-buy promotions in a bid to keep stocks plentiful for everyone.  

The store announced: ‘Our stock levels are good, and we have daily deliveries to restock our stores. 

The supermarket giant wrote: ‘We know that it’s difficult right now to get a delivery slot for online shopping. We’re at full capacity for the next few weeks, so if you’re able to shop in-store safely instead of booking a delivery, it would be a great help’

‘We continue to encourage customers to buy only what they need, to help make sure there’s enough for everyone.’

The announcements come as other retail giants such as Sainsbury’s and Ocado made drastic changes to their shopping policies. 

Sainsbury’s has now banned more than one person per household from entering its stores, while Ocado will no longer be delivering bottles of water.

The company says that the bottles take up too much space in delivery vans and are not an essential product in the UK as tap water is safe to drink.  

A statement read: ‘During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve stopped selling bulky, heavy bottled water. This small step frees up extra space in our vans, and allows us to deliver to 6,000 extra homes a week.’   

It has already increased its online delivery slots by 145,000, and is aiming to increase that number by hundreds of thousands in the next few weeks

In a letter to customers, Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe wrote: ‘From today, we are asking everyone to please only send one adult per household to our shops.

‘This helps us keep people a safe distance apart and also helps to reduce queues to get into stores. 

‘Our store teams will be asking groups with more than one adult to choose one adult to shop and will ask other adults to wait. 

‘Children are of course welcome if they are not able to stay at home.’ 

The increase in panic-buying has lead to a surge in profits for supermarkets and Tesco is expected to post £1.8billion in profits as supermarket boss David Lewis prepares to step down after six years in charge.  

It is set to record pre-tax profits, for the year to February, up from £1.56billion last year.  

For those who do shop online, Tesco has introduced a shopping limit of 80 items per order and has removed its multi-buy promotions in a bid to keep stocks plentiful for everyone

Supermarket stocks, such as Tesco, have been broadly resilient as panic buying of essential items, such as pasta, flour and toilet roll, has helped to drive a surge in sales. 

Supermarkets dealt with record levels of demand in March with combined grocery sales rising by 20.6 per cent in the last four weeks, according to figures released by Kantar earlier this week. 

The survey also showed that Tesco sales were particularly strong and had jumped 5.5 per cent. 

Ocado said the demand they had experienced was like trying to serve everyone at Glastonbury Festival every hour of every day for two weeks. 

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said: ‘With the largest UK online grocery business and the broadest network of distribution points, we also believe Tesco is best positioned to respond to any demand spikes related to Covid-19’.  

How supermarkets are enforcing social distancing rules 

Aldi

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time
  • Customers asked to shop alone

Asda

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time 

Lidl 

  • 2m markers placed on floors 
  • Screens installed at checkouts and visors for staff
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time 

Morrisons 

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time 

Sainsbury’s

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time
  • Customers asked to shop alone

Tesco

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time
  • Customers asked to shop alone
  • One-way aisles
  • Separate entrances and exits 

Waitrose 

  • 2m markers placed on floors
  • Screens installed at checkouts and visors for staff
  • Queuing system to limit number of shoppers at one time
  • Customers asked to shop alone

Extreme social distancing: No couples in Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s yesterday barred couples from shopping together in its stores. Bosses said it was enhancing the government’s social distancing rules to keep shoppers and staff safe. 

The measures will also cut queues outside its supermarkets, they believe. In a letter to customers, chief executive Mike Coupe said: ‘Keeping you and colleagues safe is our number one priority. 

‘From today, we are asking everyone to please only send one adult per household to our shops. This helps us keep people a safe distance apart and also helps to reduce queues to get into stores. 

‘Our teams will be asking groups with more than one adult to choose one to shop and will ask others to wait. 

‘Children are of course welcome if they are not able to stay at home.’ 

Other supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Morrisons have also introduced limits on the number of people allowed to enter their stores at any one time. 

As a result people are asked to queue outside before entering the shop. Once inside they are asked to respect each other’s space, staying 2m (6ft) away from staff and other customers. 

They have also encouraged shoppers to only touch items they want to buy and to pay with card where possible to avoid handling cash. 

Mr Coupe said Sainsbury’s had been working hard to expand its online groceries service due to demand, Home delivery and click and collect online slots will be expanded from 370,000 to 600,000 by the end of next week.

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New York's coronavirus apex is likely to hit in the next WEEK

New York’s coronavirus apex is likely to hit in the next WEEK as 630 die in one day while Governor Cuomo reveals China facilitated donation of 1,000 ventilators and Long Island makes up almost quarter of state’s hospitalizations

  • New York now has 113,704 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, with most in NYC 
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that Alibaba founders are sending 1,000 ventilators to New York
  • The state of Oregon is also lending New York 140 ventilators as cases continue to increase in the epicenter 
  • Cuomo said different statistical models show the apex of cases hitting in roughly seven days
  • Long Island is a worrying emerging hotspot with nearly a quarter of the state’s hospitalizations
  • It’s unclear whether New Yorkers fleeing the city are the reason for the spike in Long Island cases 

The New York epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic will receive 1,000 donated ventilators from the Chinese billionaires who co-founded Alibaba, as the state approaches its apex and Long Island emerges as a worrying hotspot, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said.

New York now has 113,704 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, an increase of 630 deaths from the day before, Cuomo said at a press conference on Saturday. New York City accounts for 63,306 cases and 2,624 deaths.

Cuomo said that new cases are still rising at an alarming rate, with New York’s apex, or the peak in the number of new daily cases, likely about a week away. 

‘By the numbers, we’re not yet at the apex. We’re getting closer depending whose model you’re looking at,’ said Cuomo. ‘We’re somewhere in the seven day range.’

New York now has 113,704 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, an increase of 630 deaths from the day before, Cuomo said at a press conference on Saturday

Medical staff move bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to a refrigerated truck in Brooklyn on Friday

Meanwhile, the Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport today, Cuomo said. 

The donation was funded by Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, the Chinese billionaires who co-founded internet retail giant Alibaba.

‘This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,’ Cuomo said, adding that the state of Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York. 

Cuomo is also looking for ventilators closer to home, and has issued an order that forces even private hospitals in the state to redistribute ventilators to the hospitals most in need.

‘I want this all to be over,’ Cuomo said. ‘It’s only gone on for 30 days since our first case. It feels like an entire lifetime.’

The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded a quarter-million, with the death toll climbing past 7,000. More than half of the deaths are in New York state.

People wear face masks on Friday in New York City. New York state’s death toll rose to 3,565, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, up from 2,935 the previous day, in the largest 24-hour jump recorded there

While New York City remain’s the state’s biggest hotspot, cases are growing at an alarming rate on Long Island, where many wealthy city dwellers have fled during the crisis.

Long Island’s share of the state’s total hospitalized cases had increased to 22 percent on Friday, up from just 17 percent on March 26.

‘Long island is the area that is growing,’ said Cuomo. ‘New York City is actually dropping…as a percentage of cases within the state.’

Cuomo also announced that he will sign an executive order to allow medical students who were slated to graduate this spring to begin practicing now. ‘These are extraordinary times and New York needs the help,’ he said.

As well, the governor praised the 85,000 medical workers who have volunteered their service to fight against the virus, with 22,000 traveling from out of state to work in the epicenter. ‘How amazing is that,’ Cuomo said.

A temporary field hospital to treat covid-19 patients is seen in Central Park on Friday. Over 500 ambulances and paramedics teams have been brought in to NYC to help with the coronavirus outbreak

Long Island’s share of the state’s total hospitalized cases had increased to 22 percent on Friday, as seen in the chart above

A county breakdown shows the most affected areas of New York, with Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties high on the list. Westchester and Rockland counties are immediately north of New York City and generally considered ‘downstate’

Praising Oregon for lending New York 140 ventilators, the crucial medical equipment needed to care for the most severe cases, Cuomo quoted former President Franklin Roosevelt’s remarks about the Lend Lease Act to help the U.K. in the darkest days of World War II.

‘Suppose my neighbor’s home catches fire & I have a length of garden hose. If he can take my garden hose, I may help him put out his fire. I don’t say to him ‘Neighbor, you have to pay me $15 for it.’ I don’t want $15. I want my garden hose back after the fire is over,’ Coumo said, quoting Roosevelt, and vowing to repay Oregon with double the number of ventilators when the crisis in New York subsides. 

‘We’re all in the same battle here, and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus,’ said Cuomo.

Some interpreted the remark as a veiled jab at presidential advisor Jared Kushner, who described the federal stockpile of ventilators as ‘ours’ and not for the states at a press conference on Thursday.

‘The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states stockpiles that they then use,’ Kushner said. 


Cuomo thanked Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (left) and Oregon Governor Kate Brown (right) for sending urgently needed ventilators to New York as the state’s apex approaches

A sign hangs from a fence thanking “essential workers” who continue to work while others abide by stay-at-home requirements in an effort to curb the COVID-19 outbreak on Saturday in Brooklyn

People wearing masks gather to form a “bread” line at Bread Alone outdoor market, while standing apart from each other to maintain social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak on Saturday in Brooklyn

While Cuomo praised the Chinese government for facilitating the donation of another 1,000 ventilators, he also had harsh words about U.S. dependence on China to manufacture crucial medical equipment.

He said that New York state had signed contracts to purchase 17,000 ventilators mostly from Chinese companies, and that only about 2,500 had ever been delivered.

 ‘Long term, we have to figure out how we ended up in this situation,’ he said. ‘There’s a public health reason, as we’ve all learned the hard way, why we need the capacity in this country’ to manufacture vital medical equipment.   

President Donald Trump announced late Friday he would prevent the export of N95 protective masks and surgical gloves to ensure they are available in the U.S. 

The number of people infected in the U.S. has now exceeded a quarter-million, with the death toll climbing past 7,000. 

New York state alone accounts for more than 3,565 deaths, an increase of 630 in just one day. Most of the dead are in New York City, where hospitals are swamped with patients. 

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Hamas threatens to ‘stop six million Israelis breathing’ if ventilators aren’t sent to Gaza to fight coronavirus – The Sun


HAMAS have threatened to use force if Israel does not send ventilators to Gaza to treat coronavirus patients amid the global pandemic

The militant group’s leader Yahya Sinwar warned if the medical equipment is not brought to the Palestinian enclave they will “stop the breathing of six million Israelis”.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Mr Sinwar made the fiery threat as he warned the organisation will “take them by force” as Gaza faces an outbreak of the killer virus.

The militant leader accused Israel of not releasing key medical equipment as Hamas imposed a quarantine for anyone crossing into the Gaza Strip.

He said: “When we decided to establish compulsory quarantine facilities for people returning to Gaza, we knew that it would be a difficult decision that would cause a lot of criticism against us.

“It’s our first line of defense. We can’t allow the epidemic into Gaza.”

Mr Sinwar added: “If ventilators are not brought into [Gaza], we’ll take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of 6 million Israelis.”

Gaza confirmed its first cases of the coronavirus two weeks ago, and there are fears of the scale of a potential outbreak.

Two million people live in the enclave, which is just twice the size of Washington DC.

It is feared coronavirus would run rampant through the territory, which has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt for 13 years.

Hamas – the militant group who run the enclave – insist the threat is contained, but continue to call for the release of key medical supplies.

The barrier between Israel and Gaza is one of the most tense borders in the world, and regularly shots are exchanged amid ongoing tensions.

The Israeli defence minister has said they may not release aid to Gaza until the bodies of two soldiers are returned.

Hamas is holding the remains of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, which were captured when the two were killed during the 2014 war on the Strip.

And as the two sides go back and forth, Mr Sinwar said the remains would not be released until they have medical aid.

The militant leader made the comments via remote video chat to television and Hamas’s digital media platforms.

The address was his first public statement since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

World Health Organisation officials have warned the majority of ventilators in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are already in use by patients with conditions unrelated to coronavirus.

Grald Rockenschaub, the head of the WHO’s mission to in Palestine, told The Times of Israel: "They are being used by people who have suffered heart attacks, strokes and other incidents requiring critical care

Israel currently has more than 7,500 cases and 43 deaths as the global confirmed cases from the pandemic surpassed one million.

Hamas has opened up 18 additional quarantine zones in clinics and hotels as it braces for a potential outbreak.

It has also banned weekly street markets, shut down cafes and mosques, and extended quarantines for anyone who crosses the border into the Gaza Strip.

Coronavirus testing kits are being shipped into the territory, but it is feared there is not enough to properly manage the pandemic.

Israeli authorities have said hundreds of more testing kits have been delivered by the World Health Organisation.

Protective equipment, medicines and disinfectant has also been sent into the Gaza Strip.

Israel is beginning to crackdown amid the virus, including declaring the entire city of Bnei Brak a “restricted zone” as the military was sent in.

The country is also attempting to beef up its supplies of ventilators, handing over requisition of medical equipment to its spy agency Mossad.

Mossad director Yossi Cohen reportedly heads a special command centre along with other security chiefs and the Health Ministry.

The agency has reportedly obtained information on the mass production of ventilators.

And the spooks announced they had obtained 500,000 testing kits last month.

However, they have declined to confirm the source of these key supplies.

It is reported they have been purchased from states which Israel does not have diplomatic relations.

Mossad sources have claimed spy agencies worldwide are waging a covert battle to get hold of medical supplies for their nations.

WHO chiefs have previously called for a 40 per cent boost in medical manufacturing to help meet the world’s health needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom said everyone across the globe is in a “shared struggle to protect both lives and livelihoods”.

He said: “The best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we have spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.

“If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly the virus could resurge, and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged.”

It comes as more than half the world’s population is sitting in some kind of lockdown to try and beat the bug.

The world’s economy faces being left in tatters, with bankers warning $4.1trillion may be wiped off the global markets before the pandemic is over.

Meanwhile, Britain suffered its deadliest day so far and the United States continues to be the epicentre of the outbreak as its case count nears 300,000.

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Midlands coronavirus deaths overtake London & hospital admissions up by 47% as Gove says ‘particular area of concern’ – The Sun


CORONAVIRUS deaths in hotspot the Midlands have overtaken London – with Michael Gove admitting today it is a "particular area of concern".

Today's No10 daily briefing heard hospital admissions have exploded by 47 per cent in the area in just one day.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

His comments came as deaths in Britain today rose to 708 on the deadliest day yet with the grim total now at 4,353.

Among these is a five-year-old child with underlying health conditions – the youngest coronavirus victim so far in Europe.

Out of the latest deaths in England, 212 were in the Midlands – almost double than the 127 people who died in Covid-19 hotspot London.

Mr Gove said work is now being "accelerated" on "transforming Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre into a 2,000 bed Nightingale hospital".

It comes after a warning hospitals in the West Midlands will reach maximum capacity by next week.

Mayor Andy Street said the region appears to be the next hotspot after London – with plans to turn the temporary hospital into the biggest medical facility in the UK.

He added: "The expectation, given the modelling of how this disease is spreading, means that we will need the capacity at the NEC Nightingale hospital at about the time it’s due to open."

A temporary mortuary with space for up to 12,000 bodies is now being built at Birmingham airport – next to the NEC.

The death toll in the Midlands is higher than all seven NHS England regions except London.

The Sun previously revealed how Wolverhampton had turned into a ghost town after positive cases soared.

The government has pinpointed the West Midlands as a disease hotspot – amid reports that the sudden hike in and around Wolverhampton could have been caused by a super-spreader churchgoer.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said previously authorities were doing everything possible to find out why the hotspot had emerged.

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He said: "There is a hotspot, not as big as in London, but there is a hotspot in the Midlands.

"It's something that we're looking at very, very closely to find out why, frankly."

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with about 1.1million people in the city. A total of about 3.8 million live in the metropolitan area.

The multicultural community is also one of the biggest travel hubs thanks to the East Midlands Airport and the Midlands Rail Hub.

Positive coronavirus cases have today risen from 38,168 to 41,903, the Department of Health revealed.

The new figures from the Department of Health show cases today rose by 3,735 – less than yesterday's rise of 4,450 – suggesting the 'curve' may be flattening out.

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Those testing positive for Covid-19 had been rising on average by around 17 per cent per day but today is the first time there has been a drop in the rate of infection.

It comes as Brits were warned not to flout government lockdown advice this weekend as temperatures rocket to 20C.

But some were still snapped not practising social distancing as they worked out in parks and cycled in large groups.

The UK's chief nurse Ruth May begged people to stay at home in memory of two nurses who lost their lives caring for those with the killer bug.

Aimee O’Rourke, 38, and Areema Nasreen, 36, sadly passed away after treating coronavirus patients on the frontline.

Two other healthcare assistants have also died in the last two days – with nine medics in total now killed by the virus.


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Coronavirus in NY: City spending $5.9M a day for idled school buses

New York City is spending nearly $6 million a day during the coronavirus crisis for idled school buses, The Post has learned.

Under contracts with school-bus companies, the nation’s largest school system is obligated to pay 85% of the daily fees when schools are shut for snow or other emergencies, if the days are not made up later.

That comes to roughly $5.9 million a day for buses parked in lots while students learn from home. Normally, the city Department of Education spends close to $6.9 million a day to transport kids to public and private schools during the 180-day school year.

The DOE plans to keep paying the 85% of fees for mothballed buses, but seek other uses for them.

“This is an ever-changing situation and we intend to honor our contracts and continue to support the bus workforce while exploring ways to utilize these vehicles to serve the city during a crisis,” DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson said in an email.

Yet three weeks after schools were closed — March 13 was the last day of classes — nothing has been done with the buses.

The cost is steadily rising. Schools are closed until at least April 20, but the city has cautioned that buildings might not reopen until the start of the next school year.

City officials budgeted $1.25 billion for school buses in the current school year, the city’s Independent Budget Office reports.

Schools are closed until at least April 20, but the city has cautioned that buildings might not reopen until the start of the next school year.

Education advocate Lainie Haimson suggested the buses could be used to deliver laptops for as many as 300,000 students who still lack them, or supplies to homes where parents are quarantined.

Other school districts across the country are finding ways to re-purpose bus fleets idled by the virus.

Since schools closed In Charleston, South Carolina, 45 of the district’s 360 buses are back on the road on weekdays — serving as WiFi hotspots, swapping out district-issued laptops and delivering meals to lower-income kids.

In Belleville, Illinois, about 15 miles east of St. Louis, one district has half its 200-bus fleet on the go: four with WiFi as roving hotspots and the rest delivering meals to students.

The National School Transportation Association, which represents school-bus companies, sent a letter to the nation’s governors on March 18, urging school districts to honor their contracts during the COVID-19 crisis. Executive director Curt Macysyn told governors that many operators would have to close their doors if not paid because of high overhead, including maintenance and insurance.

“And if operators go out of business,” Macysyn said, “districts will be scrambling to get children to and from school when things do settle back down.”

A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not respond to questions.

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Sun readers’ kids submit inspirational drawings for our NHS competition – The Sun

OUR readers’ kids have big arts as they submit inspirational works for our NHS competition.

Best entries will be displayed at London’s Nightingale Hospital.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


Send us your artwork!

Email a scan or photograph of your child's drawing to [email protected] and we will deliver it to NHS Nightingale

Include with your entry your name and age and a contact number for a parent or guardian, and tell us where you are from.

Why not send a photo of you holding up your masterpiece as well?

We will print a selection in the paper and all those chosen for the hospital will receive art kits.

Entries close on April 8.

Winners receive an art set.

Include your name, age and contact number for a parent or guardian.

Closing date April 8. T&Cs at thesun.co.uk.


Terms and Conditions

By entering the Promotion, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions (these Terms and Conditions). Completion and submission of an entry form or e-mail will also be deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Promotional materials relating to the Promotion, including all information on how to enter the Promotion published in publications of the Promoter (including social media if applicable) or on the Promoter's websites, also form part of these Terms and Conditions. In the event of any conflict between any terms referred to in such promotional materials and these Terms and Conditions, these Terms and Conditions take precedence.

Participation in the Promotion
1. Open to children aged [14] and under as of the closing date of 8 April 2020 but entries must be submitted by a parent or guardian.

2. Residents of the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), except children of employees and agents of the Promoter, News Corp UK & Ireland Limited and anyone otherwise connected with the operation or fulfilment of the Promotion (including third party promotional partners) and their respective associated, affiliated or subsidiary companies, and the immediate families and household members of all such employees and agents.

3. The Promotion starts at 00:01 am (UK time) on 2 April 2020 and closes at 23:59 pm (UK time) on 8 April 2020 (the Promotion Period). Any entries received outside the Promotion Period will be void.

4. To enter you must send a scan or photograph of an original drawing attached to an email headed ‘Who Cares Wins art competition’ containing your name, email address and telephone number to [email protected] during the Promotion Period only. Entries must be submitted by a parent or guardian only.

5. Entries received which are not submitted via the official entry method will not be accepted. Use of script, macro or any automated system to enter the Promotion is prohibited and entries made (or which appear to have been made) using any such system may be treated as void. Any illegible, incomplete or fraudulent entries will be rejected. Participants should be aware that they may be subject to data charges depending on their own individual arrangements for Internet access if they enter the Promotion online or by email.

6. By submitting an entry to the competition, entrants and their parents or guardians give the Promoter permission for their entry to be published and grant the Promoter a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license to republish your competition entry in electronic format and hard copy for purposes connected with the competition.

Winners and Prizes
7. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges at The Sun from all valid entries for this Promotion received during the Promotion Period. There will be no prizes for any other entrants.

8. Editorial judges will pick the most impressive entries from all valid entries as winners. Winners chosen by the panel of judges will receive an art set, and their entries will be displayed on the Sun Winners Wall at Nightingale Hospital. The number of winners is at the discretion of the panel of judges.

9. A selection of runners’ up entries chosen by the panel of judges will be published in The Sun.

10. There is no cash or other alternative to the prize in whole or in part.

11. In the event that, for reasons beyond the Promoter’s reasonable control the Promoter is unable to award the prize as described in these Terms and Conditions, the Promoter reserves the right to award a prize of a similar nature and an equivalent value, or at its sole discretion, the cash value of the prize. The Promoter also reserves the right to award a prize of a similar nature and an equivalent value, or at its sole discretion, the cash value of the prize if in its reasonable discretion it is appropriate to do so.

Winner Announcement and claiming of prize
12. Winners will be notified by email or using the other contact details provided to the Promoter within 30 days after the end of the Promotion Period. All reasonable endeavours will be made to contact the winners during the specified time. If a winner cannot be contacted or is not available, the Promoter reserves the right to re-draw another winner from the valid/correct entries that were received during the Promotion Period. Winners may be required to submit valid identification before receiving their prize.

13. Winners will be required to confirm acceptance of the applicable prize within 5 days of having been notified. If the winner has not claimed their prize by the date specified or the winner refuses or is unable to provide an eligible postal address for receipt of their prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to another participant.

14. The prize will be delivered within a reasonable time and by no later than 28 days after the prize has been accepted.

15. For a list of winners please send a stamped self-addressed envelope by no later than 28 days after the end of the Promotion Period to News UK, Promotions Department, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF stating for which Promotion you would like winners’ details.

Data Protection and Publicity
16. The Promoter will collect and process participants' personal information and it will be shared with the Promoter's agents, affiliates and, if applicable, any third party prize provider (including those outside the European Economic Area). Information provided by participants will only be used for the purpose of conducting this Promotion (including for prizes to be delivered) and other purposes as may be specified at the time of entry or on promotional materials. Personal information will be held in accordance with the applicable privacy policy in place from time to time (see http://www.newsprivacy.co.uk/single/).

17. By entering, participants agree to allow the free use of the child’s name, photograph and general location for publicity and news purposes if they are the winner of the Promotion, both during this and future promotions by the Promoter or any associated or subsidiary company of News Corp UK & Ireland Limited. This includes making their name available on the Promoter's websites and social media platforms. The winner and any guests will also be required to participate in reasonable publicity relating to this Promotion including photographed for the newspaper and website and use of their drawing in the paper/website.

General
18. The Promoter's decision is final and binding on the entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.

19. If participants do not provide any of the mandatory information requested when participating in the Promotion, their entry will be void.

20. The Promoter reserves the right to require the participants to prove that they are eligible. If a winner is found to be ineligible, the Promoter reserves the right to award their prize to another participant and to require the return of any prize already awarded.

21. The provision of the prize does not imply endorsement by the Promoter of any third parties concerned in any way with the Promotion.

22. Unless otherwise stated in the promotional materials, this Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, the manufacturer or service provider of the relevant prize.

23. Entrants must not do anything illegal and/or dangerous and/or that would put themselves or others at any risk. Save where it has been negligent, the Promoter will not be responsible for any damage, loss or injury resulting from participants' entry into the Promotion or their acceptance and/or use of the prize, or for technical, hardware or software failures, lost, faulty or unavailable network connections or difficulties of any kind that may limit or prohibit participant's ability to participate in the Promotion. The Promoter will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, defaced, incomplete, illegible or otherwise unreadable entries. Proof of posting is not proof of receipt by the Promoter of any entries. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall in any way limit the Promoter's liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for any other matter where liability may not be limited as a matter of law.

24. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the Promotion (including altering prizes) if, in its sole discretion, the Promotion is not capable of being conducted as specified. In the event of a printing or other error resulting in there being more winners than prizes for the Promotion, the Promoter reserves the right to (a) declare as void any claims or entries resulting from such printing or other error; and/or (b) allocate the available prize(s) through a further draw or to divide the prize(s) or the value of the prize(s) between the winners of the Promotion.

25. Any participant who enters or attempts to enter the Promotion in a manner, which in the Promoter's reasonable opinion is contrary to these Terms and Conditions or by its nature is unjust to other entrants (including tampering with the operation of the Promotion, cheating, hacking, deception or any other unfair playing practices such as intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other participants or the Promoter and/or any of its agents or representatives) may be rejected from the Promotion at the Promoter's sole discretion. Furthermore, where such actions have significantly impaired the Promotion, the Promoter may, at its sole discretion, add further stages to the Promotion as it deems reasonably necessary in order to resolve any problems arising from such actions.

26. The Promoter reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions. Any amendments will be published on the Promoter’s website (the Website).

27. These Terms and Conditions are governed by English law. The courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear any dispute or claim arising in association with the Promotion or these Terms and Conditions.

28. The promoter of this Promotion is News Group Newspapers Ltd (publisher of The Sun and The Sun on Sunday) of 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF (the Promoter).

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Germany and France accuse the US of seizing shipments of medical masks

Germany accuses the US of ‘modern day piracy’ for seizing a shipment of medical equipment – as French officials claim they were forced to fight with American buyers for millions of masks on a Chinese tarmac

  • The United States allegedly ‘confiscated’ 200,000 3M masks that Germany had ordered for their medical workers
  • Berlin officials blasted the US, with one claiming President Trump is showing ‘a lack of solidarity’ with other countries caught up in the coronavirus pandemic 
  • It comes after two French officials alleged that they were outbid by Americans on millions of medical masks in China; the US has denied that allegation 
  • Trump has been desperately trying to secure medical equipment for American healthcare workers as COVID-19 cases surpassed 250,000 in the US 
  • However, Germany and France have also been hit hard by the outbreak, with tens of thousands of their citizens also sickened by the contagious virus  

The United States has angered Germany and France after allegedly seizing millions of masks set to be shipped to the European nations amid the coronavirus crisis. 

On Friday, German officials hit out at America for ‘intercepting’ 200,000 masks they had ordered from a 3M factory in China. 

As 3M is an American-owned company, the US was able to ‘confiscate’ the shipment of special FFP2 and FFP3 masks which were on their way to healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 outbreak in Berlin.  

‘We consider that an act of modern piracy,’ Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel blasted.

‘You don’t treat your transatlantic partners like that,’ he is further quoted as saying in The Financial Times. 

Geisel called on Germany’s government to ‘press the US to stick to international rules’, while Berlin’s mayor accused President Trump of ‘lacking solidarity’ following the seizure of the shipment. 

President Trump is desperately trying to secure masks and other personal protective equipment for Americans as the nation’s emergency stockpile depletes. 

The United States has angered Germany and France b allegedly seizing millions of masks which were set to be shipped to the European nations amid the coronavirus crisis. erman officials hit out at America for ‘intercepting’ 200,000 masks they had ordered from a 3M factory in China. Stock image 

Berlin officials called on Germany’s government to ‘press the US to stick to international rules’, and accused President Trump of ‘lacking solidarity’ following seizure of the shipment

On Thursday, the Commander-in-chief ordered 3M to manufacture more masks for Americans as the coronavirus infection rate in the US soared above 258,000. More than 6,600 have died. 

Meanwhile, Germany has clocked 90,964 cases and 1,234 deaths as of Friday afternoon. 

The United States has also earned the ire of France, where 64,338 people have tested positive to COVID-19, and 6,507 have died.         

On Thursday, US buyers paid three times the going rate to secure a shipment of face masks from China that were due to be dispatched to France, two French officials claim. The US has denied the allegation. 

Paying cash to divert the air cargo to the US, the buyers are said to have commandeered the shipment of masks as they sat on a plane at Shanghai airport ready for take off.

The order of several million masks had been due to arrive in part to the Grand Est region in north west France, an area where intensive care facilities are already struggling to cope with the volume of coronavirus patients.

Jean Rottner, a doctor and president of the GrandEst regional council, told RTL radio that the US buyers had turned up on the tarmac offering cash.

More than one million people across the world have tested positive to COVID-19, with more than a quarter of cases occurring in the United States

Boxes being unloaded from an Antonov 124 aircraft transporting 10 million face masks ordered by France from China at the Paris-Vatry Airport in Bussy-Lettree, eastern France, 30 March

He said: ‘On the tarmac, they arrive, get the cash out … so we really have to fight.’    

The leader of the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, also accused unidentified Americans of swooping in with cash at the last minute to secure shipments already promised to French buyers.

Valerie Pecresse, the chief of France’s most populous region, said: ‘We lost an order to the Americans who outbid us on a shipment that we had lined up.’   

Pecresse claimed that while France pays on delivery for such supplies – crucial in the global fight against the pandemic –  ‘Americans pay cash’ without bothering to see the goods.

A worker next to cargo unloaded from a different plane carrying 10 million face masks ordered by France from China, at the Paris-Vatry Airport in Bussy-Lettree, eastern France, 30 March

They ‘are just looking to do business on the back of the whole world’s distress,’ she told LCI television.

France has ordered 1 billion face masks due to be delivered within the next 14 weeks and has deployed an air-bridge flight with China to deliver them amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.

Shipping company Geodis is responsible for the organisation of 16 flights by two chartered cargo planes, reports World Cargo News.

A senior US official on Thursday rejected allegations from French politicians that Americans had accroached the French shipment during the coronavirus crisis, calling the stories ‘completely false.’

In Washington, a senior administration official told AFP ‘the United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France.’

‘Reports to the contrary are completely false,’ said the official, asking not to be named.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday asked officials to look into similar claims that masks were being diverted from his country, calling such reports ‘concerning.’

France has ordered 1 billion face masks and has deployed an air-bridge flight with China to deliver them amid the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

‘We need to make sure that equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada, and I’ve asked ministers to follow up on these particular reports,’ he told a press conference.

Ottawa has recognized that its stockpiles of protective medical equipment are not enough to meet demand, as it looks to care for a surge of infected patients and slow the spread of the virus.

Canada has earmarked US$1.4 billion to buy medical equipment while asking local companies to pivot assembly lines to make masks, medical scrubs and ventilators.

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Fears uncontacted tribes could be wiped out by coronavirus as indigenous woman is first confirmed case in Brazil – The Sun


A 20-YEAR-OLD woman from a Brazilian tribe has contracted coronavirus, raising fears of its spread among indigenous people.

It's the first case of the virus reported among Brazil's tribes, which number more than 300, the country's health service Sesai has said.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


The casualty tested positive for Covid-19 in the district of Santo Antonio do Iá, near the border with Columbia.

Four cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the same district.

A Brazilian doctor from the region tested positive last week, raising fears that the epidemic will spread to remote and vulnerable indigenous communities with devastating effect.

Sesai said the woman was a medical worker who has been in contact with the doctor.

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She was one of 15 health workers and 12 patients tested for the virus, but the only person to have a positive result.

The stricken doctor had returned from a visit to southern Brazil to work with the Tikunas.

The Tikunas are one of the largest tribes in the Amazon, numbering more than 30,000.

Sesai said the woman who has tested positive has not shown any symptoms.

She is isolating with her family.

But health experts have warned the virus could be devastating for the 850,000 tribespeople in Brazil.

Brazil has had 8,261 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 344 people are known to have died of the virus so far.




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