B&Q to open a small number of stores and stop offering click and collect

B&Q is to reopen two of its stores to trial social distancing measures.

The retailer said that “having watched other essential retailers support social distancing measures” it would now be reopening its Paisley and West Thurrock stores.

B&Q stores have been closed since the end of March, and customers have only been able to use click and collect services to buy goods.

But B&Q has said it is now in a position to “follow best practice” on hygiene and social distancing measures in order to keep its staff and customers safe.

Click and collect will no longer be available at the two stores which are reopening.

We have asked B&Q when the stores will reopen and what hours they will be open for and will update this story when we know more.

Separately, B&Q has suspended click and collect at a number of other stores.

Those now without click and collect are: Culverhouse Cross in Cardiff, Chester, Brandon Road in Coventry, Fareham, Gillingham, Ipswich, Nursling, Plymouth, Stockport, Sutton in Ashfield, Watford, and Hull Road in York.

Since the retailer closed its physical shops, customers have been forced to queue to get onto its website.

Others have been left raging after waiting up to three weeks for their home delivery and click and collect orders.

Before B&Q closed, workers expressed their anger that they were being forced to "risk their health" so that people could buy garden items.

The retailer recently added plants to its items available to click and collect.

And here's which other DIY retailers are currently open.

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Germany has highest number of new coronavirus cases for six days with 3,380 new infections as they plan to ease lockdown – The Sun

GERMANY’s coronavirus cases have spiked the third day in a row, with 3,380 new infections, as the country pushes ahead with easing lockdown restrictions.

Despite the rise in cases Health Minister Jens Spahn says hospitals have "at no time been overwhelmed so far".

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


The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases confirmed today that coronavirus cases increased by 3,380 to 133,830 – Germany's biggest rise in six days – according to its data.

And the country's official death toll has jumped by 299 to 3,868, the tally showed.

This total differs from the current data shown on Johns Hopkins University's Covid-19 map, which says that 4,093 people have died from the killer bug in Germany.

Spahn said the coronavirus outbreak has become "manageable again" as the number of patients beating the disease has been higher than the number of new infections every day this week.

He told reporters that hospitals and surgeries have "at no time been overwhelmed so far".

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the virus reproduction or transmission rate in Germany was around one – meaning one person with the virus infects one other on average.



Germany will take small steps out of lockdown with the partial reopening of shops next week and schools from May 4, she added.

Its industrial powerhouse economy is set to take a heavy blow as it is reliant on exports which have fallen drastically as a result of the outbreak.

Merkel said completely lifting all restrictions, which will remain until April 19, too early could reverse the achievements so far.

However, she has been under pressure to reopen schools and factories after violence erupted in a backlash at lockdown measures.

Thugs attacked police who were enforcing social distancing rules.

One group in Frankfurt beat cops with iron bars when they tried to disperse the crowd.

Another 20-strong group pelted an officer with stones and roof tiles and iron bars, Deutsche Welle reported.

Germany's coronavirus death toll is still dwarfed by Spain's 19,315 coronavirus victims; Italy's death toll of 22,170; the close to 18,000 Covid-19 fatalities in France, and the UK's tally, which is hovering around the 14,000 mark.

None of these countries compare to America's death toll, however, which has soared beyond 34,000, according to Worldometers' latest stats.

Experts said during the early stages of the outbreak that fast and widespread testing gave Germany an edge.

Virologist Dr Christian Drosten estimated that Germany is now capable of conducting up to 500,000 tests a week.

Spain, meanwhile, tests between 105,000 and 140,000 people each week, about 20 per cent to 30 per cent of what Germany is capable of.

Italy has recently been conducting around 200,000 tests, but that reflects a significant recent ramp-up.

And in the UK, No 10 has said the country now has the capacity to test more than 35,000 hospital patients, NHS staff and care workers a day, reported The Guardian.

Yet authorities conducted just 15,994 tests in the 24 hours before 9am on Wednesday, it added.

To help Germany's gradual easing of lockdown measures, a coronavirus contact tracing app will be ready to download and use on smartphones in three to four weeks, said the Health Minister.

This will allow people to be alerted quickly when they have had been exposed to an infected person.

Developers are working hard on an app to make sure data protection standards are "as perfect as possible", Spahn told broadcaster ARD.

The Robert Koch health institute's contact tracing app is already ready and being tested.

But its launch will be coordinated with Germany's moves to ease restrictions on movement.

Reuters said that German authorities are cautious about using digital technology to fight the coronavirus.

Bosses are restrained by Europe's strict data privacy laws and wary of public scepticism towards any surveillance reminiscent of Nazi- or communist-era rule.



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Poll suggests four in 10 care homes have coronavirus cases

How many elderly Britons in care homes have REALLY been infected with coronavirus? Poll of care workers claims figure is around 40% – despite Number 10’s insistence it is just 15%

  • Nationwide poll of 2,800 carers found 42% are looking after suspected patients
  • Additional 28% said they were dealing with residents who’d been diagnosed
  • Suggests the care home crisis is deeper than the Government is willing to admit
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

More than 40 per cent of nursing homes may have cases of coronavirus, a nationwide poll of thousands of carers suggests. 

Of 2,800 carers surveyed, a shocking 42 per cent said they were looking after residents who were suspected of having the killer infection. 

An additional 28 per cent said they were dealing with patients who had officially been diagnosed. 

Almost half (44 per cent) of care workers said they knew of a colleague who had suspected coronavirus. 

It provides the biggest snapshot yet of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and suggests the care home crisis is deeper than the Government is willing to admit.

Number 10 insists that just 15 per cent of nursing homes have been plagued with two or more coronavirus cases.

Of 2,800 carers surveyed, a shocking 42 per cent said they were looking after residents who were suspected of having the killer infection

The survey, conducted by ITV News and the job board carehome.co.uk, also found eight out of 10 carers have not had access to testing themselves.

CARE HOME RESIDENTS SAY THEY ARE BEING ASKED TO SIGN LETTERS AGREEING TO NOT BE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL IF THEY GET COVID-19

Care home residents say they are being asked to sign letters agreeing to not be taken to hospital if they become ill the coronavirus.

Elderly people are being asked to sign the agreements en masse as hospitals come under intense pressure from thousands of patients with the infectious disease.

People over the age of 80 are known to be the most at risk of dying if they catch COVID-19 and account for 52 per cent of all the fatalities in England so far.

And the NHS has admitted that life-support machines could have to be prioritised for younger or healthier patients if an overloaded hospital is left with a 50/50 choice. 

One woman living in a care home in Wiltshire, Elizabeth Diacon, 97, said she and ‘several friends’ were asked to sign the letters but claims she did not feel pressured.

‘I’m not afraid of dying but I’m rather afraid of how I might die,’ Ms Diacon said. ‘I’d rather do it here than go to hospital.’  

Three quarters reported no access to testing for their residents.  

Almost all (94 per cent) of those asked felt that the government should be doing more to test clients and staff in care homes.

Access to personal protective equipment, or PPE , was also of concern to respondents. 

Half said they had not received sufficient quantities of PPE, whilst 59 per cent felt the PPE they received was not safe or did not offer the necessary levels of protection. 

Eighty-three per cent of carers said they were worried about transmitting COVID-19 to their family after working in the homes.  

Mental health was also of concern, with a third saying they need more support with their mental health due to what they are experiencing.

The finding that more than 40 per cent of care homes comes after Scotland’s First Minister admitted a similar figure North of the Border.

Mrs Sturgeon said 433 care homes – about 40 per cent of all those in Scotland – had now reported cases of the virus. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s view of the care home situation has been in stark contrast to what care providers have said.  

Mr Hancock said on Thursday that 15 per cent of care homes had two or more cases of the virus – one in seven.

He appeared to deny claims made by the care home executives that up to two thirds of all care homes have outbreaks when asked about the validity of claims on Good Morning Britain.

He described the 15 per cent figure as ‘robust’ and said Number 10 has ‘high confidence’ in it. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s view of the care home situation has been in stark contrast to what care providers have said. He appeared to deny claims that up to two thirds of all care homes have outbreaks when asked about the validity of claims on Good Morning Britain on Thursday (pictured) and described the 15 per cent figure as ‘robust’

A visitors’ notice stating cases of COVID-19 within Coplands Nursing Home in Wembley, northwest London

QUARTER OF ALL CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN SCOTLAND OCCUR IN A CARE HOME 

Official figures revealed yesterday a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in Scotland have been in care homes. 

Data from the National Records of Scotland showed 962 people diagnosed with, or suspected of having, COVID-19 had died.

Of those, 237 (24.6 per cent) were in care homes, 586 in hospitals, 128 in homes and one in an undisclosed location.

The figure was five times higher than the 5 per cent number given by the Office for National Statistics, which collates data in England and Wales.

Government experts found 217 of 3,700 deaths had been recorded in care homes across the two nations registered up until April 3. 

The ONS statistics also showed that another 5 per cent of deaths had been recorded outside of hospitals, such as in hospices. 

Separate figures showed the true number of deaths was 52 per cent higher than the count given by the Department of Health every day.

The ONS counted 5,979 deaths in England by April 3, compared to the 3,939 figure given by health chiefs on the same day – a difference of around 2,000. 

The Department of Health figures are affected by a backlog in hospital recordings, meaning that hundreds of deaths are not registered to be counted. 

About 5,300 care home residents in the UK have died from coronavirus, it was predicted last night. 

Healthcare analysts LaingBuisson surveyed groups representing 13 per cent of UK care homes. They suggest up to 28 per cent of coronavirus deaths in the UK may have occurred in care homes. 

The first comprehensive survey of the sector experts found that 1.4 per cent of older residents in social care have died outside hospital due to confirmed or suspected coronavirus as of April 15.

By extrapolation, there have been an estimated 5,300 deaths in total. The shocking figure is higher than the Daily Mail revealed it to be earlier this week.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in Scotland have been in care homes, according to official data.

The National Records of Scotland showed 962 people diagnosed with, or suspected of having, COVID-19 had died.

Of those, 237 (24.6 per cent) were in care homes, 586 in hospitals, 128 in homes and one in an undisclosed location.

The figure was five times higher than the 5 per cent number given by the Office for National Statistics, which collates data in England and Wales.

Government experts found 217 of 3,700 deaths had been recorded in care homes across the two nations registered up until April 3.

The true toll across the UK is expected to be higher. It’s been claimed doctors are told they do not have to declare COVID-19 on death certificates. 

Leaked hospital guidance – obtained by not-for-profit organisation the Good Law Project – tells medics filling in death certificates that ‘pneumonia or community acquired pneumonia are acceptable’ to put as the direct cause of death.

It states Covid-19 may be mentioned in another area of the form relating to indirect causes of death ‘should the doctor wish’.

Industry bosses have also relayed fears the killer disease may have struck three quarters of Britain’s care homes, amid growing fury over the government’s handling of the crisis.

The chief executive of one major UK provider has warned the spread of the killer infection in homes is ‘far more widespread than acknowledged’. 

CARE BOSSES HIT OUT AT ‘SHAMBOLIC’ PPE SUPPLIES IN LEAKED LETTER

A letter sent from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) to the Department of Health at the weekend has shown the care chiefs accuse a senior figure at the Department of overseeing a ‘shambolic response’.

It raised concerns about testing in care homes, funding for the sector, and inadequate amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, the BBC reported.

Adass said it was facing ‘confusion’ and additional work as a result of mixed messaging put out by the Government.

It said the situation around PPE, which is now mandatory for all healthcare workers, was ‘shambolic’ and that deliveries had been ‘paltry’ or ‘haphazard’.

The care sector, which looks after around 400,000 of Britain’s most vulnerable people, was being overlooked while officials focused on the NHS, Adass said as they raised fears of a ‘significant imbalance’.

The bosses added that they welcomed coronavirus swab testing for people working in social care but said it looked as it if it would be ‘rolled out without being given thought to who is going to be tested and what we are going to do with the result’.

Barchester Healthcare’s Peter Calveley revealed yesterday around half of its 236 homes in the UK have been hit by confirmed or suspected cases of the life-threatening illness.

Some 663 residents with confirmed or suspected coronavirus in 118 homes. 

He also said his company had recorded 196 deaths – two thirds of whom succumbed to the illness in the homes, and not hospitals. 

But he admitted the rate is closer to 75 per cent for some providers, adding: ‘It is far more widespread in care homes than has previously been acknowledged.’

Leaked hospital guidance – obtained by not-for-profit organisation the Good Law Project – tells medics filling in death certificates that ‘pneumonia or communityacquired pneumonia are acceptable’ to put as the direct cause of death. 

It states Covid-19 may be mentioned in another area of the form relating to indirect causes of death ‘should the doctor wish’. It means that the true death toll of the coronavirus may never be known. 

The Good Law Project said: ‘If doctors are being gently discouraged from reporting deaths as Covid-19, we have no way of knowing if the Government figures on deaths from coronavirus – the daily in hospital figures as well as the weekly Office for National Statistics figures – are accurate.’  

A whistleblower in the south east of England told Channel 4 news that even if they suspected coronavirus, some doctors were listing long-term conditions such as dementia as the cause of death.

The family doctor said: ‘I know GPs writing bronchopneumonia or frailty of old age on death certificates when they strongly suspect Covid, to avoid running into problems.’ 

They said doctors were ‘drowning in work, dealing with patients in care homes who’d been stable for years suddenly becoming unwell,’ and because of a lack of testing there was ‘high anxiety’ about what to do. 

The whistleblower added: ‘If you don’t document the cause of death as presumed Covid it’s the final insult really. 

‘The patient has died from this pandemic and their numbers are not going to be included.’ 

It came as it also emerged that guidance released by Public Health England on February 25, which has since been withdrawn, had said it was ‘very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will be infected’.

A Public Health England spokesman said: ‘The initial advice accurately reflected the situation at the time when there was no community transmission, meaning there was a limited risk of the infection getting in to a care home.

‘Once there was evidence of widespread transmission and we moved into the “delay” phase, new guidance was immediately put in place.

‘Any suggestion that we said that infections in care homes would be unlikely in the current phase of the outbreak is wrong.’

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics says the virus killed 217 care home residents in England and Wales in the two weeks up to April 3 – 5 per cent of all coronavirus deaths during that period. 

But, the Alzheimer’s Society had previously estimated there had been at least 2,500 deaths from care homes.  

Wear gloves and a gown and you can say a last goodbye to granny: Families with loved ones dying in care homes WILL be allowed to visit in major U-turn as Matt Hancock tears up ‘blanket DNR orders’ for elderly and vulnerable

Care homes have been ordered to allow grieving relatives a last chance to say goodbye to loved-ones before they die from coronavirus amid shocking reports of elderly victims dying alone.

Matt Hancock will reportedly outline new measures to allow compassionate visits to nursing homes and outlaw the blanket use of ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) plans, which staff claim they’ve been asked to routinely sign during the crisis.

Families have complained of having to say their last goodbyes over Skype or from outside buildings as facilities do not want them to enter because of the infection risk. 

One family revealed they were forced to wave goodbye to a deceased loved one from a nursing home car park in Nottingham while the body was removed by undertakers on Easter Monday.

The loved ones of a deceased resident at Wren Hall nursing home in Mr Hancock’s intervention comes amid fears that the death toll in care homes in England and Wales is 20 times higher than the reported 217.  Industry figures say the true count is much closer 4,000 since the outbreak started.  

According to the Evening Standard, Mr Hancock will use the daily press conference this evening to say that ‘everyone has a right to say goodbye’ and that ‘wanting to be with someone you love at the end of their life is one most human instincts there is’.

Former professional footballer Cyril Lawrence, 99, passed away after catching the coronavirus at a care home in Bolton 

Carole Foster, 77, passed away last Wednesday at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, just one day after being admitted

‘Coronavirus has made this much more difficult, and I’ve heard heart-breaking stories of people dying without a loved one nearby.

 ‘We are sensitively making sure we can limit the risk of infection while giving people’s closest loved ones the chance to properly say goodbye.’

The newspaper reported that guidance has been issued saying: ‘It is unacceptable for advance care plans, including Do Not Attempt Resuscitation orders, to applied in a blanket fashion to any group of people, and the CQC have been urgently contacting providers where this practice has been brought to their attention. 

‘Everyone at risk of losing mental capacity or nearing the end of their life should be offered the opportunity and supported, if they wish, to develop advance care planning that make their wishes clear, and to make arrangements, such as lasting power of attorney for health and social care decisions, to put their affairs in order.’ 

The Government’s U-turn comes after a harrowing report emerged of a family having to wave goodbye to a deceased loved one from a care home car park.

Relatives watched on as the body of a resident at Wren Hall nursing home in Nottinghamshire was removed by undertakers on Easter Monday.

A lack of testing means health officials have no idea how many care home residents are dying to the virus.

Care home managers had banned families from visiting over fears they could bring the virus into homes, where it could have devastating effects on highly vulnerable elderly residents often with serious underlying health conditions.

HIDDEN EPIDEMIC OF CORONAVIRUS IN CARE HOMES MAY HAVE COST 4,000 LIVES, EXPERTS WARN 

A ‘hidden epidemic’ of coronavirus in care homes may have cost 4,000 lives, experts warned last night. 

They believe deaths are being hugely under-reported because of a lack of testing.

GPs are also sometimes reluctant to write COVID-19 on death certificates and figures from care homes are not included in the official daily toll. 

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics says the virus killed 217 care home residents in England and Wales up to April 3. 

But industry figures say the true count is much higher – potentially 4,000 since the outbreak started. 

Campaigners and MPs warned yesterday of an ‘unfolding horror’ that could end up with tens of thousands of forgotten victims. 

Ministers face urgent calls to get a grip and get virus tests for all staff and residents with symptoms, more protection gear and a Cabinet minister to deal with the crisis.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night pledged action on testing and is also expected to outline a plan to address the crisis in a social care strategy. 

Care home operators complain they are being overlooked, with desperate short – ages of testing and staff safety equipment making it extremely hard to stop the disease ravaging their sites. 

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics says the virus killed 217 care home residents in England and Wales up to April 3. 

But industry figures say the true count is much higher – potentially 4,000 since the outbreak started. 

Campaigners and MPs warned yesterday of an ‘unfolding horror’ that could end up with tens of thousands of forgotten victims.  

Ministers face urgent calls to get a grip and get virus tests for all staff and residents with symptoms, more protection gear and a Cabinet minister to deal with the crisis. 

This morning it was revealed eight people have died with suspected coronavirus at Green Heys Care Home in Waterloo, Merseyside.  

The virus appears to be sweeping through nursing homes up and down the country.

Stanley Park care home in County Durham lost its 13th resident to the virus on Monday, while 12 people have died at a home in Cranhill, Glasgow.

Wren Hall nursing home in Nottinghamshire has lost 10 to the virus,  eight at another in Dumbarton – plus 13, 11 and 15 at homes in Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Luton.  

Mark Adams, chief executive officer for Community Integrated Care, which runs the home said: ‘Whilst this is a devastating number, it may have been higher had it not been for the dedicated and selfless response of our team, who have exemplified the commitment, bravery and skill, that exists within the social care workforce.’

Debbie Cholwill said her mother, who had dementia and was living in a care home, passed away on April 10 after testing positive for coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night pledged action on testing and is also expected to outline a plan to address the crisis in a social care strategy.

All care home residents and staff with symptoms of Covid-19 are to be tested as the Government faces a backlash over its handling of the growing crisis. 

Social Care Minister Helen Whately told BBC Breakfast this morning: ‘We have been doing everything that we can to protect those really vulnerable people living in care homes or receiving care at home.

Chris Schmid told MailOnline his great aunt Isabel Francis, 94, passed away in Fieldway care home in Mitcham, South London on Friday, April 10

‘From the moment it looked like coronavirus was coming our way… we have been working really hard to do whatever we can to protect those receiving care from this truly awful, horrible illness.’

She added it had been ‘harder to get heard’ on social care issues than for the NHS and said the Government had ‘taken huge steps to get PPE out to the care sector’.

Care home operators complain they are being overlooked, with desperate short – ages of testing and staff safety equipment making it extremely hard to stop the dis – ease ravaging their sites. 

Jeremy Richardson, chief executive of Four Seasons, which has 191 care homes across the UK, told the Guardian that the official figures ‘materially understated’ the crisis, adding: ‘From colleagues in the sector and in Four Seasons’ experience, it is closer to 60 per cent (infection rate).’ 

It comes after furious families today accused the Government of ‘sacrificing’ Britain’s elderly in the fight against coronavirus by discharging COVID-19 patients into care homes and signing the ‘death warrant’ of the most vulnerable in society. 

NHS hospitals have been ordered to drastically free up beds, meaning thousands of patients have been released, with scores of elderly Britons meeting the criteria sent to care homes dotted across the UK.

TRUE DEATH TOLL COULD BE 12,000

There are no official figures on the number of care home deaths so far, but some estimates put the toll as high as 12,000. 

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says evidence from France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Ire – land suggests between 4 2 per cent and 57 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths happen in care homes. 

There have been 1 2,000 deaths officially in the UK so far, according to Government figures which only cover hospitals. 

It could mean there have been another 1 2,000 in care homes. The Office for National Statistics puts the number at only 217 but its figures are 11 days out of date at a time when the death rate has risen dramatically. 

Care England, which represents independent care providers, and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey both estimate the toll to be at least 1,000. 

The Mail’s own audit has found 951 deaths, but many care homes have declined to give figures. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates there have been 2,500 deaths

In a revolt against the ‘dangerous’ drive, some care homes have already refused to accept patients over coronavirus fears – not everyone is swabbed for the killer virus before they are discharged from hospital.  

But one home in Essex was allegedly forced to accept an elderly COVID-19 patient ‘against their wishes’ before they were re-admitted to hospital the next day. The daughter of a 96-year-old resident accused Number 10 of ‘recklessly exposing’ others to the infection. 

In Herefordshire, a dementia-stricken 78-year-old was discharged from hospital to a care home, without her family being told. She also had a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) notice along with the orders not to send back to hospital if she caught coronavirus.

Mark Gordon fears his mother Susan (above), a 76-year-old terminally-ill cancer patient, is too weak to fight off coronavirus after contracting the infection while at a Tayside care home. He claims staff did not use PPE when dealing with patients

Demanding action from Downing Street, her daughter said: ‘My mother has worked all her life and paid into the NHS they do not have the right to sign her death warrant because she’s old and has dementia.’

Despite hospitals being told to free up space, it was revealed last night that London’s Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre sat almost empty with just 19 coronavirus patients treated over the Easter weekend.  

George Hillhouse’s 74-year-old mother, Helen Smith, died at Almond Court care home in Drumchapel, Glasgow, on Saturday

It comes after care industry bosses yesterday suggested that two thirds of all homes across Britain have recorded coronavirus cases. Around 500,000 people are in care homes in the UK.

Grim statistics released yesterday also showed the number of coronavirus deaths in care homes rose ten-fold by the start of April, up from just 20 for the week ending March 27.

But the true scale of the coronavirus catastrophe in Britain’s care homes is a mystery because the figures released by the Office for National Statistics are almost two weeks out-of-date.  

Number 10 is under mounting pressure to start recording all coronavirus deaths, wherever they happen, amid the accusations the true toll is being swept under the carpet.

The UK’s care home regulator, the Care Quality Commission, announced it would step in to collect daily numbers of coronavirus deaths. 

Helen Buniak revealed her 96-year-old mother’s home was ‘ordered’ to admit a coronavirus patient from hospital ‘against their wishes’ on April 8.

She alleged that the Birchwood Residential Care Home, in Ilford, was told it was ‘Government policy’.

The discharged patient only stayed in the facility for one day before they were re-admitted to hospital, Ms Buniak claimed. 

She told MailOnline: ‘How shocking and completely reckless to allow the virus to enter into a care home that was clear of the virus.

‘However much the staff did their best to isolate the patient, there is still a serious risk that the virus could spread and cause multiple deaths.’ 

Ms Buniak said it seemed like the lives of older people in care homes are ‘invisible’ and argued: ‘The Government is willing to sacrifice them.’ 

‘The Government’s so called policy to shield those most vulnerable clearly does not apply to the elderly in care homes.’

The Birchwood care home, which looks after around 40 elderly patients, is one of dozens to have limited routine visits from family members.  

Another MailOnline reader revealed her elderly dementia-stricken mother was discharged to a care home, without checking with her. 

LONDON’S NEW MAKE-SHIFT HOSPITAL HAD JUST 19 PATIENTS OVER EASTER 

A hospital bed and respirator at ExCel London

London’s Nightingale Hospital sat almost empty with just 19 coronavirus patients treated over the Easter weekend.

The 4,000 capacity flagship hospital was opened by Prince Charles via video link almost two weeks ago and is designed to handle a large surge in coronavirus cases.

However data circulated to health chiefs and seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) shows some hospitals have been able to double their ICU capacity, to 1,555 beds, despite rising levels of infections.

It also showed only 19 patients were receiving treatment over the Easter weekend at the facility located in the Docklands.

Her mother, of Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, was stuck in hospital because health officials had yet to find a care package for her.

She told MailOnline: ‘Due to the COVID-19 outbreak most care homes in Hereford with places refused to take her so she was there a while. 

‘The hospital were getting really annoyed because they wanted her out as soon as possible and the bed freed up.

‘On Sunday (April 12) they discharged her to a care home in Worcestershire without consulting me or checking the home could meet her complex needs.’

The woman – who wanted to remain anonymous – added: ‘She arrived with a DNR, which said do not transfer back to hospital if she contracts COVID-19. 

‘My mother has worked all her life and paid into the NHS they do not have the right to sign her death warrant because she’s old and has dementia.

‘If my mum gets sick with COVID-19 she will be left to die and the hospital will refuse to admit her because the DNR will be in her notes.’ 

NHS trusts are trying to discharge patients who do not need round-the-clock care to free up capacity for the expected surge in COVID-19 cases.

But care home managers are refusing to accept elderly people over fears they might bring the virus into the homes.

Under guidance issued by the government last week, testing is not mandatory for discharged patients.

David Steedman, the manager of Arlington House care home in Sussex, admitted he had five empty rooms but refused to take in people discharged from hospitals.

He said it would be ‘madness’ to expose residents and staff to the risk of infection, the Guardian reports.

Last week the Government promised every social care provider in the country would receive deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks.

Mr Steedman told the paper: ‘The personal protective equipment issued for staff is laughable.

‘These masks, as well as having an expiry date of 2016, are the sort of flimsy, paper thing that dentists wear with gaps all round the edges.

‘The instructions say they should be used if a resident has symptoms of the virus or actually has it. But these masks are completely useless in those situations.’

Avice Howarth’s mother, who was living in a care home. passed away on April 10

It comes after it was warned last night that a ‘hidden epidemic’ of coronavirus in care homes may have cost 4,000 lives. Experts believe deaths are being hugely under-reported because of a lack of testing.

GPs are also sometimes reluctant to write COVID-19 on death certificates and figures from care homes are not included in the official daily toll. 

Jane Rudge’s mother is a resident at Hopwood Court care home in Alvechurch, Worcestershire. The 94-year-old is now ill, with suspected COVID-19

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics says the virus killed 217 care home residents in England and Wales up to April 3. 

But industry figures say the true count is much higher – potentially 4,000 since the outbreak started. 

One leading statistician the numbers were being underestimated because GPs were unwilling to record ‘covid’ on death certificates if they hadn’t seen the patient. 

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, who is based at the Faculty of Mathematics at Cambridge University, highlighted emergency laws which came into force last month which enable doctors to certify deaths without being in physical attendance.

Under the Government’s Coronavirus Act, which was passed on March 25, doctors are allowed to carry out the process of death registration over-the-phone.

The new powers were intended to reduce the likelihood of GPs contracting the infection but Sir David said the upshot was that they were less inclined to record the virus as the cause of death.

Other organisations including the Alzheimer’s Society and Care England, the main representative body for social care organisations, said the death toll was being hugely underplayed by the lack of tests.

Currently only hospital patients and some frontline staff are being tested for the virus, although the Government hopes to roll this out to other key workers and the wider public if the capacity increases

Sir David said: ‘Less than 10 per cent of deaths are being coded for COVID-19 deaths outside hospitals. That’s at home, or in care homes.

‘Under a new regulation, doctors do not actually have to see a patient to register their deaths now. They can do it over the phone with a description of their symptoms.

‘I could understand many doctors or GPs not being willing to put COVID-19 on a death certificate when they’ve neither had a test, nor seen the patient.

‘Unfortunately, we don’t seem to know yet how many of these extra deaths are being registered without even seeing the patient. That seems to me very important to have that piece of information.’

Speaking to the BBC’s World At One, he added: ‘There are suggestions going around that doctors are kind of being encouraged not to put covid on the death certificate.’

He did not explain who was pressuring doctors not to report the virus on the death certificates or why.

Debbie Cholwill said her mother (pictured) passed away on April 10. On Facebook, she wrote: ‘It is with deep sadness that I am putting this message on sadly after six years of my mum being in a care home with dementia she sadly passed away last night, after testing positive for Coronavirus’

Elaine Shirt had to put her ‘lovely’ father Cyril Lawrence, 99, into respite in a care home after her mother was taken ill recently and went into hospital. Pictured, Mr Lawrence (front row, third from left) with Stan Mortensen (front row, sixth from left) at Blackpool in 1939

Something funny, Care Minister? Moment grinning MP Helen Whately LAUGHS as Piers Morgan confronts her over 4,000 coronavirus care home deaths

She said her laughter was a reaction to him showing her the front page of the newspaper, when she was unable to see him due to not having a screen visible showing the GMB host.

Care minister Helen Whately was blasted today for sniggering in a car crash TV interview as it was revealed a ‘hidden epidemic’ of coronavirus in nursing and old-people’s homes may have cost 4,000 lives.

She was taken to task by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain as he grilled her over an exclusive report in the Daily Mail that deaths in care facilities are being hugely under-reported because of a lack of testing.  

Mrs Whately, 43, the MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, was sent out to face the media this morning as anger and questions increased over the vulnerability of care home residents amid a lack of testing and personal protective equipment  (PPE) for staff. 

Appearing on GMB she insisted that the Government has been working hard to tackle the crisis, but Piers insisted she answer questions about deaths in care homes, telling her he expected her to be working hard.

He asked: ‘Is it true that 4,000 people have died in care home? Yes or no?’ 

But medical professionals are urged not to record an illness as cause of death unless they are very sure.  

Nick Stripe, head of the health analysis and life events division at the Office for National Statistics said: ‘It could be that the doctor certifying the death, to the best of their knowledge, is not sure enough that there is possibly covid involved to put it on the death certificate.

‘It’s dependent of the doctor, understanding the patient’s background and recent symptoms in terms of what in their medical opinion they put on the death certificate.’

Research by the London School of Economics over the weekend suggested that about half of coronavirus deaths in Europe were occurring in care homes.

In Belgium the figure was estimated to be 42 per cent, rising to 53 per cent in Italy and 57 per cent in Spain.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the official figures were ‘airbrushing older people out like they didn’t matter’.

She added: ‘Any suggestion that these spiralling care home deaths are somehow inevitable would be utterly wrong, sounding suspiciously like an excuse for failings of national policy and practice.’

Christina McAnea, assistant general secretary of Unison which represents many care home staff said: ‘These figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

‘A comprehensive programme of testing of staff and the people they look after should start at once.

‘Without daily updates on the number of people dying in residential care and their own homes, it’s impossible to track the spread of the virus. Hospital deaths are only part of the picture.’

Campaigners and MPs warned yesterday of an ‘unfolding horror’ that could end up with tens of thousands of forgotten victims. 

Ministers face urgent calls to get a grip and get virus tests for all staff and residents with symptoms, more protection gear and a Cabinet minister to deal with the crisis.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night pledged action on testing and is also expected to outline a plan to address the crisis in a social care strategy. 

Care home operators complain they are being overlooked, with desperate short – ages of testing and staff safety equipment making it extremely hard to stop the disease ravaging their sites. 

Care minister Helen Whately was blasted today for sniggering in a car crash TV interview about the ‘hidden epidemic’ of coronavirus in care homes. 

She was taken to task by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain as he grilled her over a Mail exclusive that deaths in care facilities are being hugely under-reported. 

Mrs Whately, 43, MP for Faversham and Mid Kent,  insisted that the Government has been working hard to tackle the crisis.

But Piers insisted she answer questions about deaths in care homes, telling her he expected her to be working hard.

He asked: ‘Is it true that 4,000 people have died in care home? Yes or no?’ 

The Social Care Minister then thanked him for acknowledging what the government is doing and said the work was ‘really important’.

Piers interrupted to say tell her that it was more important that 4,000 people have died, only for the Minister to start laughing. 

The host said: ‘Why are you laughing? What do you find funny about this?’

She said: ‘I don’t think it’s funny in the slightest.’

He responded: ‘Well why do you keep laughing then? I’m not laughing at all,’ she said.

Piers replied: ‘I literally just asked you is it true that 4,000 elderly people have died in hosp and all you can do is laugh what’s the matter with you?’

As she continued to insist she wasn’t laughing and asked Piers not to suggest she had been, he said: ‘We literally just saw you.’ 

But she said her laughter was a reaction to him showing her the front page of the newspaper, when she was unable to see him due to not having a screen visible showing the GMB host. 

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Arsenal ‘very interested’ in £36m PSG flop Julian Draxler but midfielder’s £120k-a-week wages could derail transfer deal – The Sun

ARSENAL are reportedly very interested in signing Julian Draxler – but he would have to lower his wage demands.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain after only making 12 starts this season.

According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Arsenal and one other unnamed Premier League club want to snap him up.

German giants Hertha Bellerin are also in the running to secure the midfielder's signature.

PSG are expected to listen to offers for the German this summer as he is set to enter the final 12 months of his deal.

Draxler has failed to live up to expectations with the French club since he joined from Wolfsburg in January 2017.

He is believed to rake in a whopping £120,000-per-week at Parc des Princes, but Arsenal would struggle to match his wage.

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Darragh Ennis: The Chase’s new quizzer mocks dyslexia and dwarfism in resurfaced tweets

The Chase’s new quizzer Darragh Ennis has posted a series of tweets on his page, which were intended as jokes. The former contestant’s account, which has 2,855 followers, shared gags about dyslexia and dwarfism before he signed up to be the ITV show’s sixth chaser.

In 2017, a tweet posted on Darragh’s page included a joke about gay people and people with learning disorders, according to The Mirror online. 

It read: “My friend refused to believe he is gay or dyslexic. I think he’s in Daniel.”

Another post shared on the account that year was a gag about dwarfism, which said: “Growing up with dwarf parents was very difficult.

“So hard to watch them constantly struggling to put food on the table.”

READ MORE… Mark Labbett: The Chase star slams lockdown request ‘You kidding me?’

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Later that year, a joke posted on the Irish scientist’s account made fun of German stereotypes.

The tweet read: “I just deleted all the Germans from my phone contacts so now it’s Hans free…”

All but one of the tweets appear to have been deleted from the chaser’s account. 

Express.co.uk has contacted a representative for ITV for comment.

Darragh will be joining Jenny Ryan, Mark Labbett, Anne Hegerty, Paul Sinha and Shaun Wallace after impressing fans when he appeared on the ITV show in 2017.

The Oxford University researcher tweeted about joining the programme yesterday.

He penned: “I’m really excited to be the 6th chaser on #TheChase. 

“I’ve been working hard on this for a while now and can’t wait for my episodes to air. Well the ones I win anyway.”

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Darragh became a favourite on The Chase when he banked £9,000 for the team during his turn.

However, his teammates unfortunately took the lower offers which decreased the team fund by £2,700.

The hashtag #Justicefordarragh started trending at the time and viewers even started a Gofundme page to try and raise him the money he missed out on.

A source close to the show told The Mirror that Darragh will not be replacing any of the existing chasers.

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They said: “The show is so popular with spin off shows now as well so there is a need to increase the team.

“No one is leaving, Darragh is very much an addition to the team.”

Mark, who is best known as The Beast on The Chase, addressed Darragh’s arrival while responding to a tweet from a viewer earlier this week.

A Twitter user asked Mark: “Any idea when the new episodes with the 6th chaser will be shown?”

Mark predicted in response: “Probably the autumn would be my guess.”

The Chase airs tonight at 5pm on ITV.

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Coronavirus Conspiracy: Expert explains why theories spread ‘more quickly than virus’

The origins of the pandemic, which are still unknown, have left people around the world baffled as the virus quickly spread around the world in a few months. Some bizarre theories include coronavirus being the body’s reaction to the electromagnetic radiation from 5G waves. There is no scientific evidence to support this view, indeed the frequency of these 5G waves is between 30 to 300GHz, which is lower than the frequency of visible light or TV remote controls. 

Nonetheless, the theory and belief in them have led to incidents of 5G masts being attacked.

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Dr Viren Swami, a professor of social psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, tried to pin down the psychology behind people believing in conspiracy theories despite no truth in them.

He told Express.co.uk: “One of the problems with understanding conspiracy theories is so many people believe in them.”

Dr Swami noted one study in the US concluded 50 percent believed in at least one conspiracy theory and it was difficult to build a psychological profile for such a large group of people.



He added, however: “We know they’re some things that make it more likely for people to believe, such as a reliance on more intuitive or emotional thinking.

“Mainly what we’re talking about is a lack of agency or control.”

The expert also cited feelings of fear and a lack of support leading to people believing in the theories.

Dr Swami summarised: “Generally, people who feel powerless, people who feel under threat, people who feel they have no control of what’s happening around them.”

Conspiracy theories such as the 5G theory work by personifying other groups as “bad”, such as governments and those putting up 5G masts.

Dr Swami adds this makes theories believe: “Now, I can do something about it, I can take action.

“That action in the UK involves burning down telephone masts”, which can give a sense of control of their destiny back.”

The professor added the rise of social media allowed to increase the spread of conspiracy theories.

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There has been little study on whether conspiracy theories are becoming more common.

He added: “But we also know specifically in terms of the coronavirus, that it’s spreading very rapidly.

“There have been a couple of studies which have shown that you can map the spread of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and they are spreading much more quickly than the actual virus itself.”

On whether it is easy to change the mind of a conspiracy believer, he said: “No, near impossible, particularly if you’re a hardcore believer.

“They typically reject any evidence that doesn’t fit with their worldview and they only accept evidence that fits with pre-existing beliefs.

“They will reject anything and say mainly because I’m part of the conspiracy myself.

“They frame it in such a way that there is no possibility of having a debate.

“They get into this frame of mind, where they think people who are doing bad things are inherently evil and you don’t want to have a debate with someone who is evil, what you want to do is vanquish evil.”

Success in debating and convincing the theory is incorrect is much more likely to come when debating someone who is still relatively “on the fence”.

The radiation causing the illness is not the only 5G conspiracy theory, some theorists believe the waves are linked to some sort of government attempt at mind control and lockdown is an attempt to get the public out of the way whilst masts are built.

Conspiracy theories concerning power and control are not uncommon, such as the new world order theory which hypotheses a totalitarian world government is attempting to emerge.

Dr Swami says there are two major approaches as to why theories about power and control can emerge.

He said: “One is the historical version, which is basically the kind of people who subscribe to these theories are either paranoid or deeply suspicious, and because they are psychopathological in some form, they subscribe to weird and outlandish theories.”

Whilst acknowledging there may be some truth in this, Dr Swami says “it’s not the full explanation”.

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The other approach is that: “It’s a rational form of trying to explain the world. It may lead individuals to completely irrational thought patterns, but the attempt to understand the world is a rational process. “

Dr Swami explains the issues arise through “over-simplistic” attempts to gain information that fills in gaps in knowledge.

These conspiracy theories have harmful consequences, Dr Swami warns conspiracy believes are also less likely to follow social distancing guidelines.

Whilst, the New York Times reported that in March, there were more than 30 incidents of suspected arson or vandalism at wireless towers and telecommunications infrastructure.

As well as around 80 incidents of harassment of telecom technicians in Britain.

Metro reported there were 20 further cases of suspected arson in England, Scotland and Wales over Easter weekend, including one to mast providing connectivity to the Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, which has been set up to provide treatment to coronavirus patients.

Vodafone chief executive Nick Jeffery told Metro: “In practice, this means families not being able to say a final goodbye to their loved ones; hard-working doctors, nurses, and police officers not being able to phone their kids, partners or parents for a comforting chat.”

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Sawm: What is sawm? Why is it important for Muslims?

Sawm is an undertaking by Muslims during Ramadan, which is the holy month where Muslim families and friends come together to share a meal after a long day of fasting and reflect on the blessings of their lives. Sawm is an important part of Ramadan, but what does it actually mean?

When is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is considered to be the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

For most Muslims, it is a time during which they fast, pray and spend time with friends and family over a 29 to 30 day period.

Ramadan is steeped in tradition and history, with many rules and codes of behaviour.

This year, Ramadan began on the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2020, and it will continue until the evening of Saturday, May 23.

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What is sawm?

Sawm is an Arabic word meaning fasting.

Sawm is particularly associated with Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the third of five pillars of Islam.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, gambling, smoking and all sensuous pleasures from sunrise to sunset.

Sawm is directly stated in the Quran as “eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till night”.

What are the pillars of Islam?

The Five Pillars of Islam are the five obligations every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life according to the tenets of the religion.

The Five Pillars are:

  • Shahadah: Sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith
  • Salat: Performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day
  • Zakat: Paying an alms or charity tac to benefit the poor and the needy
  • Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  • Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Why is sawm important for Muslims?

Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during Ramadan and requires Muslims to abstain from food, beverages including water, sexual intercourse and other activities, during daylight hours.

Muslims who are physically able and not otherwise exempt, are required to fast from dawn to sunset for the entire month of Ramadan.

Muslims fast because it is a religious duty commanded to followers in the Quran.

In terms of the religious practice, fasting gives all Muslims an opportunity to reflect in a spiritual way about their lives and develop a sense of self-discipline.

Practically-speaking, fasting teaches Muslims to identify with the poor and needy.

Who is exempt from fasting during Ramadan?

Fasting is a crucial part of Ramadan, however, not all Muslims are expected to observe the tradition.

The following are exempt from the rules:

  • Those who are ill, including mental illness, physical illness and those on medication.
  • Prepubescent children
  • Breastfeeding mothers as fasting may harm their baby.
  • Pregnant women because fasting may harm their unborn child.
  • Menstruating women as a hadith says they are forbidden from observing the fast.
  • The elderly as fasting could make them ill.
  • Those travelling or spending time away from their home.

How will coronavirus impact Sawm?

Ramadan is commemorated by 1.6 billion Muslims around the world and is traditionally a time present with family members for the daily evening and morning meals called iftar and suhoor respectively.

However, with the global coronavirus pandemic, it is likely this year’s Ramadan will be impacted.

Lockdowns have been put into effect around the world, meaning there is a ban on public gatherings and many people are expected to remain in their homes.

In terms of fasting, it is possible coronavirus will have little impact on the fast and potentially it may even assist with people keeping to the fast as it may be easier if people stay at home and avoid the physically taxing activities they would be participating in outside in the heat.

However, it is possible more people will be exempt this year due to illness.

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‘Warm and caring’ NHS manager mum, 49, dies of coronavirus after 30 years helping patients – The Sun

A "WARM AND CARING" mum who worked for the NHS for 30 years has died after contracting coronavirus.

Julianne Cadby, 49, had worked in several roles at her health board in Cardiff, Wales over three decades and was a "much loved" member of her team.

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She started her career as a medical secretary before becoming a business manager at the specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

According to colleagues Julianne, who was from Cardiff, was "always ensuring we are delivering the best service we can for children and young people."

She leaves behind her husband Chris, their son Evan and her brother Ian.

It is believed at least 50 NHS workers have died with Covid-19 in the UK so far.

'MUCH LOVED'

A spokesman for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: "Julianne was a much loved member of our team, she was extremely warm and caring and would always make time to help and support hear colleagues.

"Her dedication shone through, playing a central role in all that we do in the service and her focus was always on ensuring we are delivering the best service we can for children and young people.

"Her loss will be felt by all the many colleagues she has worked with over the years.

"She is survived by her husband Chris, their son Evan and her brother Ian. We will miss her greatly."


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Her death comes as the number of people to die in UK hospitals with the virus hit at least 13,729.

It was announced yesterday that 861 more patients had died in hospital in 24 hours.

According to the Department of Health 103,093 people have tested positive for the deadly bug.

But it is feared the number who have died is much higher, with the government's figures not currently including deaths in care homes, hospices or at home.

Frontline NHS and care home staff treating patients with Covid-19 symptoms have called for better personal protective equipment (PPE).

NHS heroes fighting on the frontline against coronavirus say they've been forced to buy their own protective equipment from DIY stores.

Data from the NHSppe app, created to track shortages of PPE, found that 52% of doctors lacked the correct gowns for high risk procedures.

Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff

SUN readers are today urged to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.

Yesterday, we backed a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gallantry gong given for acts of bravery that did not take place in battle.

A No10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.”

SAS hero Andy McNab added: “The award of a George Cross would show an emotional appreciation.”

We are asking readers to sign the petition online at thesun.co.uk/georgecrossfornhs.

Yesterday, the son of an NHS consultant who died of coronavirus blamed his dad's death on a lack of PPE after it was taken from his ward.
Dr Peter Tun, 62 died in the intensive care unit of Royal Berkshire Hospital hospital in Reading on Monday after contracting Covid-19.

His son, Michael Tun, said: "The day he found out there was a positive for Covid-19 in his ward, dad told me that he had earlier complained to a manager bc they took PPE away from his ward to take somewhere else.

"He was told that if there was a case, they would bring it back. He replied it would be TOO LATE.

"The last he told me, there were 4 more positive patients with no symptoms. 2 weeks later, my dad passed away and I couldn't do anything."

This week, it was revealed that a retired NHS medic who worked on the frontline battling coronavirus had died from the disease.

Andrew Treble, 57, died at Wrexham Maeler Hospital after working as a theatre assistant amid the crisis gripping Britain.

Other NHS medics who have died after contracting the virus include Lourdes Campbell, a healthcare assistant with the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, died on Wednesday night after catching coronavirus.

Chief Executive Fiona Noden said this morning: "It is with deep regret and huge sadness that I share with you the devastating news that we have lost a friend and colleague to the terrible Covid-19 virus.

“Lourdes Campbell one of our heath care assistants died yesterday on our Critical Care Unit. Lourdes, known as Des to her colleagues, had worked with us for nearly 13 years."

And a pregnant NHS nurse died from coronavirus five days after her baby was saved by an emergency C-section.

Mary Agyapong, 28, who "devoted her life to the NHS", was taken to hospital on Tuesday last week showing signs of the killer disease and later tested positive for Covid-19.

She died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital on Easter Sunday.



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Woman proposes to girlfriend by getting her to put together a 100-piece puzzle

We do love a proposal that’s not just romantic, but also super sneaky.

So we applaud Gemma Stanley, 27, who managed to get her girlfriend Karen Ives, 26, to literally put together her own proposal without having a clue.

Gemma gave Karen – who happens to absolutely love puzzles – a jigsaw puzzle to complete after dinner.

Unbeknownst to Karen, that puzzle formed a photo of Gemma with a ring, along with the text ‘will you marry me?’.

After secretly watching Karen complete the 100-piece puzzle, Gemma got down on one knee with a ring in her hand.

Karen said yes – and the adorable moment was captured on camera.

Gemma, a childcare worker from Nottingham, said: ‘I’m just so happy.

‘I wanted to get her a 1,000 piece one but I knew I wanted to record it and I had to hide the box.

‘I was so nervous and sweating like hell so when she said yes it was the best feeling.’

Childcare worker Karen added: ‘I had no idea it was coming. I thought it would be a few years down the line.

‘At first I thought why is she recording me. I was a bit confused.

‘I started around the outside first. It was about 5-10 minutes into it that I clocked what was happening.

‘I just went with it and finished it before I said yes.’

Gemma ordered the 100-piece personalised Ravensburger jigsaw from Photobox at the start of the year and planned to propose after her birthday in February.

Gemma said: ‘Everything just fell into place.

‘I knew I wanted to do it at the weekend but it was during the week that I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to do it now’.

‘I told her to go upstairs and run a bath and I’d get dinner on.

‘I think we had spaghetti bolognaise. I can’t even remember the dinner because I was so nervous and was sweating.

‘She usually comes home from work and spends half an hour to an hour on puzzles so I gave her the puzzle pieces when she sat down.

‘When I was getting down on one knee the song Because You Loved Me came on. Now we’re thinking it might be our first dance song.’

Following the proposal at the beginning of March, the pair have spent their time in lockdown planning their wedding and plan to have the big day in September 2022.

Gemma added: ‘We’ve found ourselves with a bit of time on our hands so we’ve done all the planning without having phoned up venues.

‘But we just can’t wait.’

Do you have a story to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Share your views in the comments section below.

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NFL Draft 2020 approaching: What we can learn from recent trends

In less than a week, the 32 NFL teams will take their swings at the 2020 NFL Draft.

This draft has been the most debated and discussed ever because of the current circumstances in the world. The NFL draft is the only thing really going on in the sports world and has provided fans a distraction and something to debate with their friends.

We decided to look at the past five drafts and see if there are any trends to be detected and what those tell us about potential decisions teams face in this year’s draft.

Starting with the 2015 draft, we used Pro Football Reference’s Draft Finder tool to break things down.

In those five drafts, there have been 608 offensive players drafted, 558 defensive players taken and 18 on special teams.

Here is some of what we found:

Position taken the most

Teams have drafted wide receivers more than any other position, a reflection on how important the passing game has become. There have been 159 receivers taken — 17 in the first round, which is the third-most. Cornerback (147) is in second overall and tied for first with 18 first-round picks. Running back (121), defensive tackle (109) and defensive end (105) round out the top five.

Defensive end is tied with cornerback for the most first-round picks taken (18). While quarterback and offensive tackle don’t have high overall numbers, they are tied for fourth, along with defensive tackle, in first-round picks (16).

Position taken the least

We excluded kickers and punters from this count. Interior offensive linemen take up two of the top five spots. Centers (33) have been taken the least in the past five drafts. They are followed by inside linebackers (34), quarterbacks (56), guards (67) and outside linebackers (69).

The first-round selections fall pretty closely to the overall numbers. The one exception is running back. While the 121 running backs taken are the third-most by position, only nine have been taken in the first round, which is the tied for the fifth-fewest. That backs up the theory most teams now have that running backs can be found in later rounds.

First round or bust

There is always great debate about positional value when it comes to first-round picks. Do you use a first-round pick on a wide receiver or wait until later rounds? Can you find a good edge-rusher outside of the first round?

Here are the positions at which we found first-round picks succeeded much more than those in the rest of the rounds: offensive lineman, cornerback and quarterback.

Let’s start with offensive tackles. There have been 96 drafted, 16 in the first round, four in the top 10. Out of those 96, three have made an All-Pro team and all of those were first-round picks; two of those were top-10 picks.

There have been 67 guards drafted, eight in the first round and two in the top 10. Only Quenton Nelson has been All-Pro and he was taken No. 6 overall by the Colts in 2018.

Only one of the 33 centers drafted has made a Pro Bowl, and that was another Colts first-round pick, Ryan Kelly.

At cornerback, of the 147 players drafted, eight have made a Pro Bowl. The Dolphins’ Xavien Howard, a second-round pick, is the only one from outside the first round.

Quarterback is one you’d expect to have a higher hit rate in the first round, because quarterbacks always get over-drafted. Of 56 drafted, there have been eight Pro Bowlers, with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick, the only one coming from outside of the first round.

You can wait on these

The positions at which teams have had the most success outside of the first round are running back, wide receiver and defensive end.

Running back is probably the most debated position in the draft. There have been 121 drafted, nine in the first round. Of the 14 who have made a Pro Bowl, nine came from outside the first round. For every Ezekiel Elliott, there is an Alvin Kamara.

There is a debate among Jets fans right now about taking a wide receiver in the first round. The numbers say they should wait. Of the 159 wide receivers drafted, 17 have been taken in the first round. There have been eight (not including those selected as a returner) of those who have made a Pro Bowl, and seven of them were drafted outside the first round. Amari Cooper, drafted by the Raiders in 2015, is the only first-rounder who has been a Pro Bowler.

Defensive end is an even split. Of the 10 Pro Bowlers, five have come outside the first round.

Does volume matter?

There is always discussion at this time of year of trading down to acquire more picks with the idea that more picks means getting more good players.

That is not always the case.

The Browns have used the most draft picks over the past five years (52). While they have improved their talent greatly in that time, they have not made a playoff appearance. They also have made some big trades (Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry) to supplement their roster.

The teams right behind the Browns have had mixed success. The Seahawks (49), Vikings (49), Bengals (48) and 49ers (48) round out the top five.

The teams that have used the fewest picks are the Panthers (32), Falcons (32), Eagles (32), Bears (32) and Saints (33).

Volume does not always equate to draft success. Would you rather have the Saints’ past five drafts or those of the Bengals?

Making a move

Which general managers are most likely to make a move? Examining teams that have traded in the first round since 2015, Seahawks GM John Schneider loves to move back. Bills GM Brandon Beane and Eagles GM Howie Roseman like to move up.

Schneider has traded down six times in the first round. It makes sense because Seattle is usually drafting late in the first round. Many teams like to move out of the end of the first round, feeling there is not much of a difference in the caliber of player to take in the second round. The Browns and Ravens have also traded back three times.

The Bills and Eagles each have moved up three times. In both instances, two of those trades led to drafting a quarterback. Philadelphia moved up twice to get Carson Wentz in 2016. Buffalo did the same in 2018 for Josh Allen.

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