Army spotted delivering coronavirus supplies to hospitals during UK lockdown

The army has delivered supplies to a hospital as staff and patients battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas' Hospital, London, on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict lockdown measures on Monday urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work.

The police have been given powers to disperse any public gatherings of more than two people, excluding those that you live with.

These measures will be in place for at least the next three weeks before they are reviewed again, Johnson said.

More than 460 personnel are set to deliver personal protective equipment to NHS.

Brigadier Phil Prosser said: "The British Army soldier is a citizen soldier and is proud to be part of the nation's response to this unprecedented challenge.

"There are some tough times ahead and the nation needs to rise together to respond to those times.

"What you've seen today is a British Army convoy delivering Personal Protective Equipment right to the frontline of the nation's response to the Coronavirus challenge – standing side by side with the NHS."

Brits were seen flocking to beaches and parks at the weekend, flouting the government guidelines.

Lockdown measures set out by the Government on Monday are rules, not advice, and will be enforced, health minister Matt Hancock said today.

The coronavirus pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming more than 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more.

"These measures are not advice, they are rules and will be enforced, including by the police," Hancock told Parliament.

He said the government would publish guidance later on Tuesday to explain the steps employers must take to ensure their workers are safe.

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Stocks surge on hopes for a $2-tn U.S. stimulus deal

North American stocks jumped at the open on Tuesday as signs that Washington was nearing a deal on a $2-trillion rescue package for the coronavirus emergency gave a shot of optimism to markets reeling under the biggest selloff since the global financial crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1,130.26 points, or 6.08 per cent, at the open to 19,722.19. The S&P 500 opened higher by 107.04 points, or 4.78 per cent, at 2,344.44. The Nasdaq Composite gained 335.47 points, or 4.89 per cent, to 7,196.15 at the opening bell.

In Toronto, Canada’s benchmark S&P/TSX composite index was up 718.30 points at 11,946.79.

The Canadian dollar traded for 69.16 cents US compared with an average of 69.05 cents US on Monday.

The May crude contract was up 97 cents at US$24.33 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up 6.7 cents at US$1.740.

The April gold contract was up US$107.50 at US$1,675.10 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 10.95 cents at US$2.2100 a pound.

— With files from the Canadian Press

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Special flights to get Britons home as emergency travel loan offered

Special flights are being set up to get Britons stranded because of the coronavirus lockdown home, the foreign secretary has announced.

Dominic Raab said Singapore had agreed to be the transit hub where people stuck in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Peru could fly through on their way back to the UK.

He also assured travellers unable to afford the cost of a plane ticket back they could get an emergency loan to cover the cost.

MPs including Tory backbenchers turned up the heat on the Foreign Office for its record helping Britons stuck abroad get home as countries across the world try to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Former immigration minister Caroline Nokes complained of an “MPs’ helpline that rings with no answer, emails acknowledged but not replied to, embassies that are closed and staff flown home days ago and doors shut to our travellers”.

She claimed airlines are cancelling flights or charging tens of thousands of pounds for a ticket, and countries are banning layovers, preventing Britons from getting home.

“He knows the situation’s dire, but he knew that last week,” was the barb aimed at the foreign secretary.

Mr Raab tried to assuage travellers’ fears by saying a special chartered flight to take people stranded in Peru home would fly back to the UK on Tuesday, with up to 200 seats on board.

The government has lobbied New Zealand and Australia to keep some flights open and re-open other routes, he added.

Mr Raab advised: “If people are in need of urgent assistance they should call our embassies and high commissioners.

“Where people are in real need, our consular teams will work with them to consider their options – as a last resort, we offer an emergency loan.”

More follows…

Source: Read Full Article

Roads quiet but Underground packed as Britain goes into virtual lockdown

LONDON (Reuters) – Roads were much quieter than usual on Tuesday after Britain went into virtual lockdown to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but London Underground trains were crammed with people and streets were far from deserted.

Some workers were also still mingling close together after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening ordered people to stay at home, said most shops must close and banned social gatherings.

The unprecedented peacetime restrictions, which will last at least three weeks, are intended to stop the state-run National Health Service (NHS) being overwhelmed after the number of deaths from the coronavirus in Britain rose to 335.

But social media images showed London Underground railway trains were packed with commuters and one large retail chain suggested it wanted to stay open. There were also complaints that the advice was confusing or did not go far enough.

“I hope that people will follow this advice. If for any reason they don’t, penalties are there,” Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told BBC TV. “People must stay at home to protect themselves, to protect the NHS and to save lives.”

Under the curbs on movement, people should leave their homes only for very limited reasons such as going to supermarkets for vital supplies or for exercise once a day.

Earlier advice for Britons to avoid gatherings was widely ignored, with people flocking to parks and beauty spots. Police will now break up gatherings of more than two people, and social events such as weddings – but not funerals – will be stopped.

Gove said stronger measures than 30-pound ($35) fines for people who flouted the new restrictions could be introduced.

“If people do persist in behaving in an antisocial way, there are stronger measures that we have,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

A snap YouGov poll found that 93 percent of Britons supported the measures, but were split on whether fines would be a sufficient deterrent. The survey found 66 percent thought the rules would be very easy or fairly easy to follow.

CONFUSION

Supermarkets said they had begun limiting the number of shoppers in stores at any one time and installing screens at checkouts to protect staff.

Sports Direct, a sports clothing chain owned by Frasers Group, initially indicated it would defy the order to close but later said it had asked the government for permission to open stores.[L8N2BH22Y]

Gove said Sports Direct was not an essential shop and should close.

There was also confusion about who should be allowed to go to work and what powers police had to enforce the new guidance.

Pictures showed London Underground trains were crammed with passengers closer than the 2-metre (6-foot) recommended distance apart.

A survey showed Britain’s economy was now shrinking at a record pace, faster than during the 2008-09 financial crisis as businesses across the services sector are shut.

The government has promised hundreds of billions of pounds in loan guarantees, grants and said it will pay wages. Finance minister Rishi Sunak was expected to announce new measures later on Tuesday to help the self-employed.

Source: Read Full Article

Singapore to shut bars, limit gatherings to counter coronavirus spread

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore will close bars and entertainment venues including discos and cinemas among new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The regulations – including limits on gatherings outside work and school to 10 persons or fewer – will take effect from 11:59 p.m. local time on March 26, and will be in place at least until April 30, the ministry added.

Singapore confirmed 49 new cases of the infection on Tuesday, taking its tally to 558. The country reported its first two fatalities from the virus on Saturday.

Singapore will allow malls, museums and restaurants to stay open – but with additional precautions such as reduced operating capacity.

Source: Read Full Article

Mum whose coronavirus ‘filled lungs with water’ begs people to stay at home

A mum who was diagnosed with coronavirus has made a desperate plea to urge people to "respect the quarantine" because "it is not a flu".

Marcela Diaz Young said she stopped breathing at her worst time and spoke about the symptoms of the deadly virus that killed more than 16,500 people around the world.

In the clip, she says: "I had a really, really bad week last week. I still struggle to breathe.

"Everyone says 'you won’t die Marcela'. I won’t die, I know that, but we are infecting people with the risk they’ll die.

“Last week for me, was such a horrible week. It is the most horrible thing that can happen to you. You cannot breathe properly."

Marcela, believed to be from London, thought she was having a normal flu, but an X-ray scan showed that her lung was filled with water, which stopped her from breathing properly.

She coughs and fights back her tears and continues: "I'm trying to be positive. I'm scared.

"I know I won't die. But I want to say to everyone please, stay at home. Please, please, respect the quarantine.

"This is very, very serious. People with a lot of health problems can die so don’t be selfish. Think about the people at risk."

Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a complete lockdown of the UK for at least three weeks, banning people from leaving their homes and meeting in groups of more than two people.

The police will have the power to enforce the rules and also issue fines for any rule-breakers.

The announcement came after thousands of Brits disregarded the advice of social distancing by flocking to beaches, parks and markets over the weekend.

  • Coronavirus
  • Boris Johnson
  • Donald Trump
  • London

Source: Read Full Article