Prince Charles ‘desperate’ to return to official duties to lead Royals’ coronavirus fight – The Sun

PRINCE Charles is desperate to return to official duties to lead the Royals' fight against coronavirus, a source claimed today.

The 71-year-old is keen to step up in the time of national crisis – with the royal workload all the more heavy after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit.

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An insider today revealed the future king wanted to shoulder more work while the Queen is in isolation at Windsor Castle and unable to conduct official duties in person.

The insider told The Sun Online: “This is a time of huge national crisis and Charles knows the burden of responsibility on the Royal Family to support the country is high."

Charles’ absence through illness has seen son William take on virtually all major Royal duties over coronavirus.

William, 37 and wife Kate, 38 have visited 111 workers, helped to support a Public Health England initiative and offered words of comfort to NHS staff mourning the loss of a colleague.

Prince Charles went into isolation last month after testing positive for the bug.

But he has since already conducted his first duty since recovering – opening the NHS Nightingale Hospital by video-link from his home in Scotland.

The royal praised the NHS as he filmed himself with an iPad from his office.

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And Charles is keen to share the workload with his son which has been made all the more heavy given Harry and Meghan’s departure from Royal duties.

The source said: "Everyone is acutely aware that the timing of Meghan and Harry’s departure couldn’t really have been worse in terms of its timing.

“That is another reason Charles is keen to return quickly and be front and centre in helping provide support when and where it is required."

The couple overnight revealed their new charity would be called Archewell.

Charles' desire to move back into the fold comes a day after his mother's TV address was watched by more than 24million people in the UK.

The royal source said: "The broadcast underlined how important the Royal Family is right now to the country.

“With his mother unable to play as full a role as she would have in the past, Charles is very keen to return, not least to show his gratitude to the NHS workers leading this fight.

“Obviously no one is going to put the health of Charles at risk but he has been getting better and better day by day and is now in rude health.”

He was reunited with wife Camilla, 72, yesterday as she completed the 14 days in isolation.

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It comes as the Queen today wished Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds a speedy recovery.

The PM has been hospitalised after testing positive for the bug.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Prime Minister this morning.



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Who's Still in the Running in the 2020 Race For President?

Who’s Still in the Running in the 2020 Race For President?

The race for the 2020 presidential election is heating up — and narrowing down. Tulsi Gabbard officially ended her campaign on March 19, endorsing Joe Biden as she did. She followed Elizabeth Warren, who left the race on March 5. And both of their exits were preceded by notable ones from Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, and Sen. Kamala Harris, who decided to withdraw their names for contention earlier in the race. Here’s a look at the politicians who are still running for commander in chief in 2020.

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Coronavirus survivor, 43, says patient on ward died alone after crying out for family for two hours – The Sun

A CORONAVIRUS survivor has revealed the heartbreaking moment he heard a patient cry out for his family for two hours before dying alone.

Craig Farley-Jones was recovering in Tameside General Hospital when he heard his fellow patient's agonising final hours as he fought for his last breath.

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Tragically, the man – aged in his 60s- passed away with no family by his side, MEN reports.

Craig, 43, said: "I will never forget those next two hours for as long as I live.

"He was shouting out, calling for his family by name, over and over while struggling to breathe.

"It had me in tears, it was so hard to listen to.

"I buzzed the nurses, but they told me there was nothing more they could do for him.

"So I lay there listening to his breathing turning into a death rattle, he continued calling out into it stopped and was quiet – he had gone."

The dad-of-two had spent six days on oxygen battling the virus when the man, who had been "relaxed and talkative", began to deteriorate.

Craig said he looked as though he was struggling to breathe and panicked as a group of nurses attempted to calm him down.

The hospital managed to get his children in to say goodbye as it was clear he was "past the point of return".

But he spent his final hours alive calling out for his family before dying from the killer virus.

Craig said: "I know he wasn’t in physical pain at that point, but he was definitely in emotional distress.

"I wouldn’t have let a dog die like that.

"It’s not the fault of the doctors and nurses at all, they were doing everything they could, but in some cases it isn’t enough."

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Craig and his fiance Laura Wilson both noticed coronavirus symptoms on the same day two weeks ago including a loss of taste and smell.

But his condition worsened and he was rushed to hospital where medics discovered the disease had spread to his lungs causing pneumonia.

Fearing he would die, Craig even messaged Laura to ask why he had never prepared a will in case the worse happened.

Recalling the pain of battling the bug, the dad said: "The feeling of claustrophobia and panic that sets in is frightening – even a few days later when I was feeling better and due to be discharged, I still had a nagging doubt I might not make it.

"I realised quite quickly you either are nursed to get better and go out the front door, or they nurse you out of the back door in as little pain as possible."

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Craig has now posted about the harrowing experience on Facebook in a bid to stop people flouting lockdown rules.

He said: "People need to know when you go into hospital with coronavirus, all the NHS can do is remove any infection that accompanies the virus to give you the best chance to fight it yourself.

"They can’t treat the virus itself – so if you end up in hospital you have to fight for yourself, or sink.

"So please, stay at home and hold onto your loved ones – I’m one of the lucky ones."

It comes as it was revealed police are receiving tip-off calls every five minutes on people ignoring lockdown rules.

The UK death toll today broke the 6,000-barrier after 758 deaths were recorded in England alone on the deadliest day so far.

NHS England confirmed the latest victims were aged between 23 and 102 – with the 23-year-old having no underlying health conditions.

The Department of Health has not yet released figures for all of Britain – so the death total will rise again later today.




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Donald Trump was lobbied by Laura Ingraham on hydroxychloroquine

Revealed: Donald Trump has a ‘small financial interest’ in hydroxychloroquine firm and was lobbied in the Oval Office by Fox News host Laura Ingraham before praising it at White House briefing

  • President Trump was lobbied to use hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus during an Oval Office visit from Fox News host Laura Ingraham 
  • Also, Trump has a financial stake in a French firm that makes the drug 
  • Ingraham brought with her two doctors who are frequent guests on her show 
  • After meeting, Trump was enthusiastic for the drug 
  • Trump looks for a magic bullet to make the pandemic go away and let the economy reopen in time to recover before November’s election
  • Some medical experts have warned there are not enough reputable scientific studies on hydroxychloroquine use against coronavirus

President Donald Trump was lobbied to use the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus during an Oval Office visit from Fox News host Laura Ingraham and two doctors who are frequent guests on her show.

And, it was revealed, Trump has a financial stake in a French firm that makes the drug. 

The president came out of Ingraham meeting full of enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine, which has shown some promise but has not undergone rigorous testing for its treatment of COVID-19, The Washington Post reported. 

And Trump has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French company that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine, The New York Times reported. 

President Donald Trump was lobbied to use hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus during an Oval Office visit from Fox News host Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham brought two doctors who frequently appear on her show with her to the Oval Office meeting to talk to President Trump about hydroxychloroquine

But the investment is part of the Trump family’s larger stake in a mutual fund whose largest holding is in Sanofi. The French drugmaker also manufactures many other drugs and there is no suggestion that Trump is motivated by personal gain and may even be unaware of the investment.

Trump repeatedly has advocated for hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment option for the coronavirus even as many medical officials – including Dr. Tony Fauci, who sits on the White House Coronavirus Task Force – have urged a more cautious approach, noting the lack of reputable scientific studies on hydroxychloroquine.

But the president’s focus on the drug comes from a combination and optimism, sources told the newspaper, as Trump looks for a magic bullet to make the pandemic go away and let the economy reopen in time to recover before November’s election. 

‘The president lives in a world of wishes and hope,’ one person said. 

‘It’s the only thing anyone has held out as offering an immediate reprieve from what’s become his greatest challenge – and political threat,’ said a former senior administration official. This official described Trump’s ‘overwhelming desire for a silver bullet to make it all go away.’

Trump has given his own reasons for advocating the drug.  

‘I want people to live and I’m seeing people dying,’ he explained Sunday during his daily press briefing. 

‘What really do we have to lose?’ he asked after announcing his administration had bought 29 million doses of the drug to combat the virus.  

‘But what do I know? I’m not a doctor,’ Trump conceded.  ‘I’m not acting as a doctor. I’m saying, do what you want.’

Ingraham has promoted hydroxychloroquine on her 10 p.m. Fox News show. 

When she met with the president, she brought with her two of the guests she refers to as her ‘medical cabinet’: Ramin Oskoui, a Washington D.C.-based cardiologist, and Stephen Smith, a New Jersey-based infectious disease specialist.


Ingraham brought to her Trump meeting two of the guests she refers to as her ‘medical cabinet’: Ramin Oskoui, a Washington D.C.-based cardiologist, and Stephen Smith, a New Jersey-based infectious disease specialist

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was in the room as well at the president’s request.

Smith, a graduate of Yale Medical School who is a former fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave the president a presentation about hydroxychloroquine based on his own experiences and studies, two White House officials and a person familiar with the meeting told The Post. 

Smith told the newspaper he walked Trump through a spreadsheet and other documents about how the drug works. 

‘I’m a guy who looks at data,’ Smith said. ‘I came as a scientist and physician. I trained under Dr. Fauci and respect him a lot.’   

And he told Ingraham on her show Wednesday night: ‘I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious.’ 

He also told her that none of his coronavirus patients who have been on a hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin regimen for five days or more has had to be intubated.   

Oskoui, meanwhile, advised Trump on health care policy during the 2016 campaign. And, in 2018, he wrote an op-ed for LifeZette, the conservative news website founded by Ingraham where he’s listed as a senior health care adviser, arguing that school shootings could be prevented by taking teenagers off of certain anti-depressants. 

He advocated for hydroxychloroquine on Ingraham’s show last week.

‘We don’t have time to do beautiful, randomized clinical trials. We know these drugs have a very good safety margin,’ Oskoui said. ‘These drugs are clearly effective and safe. They’re cheap and they’re easy to access. The biggest problem with hydroxychloroquine may be getting enough of it.’  

The American Medical Association’s president, Dr Patrice Harris, told the Associated Press she personally would not prescribe the drug for a coronavirus patient, saying the risks of severe side effects were ‘great and too significant to downplay’ without large studies showing the drug is safe and effective for such use.

Harris pointed to the drug’s high risk of causing heart rhythm problems.

‘People have their health to lose,’ she said. ‘Your heart could stop.’

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been procuring hydroxychloroquine and got into a heated fight with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the effectiveness of the drug

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has urged caution when it comes to the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus

In a heated Situation Room meeting of the White House’s coronavirus task force Saturday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro challenged Dr. Anthony Fauci over his concerns about recommending the drug based only on unscientific anecdotal evidence.

Navarro, who has no formal medical training, erupted at Fauci, raising his voice and claiming the reports of studies he had collected were enough to recommend the drug widely, a person familiar with the exchange told Axios.

Fauci has repeatedly said current studies provide only anecdotal findings that the drug works. In response, Navarro told CNN on Monday, ‘I would have two words for you: ‘second opinion.’ 

Navarro has been trying to source hydroxychloroquine from around the world as part of his role as coordinator of implementing Defense Production Act policy.

Trump announced last Thursday that he was invoking the Defense Production Act to help clear up supply-chain issues with manufacturing ventilators and producing additional N95 face masks.

The president put Navarro in charge of coordinating those efforts.

During an impromptu White House press briefing Sunday evening, Trump stopped Fauci from answering a question from a reporter about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

When reporters tried to get Fauci’s opinion on the drug – after he previously warned against seeing the malaria medication as a wonder drug – Trump stepped in and stopped the question.

‘We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully in the not-too-distant future we’ll be very proud of the job we all did,’ Trump said, instead of letting Fauci answer. 

Fauci has warned Americans not to consider it a ‘knock out’ drug when it comes to the coronavirus. 

‘We’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug. We still need to do the kinds of studies that definitely prove whether any intervention is truly safe and effective,’ he told ‘Fox & Friends’ on Friday. 

Hydroxychloroquine pills:  President Trump and his administration kept up their promotion of the malaria drug not yet officially approved for fighting the new coronavirus

Hydroxychloroquine is officially approved for treating malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, not COVID-19. Small, preliminary studies have suggested it might help prevent the new coronavirus from entering cells and possibly help patients clear the virus sooner. But those have shown mixed results.

Doctors are already prescribing the malaria drug to patients with COVID-19, a practice known as off-label prescribing. 

Research studies are now beginning to test if the drugs truly help COVID-19 patients, and the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the medication into the national stockpile as an option for doctors to consider for patients who cannot get into one of the studies.

But the drug has major potential side effects, especially for the heart, and Fauci has said more testing is needed before it’s clear that the drug works against the virus and is safe for such use. 

Some limited studies have been conducted on the use of hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin in concert to treat COVID-19, but they have not included critical control groups that scientists use to validate the conclusions.

Researchers in China, for instance, reported that cough, pneumonia and fever seemed to improve sooner among 31 patients given hydroxychloroquine compared with 31 others who did not get the drug, but fewer people in the comparison group had cough or fevers to start with.

Many questions have been raised about another study in France. Some of the 26 people given hydroxychloroquine in that test were not counted in the final results, including three who worsened and were sent to intensive care, one who died a day after later testing negative for the virus and one who stopped treatment because of nausea.

The French study was published in an International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy journal. The society’s president wrote on its website that the report ‘does not meet the society’s expected standard.’

 

 

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Tiger catching coronavirus from its keeper fuels fears YOUR family pets could be at risk – The Sun

A TIGER testing positive for the coronavirus after becoming infected by its handler has led to fears pets might be at risk.

Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, tested positive for COVID-19, while six other tigers and lions have also fallen ill.

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The case the first time a big cat has tested positive for the virus and raises questions about the welfare of pets in the pandemic.

Evidence has emerged of human-to-animal spread of Covid-19 and experts have warned pet owners to avoid intimate contact with their animals.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has said: "Now that Covid-19 virus infections are widely distributed in the human population there is a possibility for some animals to become infected through close contact with infected humans."

It added "several dogs and cats have tested positive to Covid-19 virus" as a result of contracting the disease from their owners.

In America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that "a very small number of pets outside the US reported to be infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 after close contact with people with coronavirus."

The first reported case of an animal being infected came on February 28 when a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19


Further testing and gene sequencing suggested it had a low level infection and it was likely to have been a case of human-to-animal transmission.

The dog didn't show any clinical signs and following repeated testing and negative results, was released from quarantine but died three weeks later.

A second dog in Hong Kong also tested positive and, again, showed no clinical signs.

Cats appear to be more susceptible to the coronavirus.

On March 27, it was reported that a cat in Belgium, whose owner was diagnosed with Covid-19, had tested positive for coronavirus and showed mild clinical signs.

The infection appeared to be an isolated case and the animal’s health was understood to be improving.

Professor Eric Fèvre, chair of veterinary infectious diseases at the University of Liverpool, urged pet owners to exercise caution.

“People should take usual precautions of hand washing when handling their pets, and avoid overly intimate contact, especially if sick with Covid,” he said.

A study from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, in China, which has not been peer-reviewed, also suggested last week cats could pass on the virus to each other.

But research indicates that transmission is primarily human-to-human.

IDEXX Laboratories Inc in the US evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the Covid-19 virus.

The lab reported that its results echoed "the current expert understanding that Covid-19 is primarily transmitted person-to-person”.

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Frustrated ambulance worker plea for people to stay home in lockdown

‘What’s it going to take for you to understand how bad this is?’ Frustrated ambulance worker films plea for people to stay in after spotting people sitting outside a shut pub drinking and flouting lockdown rules

  • Ambulance worker Sophie-Louise Dennis urged people to stay at home in Facebook video
  • She saw ten-to-15 people in a beer garden on Tonbridge Road, Maidstone
  • Sophie-Louise can’t remember the last time she didn’t cry on her way to work 

An ambulance worker from Kent has urged people to stay at home after she passed people drinking in a pub garden.

Sophie-Louise Dennis posted a video of herself to Facebook on Sunday in a plea to make people follow lockdown rules.

She says she drove past a group of ten-to-15 people drinking in a beer garden of a shut pub on Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. 

‘We drive past a pub,’ she says ‘and witness people that have bought their own alcohol and are now sitting in a pub garden – there must be about 10-15 of them. 

‘What don’t you get about this virus? This virus is deadly. Now it could kill you, it could kill your loved ones. Now, we are out here risking our lives to save you, to save your loved ones.’

There are currently 52,290 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 5,373 deaths.

In the video, Sophie-Louise says she is scared to go to work: ‘We are fearful every day, absolutely petrified driving to work. I can’t remember the last time I drove to work without crying. 


Sophie-Louise Dennis is an ambulance worker and she saw a group of ten-to-15 people drinking in a beer garden on Tonbridge Road, Maidstone

FACT BOX TITLE

The Government has advised people to stay at home unless is it absolutely essential that you go out.

The four main essential forms of travel are: 

  •  Shopping for necessities like food and medicine
  • One form of exercise a day alone or with your household
  • Any medical need or to escape harm
  • Travelling to work – but only if working from home is not an option

Source: gov.uk 

‘What don’t you understand? The more you keep going out, the longer we are going to be in lockdown and the worse it’s going to get.

‘What’s it going to take for you to understand how bad this is? I cannot stress this enough: please stay in.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care with coronavirus last night after his health dramatically worsened.

Doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital in London took the drastic step because the 55-year-old was struggling to breathe.

The PM is still battling coronavirus in intensive care today with ‘no change’ in his condition overnight – amid a wave of support from across the nation.

 

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Coronavirus patient, 39, tells of terrifying 'fight' to survive on intensive care unit in 3-week battle with the disease

A CORONAVIRUS patient has today revealed what it’s like to survive in intensive care, saying: “It’s the most horrible experiences you'll go through.”

Matt Dockray, 39, has recovered from coronavirus but feared he would die as doctors treated him with oxygen masks and ventilators.

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He was speaking about his terrifying experience on Good Morning Britain after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was rushed to intensive care when he coronavirus symptoms worsened last night.

He said: “It's very lonely – you don't have friends and family here, you don’t have that emotional personal support you rely on in your hardest times.

"It's clear you've progressively got worse as it takes hold of you. All you can think is you've got three weeks."

“It was a horrendous experience. I know a lot of doctors are trained for this and they go through this.

HORRENDOUS

“But for the patient as an individual it's one of the most horrible experiences you'll go through because you're fighting for yourself to get all the oxygen you need."

His comments come as Mr Johnson needed four litres of oxygen after struggling to breathe last night as he was rushed into intensive care.

Doctors watching the PM closely at London's St Thomas' hospital became alarmed at his deterioration in the afternoon, but he did not need as much oxygen as others in ICUs sometimes do.

It it understood Boris, 55, was in good spirits on Monday morning but as the day wore on he began to struggle to breathe and needed oxygen.

But for the patient as an individual it's one of the most horrible experiences you'll go through because you're fighting for yourself to get all the oxygen you need.

He is not yet on a ventilator and is still conscious – but doctors were preparing a unit to be ready by his bedside should his condition worsen.

Mr Dockray, from Marlow, Bucks, previously revealed how he recorded a "goodbye video" for his family when he was fighting the disease in hospital.

He today described what it’s like being in intensive care – and said: “All you can think in your head is, you've been getting worse for three weeks.

“How are you going to get better if all you’ve got is some oxygen and there’s no injection or quick cure?

"When the doctors were talking about invasive and putting me on a ventilator and explaining that it was for support and not treatment.

NO QUICK CURE

“They explain it gives you a chance to survive, it gives your lungs a chance to work.

“There was a point where you started to lose hope, and thought that was it because you’ve seen this on the TV, you’ve seen the pictures of Italy, and you’ve seen how this works out. Any you see the statistics.

“In my head that was the time to just fight as much as you can which I’m assuming Boris has a lot more information than I had.

“This is when you kick in and that spirit goes.”

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But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?

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The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.

We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.

The Sun is donating £50,000 and we would like YOU to help us raise a million pounds, to help THEM.

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He added: “I was in an isolated room, but you could see the rooms opposite and the beds that were going past.

“These were people the same age as me, younger than me – there were some older.

“You couldn’t pick a demographic of the people coming in and out this was like a general ward.

“This wasn’t a stream of 80, 90, 100 year olds. These were young kids, middle-aged people."


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Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts, 36, is tested for coronavirus

‘I’m so scared right now’: Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts, 36, tweets from her hospital bed as she is tested for coronavirus after ‘having trouble breathing’

  • Virginia Roberts  has been admitted to hospital after displaying Covid symptoms
  • She is currently being tested, and has tweeted: ‘I’m so scared right now’ 
  • US is now barreling towards the infection’s projected peak day on April 16 

Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus. 

Roberts, who also goes by the name Giuffre, tweeted a picture of herself from a hospital bed after experiencing symptoms of the virus. 

‘I’m so scared right now’, the 36-year-old admitted in the post early on Tuesday morning. 

Roberts claims she was trafficked to the Duke of York at least three times in 2001, when she was aged 17. 

Prominent Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts has revealed she has been admitted to hospital where she is being tested for coronavirus 

She continued to describe her symptoms, saying she had been having trouble with breathing, as well as fever and a cough. 

‘Getting tested for Covid-19 praying it’s not positive,’ she said.  

Roberts claims she was taken to Tramp nightclub in London by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell where she met and danced with Prince Andrew, before Maxwell allegedly instructed her to ‘do for Prince Andrew what you do for Epstein.’  

A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine’s apartment has been widely circulated since 2001

A photo that shows Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine’s apartment taken in 2001 has been widely circulated.

Prince Andrew has denied the allegations. 

Roberts is being tested for Covid-19 as the US death toll stretches to 11,000. 

Across the nation as of Monday evening there were over 368,254 cases of the virus with hotspots in New York, Michigan and Louisiana. 

The US is now barreling towards the infection’s projected peak day on April 16 when experts predict there will be over 3,000 deaths in 24 hours. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the world will never return to what was considered ‘normal’ before the novel coronavirus emerged four months ago. 

FaucI made the somber prediction at Monday’s White House press briefing after a reporter asked whether the US will be able to ‘get back to normal’ prior to the introduction of a universal vaccine for COVID-19. 

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When is Good Friday 2020 and is it a bank holiday? – The Sun

EASTER is a Christian celebration centring around Jesus' death on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

It is also a time when friends and families gather to celebrate the holidays, but with the Government's directive to lock down the country following the outbreak of coronavirus, many are wondering whether Good Friday will still be a bank holiday.

When is Good Friday?

The date for Good Friday changes every year as Easter is always determined by the Moon.

In 2020, Good Friday falls on April 10.

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon – the first Full Moon after the spring equinox.

In 2020 the spring equinox fell on March 20, with the first Full Moon after this date on April 8.

So then Easter Sunday is calculated as April 12, meaning Good Friday lands on April 10.

Is Good Friday a bank holiday?

Good Friday before 1871 was always celebrated as a common holiday.

Since 1871, it was declared an official bank holiday.

This year, Good Friday falls on April 10 – the first day of a long bank holiday weekend.

And Brits should still be enjoying days off work – but keeping to the Government's guidelines.

Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday on April 12, and Easter Monday on April 13, which is also a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland – making it a long weekend for many.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic resulting in a lockdown in the UK, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) responsible for the Government's policy for holidays has said Brits should observe the Good Friday bank holiday as usual.

A spokesperson for BEIS said rules surrounding bank holidays should apply as usual.

If workers who might not usually work on bank holidays are asked to do so, employers must make sure the workers are still entitled to their statutory holiday due them for the year.

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is a Christian holiday which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

According to Christianity, it is when Jesus died to resurrect three days later, which is celebrated on Easter Sunday.

Christians believe Christ came to earth in order to sacrifice himself so sinners would be redeemed.

Several Christian denominations including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Orthodox mark the day with church services which are sometimes solemn, as they reflect on the suffering Christ went through in order to save mankind, according to the Bible.

This year, as a result of the Government's directive of a lockdown and for Brits to practice social distancing, as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus, churches will remain shut for the Easter celebrations.

Many churches across the UK are holding online services using Zoom, Facebook and other media channels.

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The Swiss had a pandemic alcohol stockpile but got rid of it in 2018

Geneva: Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland's penchant for preparing for emergencies has won it praise.

During the Cold War, the Swiss government required family homes to have a bunker and instructed citizens to stockpile food. Even today, residents are counselled on what supplies they should have on hand to ride out a crisis at home.

Lake Geneva in Switzerland.Credit:Bloomberg

Yet as demand for alcohol used to make hand sanitiser has soared amid the crisis, Switzerland is facing a possible shortage after abandoning its ethanol reserves in 2018.

Daily Tages-Anzeiger reported that the stockpile of 8,000 tons to 10,000 tons of ethanol to make disinfectant in case of a pandemic was gotten rid of two years ago amid efforts to privatise the nation's alcohol market.

The decision has contributed to shortages of disinfectant products including hand sanitisers. As in many nations, the products vanished from Swiss store shelves weeks ago.

Now private industry from distilleries to Swiss perfume producer Givaudan are cranking out the alcohol-based gels to try and meet consumer needs.



"It cannot be the case that such an important raw material as alcohol is suddenly missing in a pandemic situation," Swiss federal politician and Christian Democratic Party member, Alois Gmuer told Tages-Anzeiger.

"But unfortunately it fits into the picture: The federal government has obviously neglected crisis preparedness," he said.

The Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply, which is in charge of the stockpiles, didn't immediately provide a comment to Bloomberg.

A government spokeswoman told Tages-Anzeiger that after liberalising the alcohol market in 2018, the government wanted to give industry participants time before discussing plans to renew stockpiles. Those discussions were supposed to take place this year but now the coronavirus has intervened.

In the name of emergency preparedness, Switzerland has previously stockpiled essential products including tobacco and metal screws.

Swiss caffeine addicts bristled when the government declared coffee stockpiles not compulsory in 2019.

The government also holds supplies of antibiotics, vaccines, rice, insulin and heating oil.

Bloomberg

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