World News

What’s it like to work at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site? Two Montreal nurses explain

Two Montreal nurses working at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic in Laval, Que. are asking people to follow the rules and stay home — or they warn the pandemic will be prolonged.

“We get the sense that not all people are taking it seriously,” said Melissa Gentile-Menard, a nurse working at the drive-thru clinic.

Gentile-Menard says that while people wait for results, they are mandated to self-isolate.

“But some people are flat out refusing to” the nurse said.

“People need to take all measures, including washing your hands frequently and coughing into your shoulder more seriously. It’s the only way we can make headway.”

Gentile-Menard works along with fellow friend and nurse Tara L.P.

Tara, who wants her last name to be kept private, wrote a post on a Facebook group where mother’s share experiences and concerns.

In her post, she painted a picture of what her 12-hour day working in the test clinic looked like.

“They leave and the next car rolls up. This goes on for 12 hours straight. There are no times where there are no cars in the line up.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The day wraps up at 8 p.m., at which point Tara says she drives home and showers immediately.

“I can’t even hug my baby when I get home,” she says.

She immediately starts the laundry for the clothes she wore during her shift on the hottest cycle possible.

“My feet are still frozen… and yet I will go out and do it all again tomorrow, to maybe make a bit of a difference,” she explained.

Tara says patients she sees are scared and some try to protect themselves by covering their face with bandanas or improvised masks made from paper towel and elastics.

“I had a mom who was crying, she was sick and was really worried about her baby,” the nurse said.

“We try to reassure them,” Tara explained, while adding health care workers are only allocated four minutes with each patient.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

British PM Boris Johnson self-isolates after testing positive for coronavirus

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday he had tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating at Downing Street but would still lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.

Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday – a day after he answered at the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session in parliament’s House of Commons chamber.

“I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive,” Johnson said in a video statement broadcast on Twitter. “I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say – a temperature and a persistent cough.

“So I am working from home. I’m self-isolating,” Johnson said. “Be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.”

It was not immediately clear how many Downing Street staff and senior ministers would now need to isolate given that many have had contact with Johnson over recent days and weeks.

His finance minister, Rishi Sunak, was not self-isolating, a Treasury source said.

When Britain clapped health workers on Thursday evening, Johnson and Sunak came out of separate entrances on Downing Street and did not come into close contact, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.

Nor was it immediately clear whether Johnson’s 32-year-old partner, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, had been tested.


Previously the government has said that Johnson had the option to delegate to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab if needed.

“The prime minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

Related Coverage

  • PM Johnson's message to UK after testing positive for coronavirus
  • UK's Queen Elizabeth last saw PM Johnson on March 11, is in good health

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive,” the spokesman said.

So far, 578 people in the United Kingdom have died after testing positive for coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 11,658. The UK toll is the seventh worst in the world, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States, according to a Reuters tally.

Britain’s Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week but is in good health and is now self-isolating at his residence in Scotland with mild symptoms along with his wife Camilla, who tested negative, his office said.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Trump calls for US to ‘go back to work’ despite country having most cases worldwide

The US overtook Italy and China as the global hotspot for the highly contagious disease today.

Cases lept to 82,474 as of Thursday according to NBC’s live tracker.

The surge puts them clear ahead of all other countries.

The latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University show the shocking surge.

China is currently slowing at 81,285 cases, where as Italy has 80,589.

The milestone comes after President Donald Trump predicted the nation would get back to work by Easter Sunday.

The nations workers have seen nearly 3.3 million layoffs since the pandemic hit.


  • Coronavirus could lead to social unrest, violence and unemployment

At a White House briefing on Thursday afternoon, President Trump said that workers need to return to work.

He said: “They have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly.

“We may take sections of our country, we may take large sections of our country that aren’t so seriously affected and we may do it that way.

“A lot of people misinterpret when I say go back, they’re going to be practising as much as you can social distancing, and washing your hands and not shaking hands and all of the things we talked about.”

As news hit the White House of the figures, Trump expressed scepticism about their validity.

He doubts that China’s figures are totally honest, saying: “you don’t know what the numbers are in China.”

Trump said he would be speaking to president Xi Jinpimg by phone to confirm the news of China’s coronavirus plateau.

He also denied that the Chinese leader asked him to stop referring to it as the China virus.

DON’T MISS: Coronavirus latest: UK should expect SIX MONTHS of lockdown, warns health chief


  • Why is it called coronavirus? What does corona mean?

Dr Steve Kasspidis, based in New York told Sky News: “It’s hell, biblical. I kid you not,

“People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats. The system is overwhelmed all over the place.

“My daughter is an intern in Brooklyn, first year resident. She starts the ICU today, I couldn’t sleep last night. It’s scary.”

“9/11 was nothing compared to this, We were open waiting for patients to come who never came, ok? Now they just keep coming.”

More than 1,100 people with Covid-19 have died in the US.

New York State is the epicentre of America’s pandemic.

The state has been afflicted with 37’258 confirmed cases over the past few weeks.

It’s current death toll is at 385 as of Thursday.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Calgary emergency shelters rush to find homes for families amid COVID-19 outbreak

Several Calgary emergency shelters are moving quickly to get families into homes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Inn from the Cold has managed to transition 14 families out of the emergency shelter into their own apartments this past week.

“It was not safe because we couldn’t physically distance our families,” said Inn From the Cold executive director Heather Morley.

She said with the help of Home Space, an affordable housing provider, the United Way, the provincial government and private landlords, Inn from the Cold was able to get families into their apartments more quickly than they normally would.

Morley said the staff from Inn from the Cold will continue to provide supports for the families at the various locations.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

As of Friday, two families were staying at Inn from the Cold. The families remaining at the emergency shelter will each have their own bathroom.

“We are expecting an increased demand, but it’s uncertain how Inn from the Cold will accommodate what may be a huge influx of families,” Morley said.

Brenda’s House has also relocated many of their clients.

The CEO of Brenda’s House said they are moving all of their families out of the shelter and into their own homes.

Within the last few days, they have moved out nine families and the rest will likely be moved out by Monday. There were 14 families staying there originally.

“This a great news for the families. They are so excited to go from homelessness into permanent housing,” said Patty Kilgallon, the CEO of Children’s Cottage Society which operates Brenda’s House.

“We will continue to welcome more homeless families but with the goal of getting them into their own homes within a week,” Kilgallon said.

Brenda’s House opened 11 years ago. The facility is owned by the Brenda Strafford Foundation. Fourteen families (around 50 to 60 people) stay there at one time while they are experiencing homelessness. It is a home-like environment where each family stays in their own room equipped with a private washroom. They receive 24-hour crisis support while they are at the facility.

Watch below: (From March 25, 2020) Calgary homeless shelters are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by screening people entering their facilities. Here’s Gil Tucker with more on how shelters are coping.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Britain should delay defense review due to coronavirus: study

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should postpone an ongoing review of its security, defense and foreign policy for at least a year because of the widening impact of coronavirus, a leading defense think-tank said on Friday.

The government had intended to complete what is known as an “integrated review” of policy by July this year. But with time already tight and the coronavirus pandemic throwing both the British and global economy into turmoil, a delay of up to a year is needed, Britain’s Royal United Services Institute said.

“The lasting consequences of the pandemic remain highly unpredictable, but are likely to include new debates on public spending priorities in the UK and elsewhere,” it said in a paper co-authored by the Ministry of Defence’s former director of strategy and the deputy director of RUSI.

As well as the impact of coronavirus and the not-yet complete fallout from Brexit, the authors point out that Britain’s relations with the United States are in an unreliable phase and it would be better to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November to take strategic decisions.

Russia is also an unpredictable operator, and it would be worth Britain’s time to wait to see how leaving the EU while remaining a core part of NATO alters the country’s defense, security and foreign policy considerations, they argue.

The growing global influence of China is another consideration, with Britain and others in Europe needing to find a more “transactional” approach to dealing with Beijing.

“If the UK wants to prosper in a difficult world, it now needs to become more focused in its approach to pursuing national interests, more able to change approach when circumstances require, and more transactional in its relationships with other states,” the paper says.

The fallout from the coronavirus could also include “new geopolitical alignments between major powers, exacerbated developmental challenges in countries worst hit by the crisis and (potentially) a further strengthening of nationalist political forces.”

The paper recommends pushing the review back to 2021, when the Ministry of Defence was expected to have around 39 billion pounds ($47.52 billion) budgeted to it, rising to 44.4 billion pounds by 2024/5.

The full paper is available here: here

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Man drowns after jumping into river to save his beloved dog after it fell in

A man has drowned after jumping into a river to rescue his beloved dog.

The 21-year-old was swept away after hurling himself into Cheshire's River Weaver after his pooch slipped down the embankment.

Cops, firefighters, and paramedics were scrambled to the water's edge – where they found the man's desperate partner clinging on the embankment for dear life.

Firefighters helped her onto dry land before rushing her to hospital.

A police helicopter and an underwater rescue team conducted an "extensive" search of the river and its banks for her missing partner..

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service later found his body downstream.

Cheshire Police said his family have been informed and the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The dog was found alive and well.

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "Shortly before 5am firefighters were notified that two people were in the River Weaver near Weir Street in Northwich.

"They are believed to have entered the water after one of the dogs they were walking had fallen into the river.

"Seven fire engines attended as did a water rescue unit from Warrington and a hydraulic platform and a line rescue unit.

"On arrival a woman was hanging on the side of a steep embankment.

"Firefighters put a ladder alongside the embankment and helped her to get out of the water and onto dry land.

"A rescue boat and swift water rescue teams with rafts went into the river as part of an extensive search for the man.

"Firefighters also searched the river banks."

Source: Read Full Article

World News

2 men in hospital after shooting inside a southeast London home: police

London police have released suspect descriptions in connection with a shooting incident inside of a residence on King Edward Avenue in the area of Commissioners Road East and Adelaide Street South.

According to police, officers were called to reports of a shooting just before 3 p.m. Thursday.

Emergency services reportedly arrived on scene to find two men with gunshot wounds who were rushed to hospital. Police have not released information on the condition of either victim.

Police say two suspects fled before officers arrived. The first suspect is described as a Caucasian male, about six feet tall, who is believed to be between 38 and 42 years old. He was reportedly wearing a black hoodie with the hood up and may have had a toque on.

He also had a black scarf, grey and blue jacket, and dark pants, police say.

The second suspect is described only as “male, Caucasian.”

Police say investigators believe “this was not a random incident” and anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

NHS nurse who posted emotional panic-buying video has coronavirus symptoms

A critical care nurse who broke down in tears over empty supermarket shelves has revealed that she has coronavirus symptoms.

Dawn Bilbrough, 51, from York, has been self-isolating at home since she finished a 48-hour shift at hospital.

She made a plea last week to urge people to stop panic-buying after she struggled to find basic foods in her local supermarket, with the video going viral online.

In an interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain today, Dawn said she believed she has caught COVID-19.

She told the hosts: "It began with chest discomfort. When I do anything – us women like to do things around the house – but that’s making me kind of breathless right now.

"Ongoing nausea and persistent headaches…so yeah, I do believe that I have COVID but obviously I haven't been tested, so they haven't confirmed."

Presenter Lorraine Kelly then asks if medical staff have been given enough personal protective equipment.

Dawn says there were enough masks and gloves in the hospital when she was working last week but it was also the time when coronavirus hit.

"I couldn't possibly comment I'm afraid," she added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said home testing kit will be available in Boots stores across the UK and Amazon within days.

The finger-prick test will be able to determine whether someone has already had the COVID-19 disease that is sweeping the country.

Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE), said: "Once we are assured that they do work, they will be rolled out into the community.

"Testing the test is a small matter, and I anticipate that it will be done by the end of this week.

"In the near future people will be able to order a test that they can test themselves, or go to Boots, or somewhere similar to have their finger prick test done.

The news comes after Prince Charles has tested positive for the coronavirus and is now self-isolating at his Scottish residence.

It also emerged shortly after that Charles had met with the Queen on March 12, and she is currently staying at her Berkshire residence, Windsor Castle, where she is in “good health”.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Coronavirus: can immunosuppressive therapies save lives? London, Ont., researchers launch study

Researchers out of Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University in London, Ont., are trying to better understand the immune system’s response to the new coronavirus and whether or not immunosuppressive therapies can improve mortality rates.

According to the team, some early reports from scientists and physicians suggest that the virus can cause a cytokine storm in some patients, which is when the immune system goes dangerously overboard in responding to it.

“Some researchers are suggesting that mortality could be improved with immunosuppressive therapies,” said lead researcher Dr. Douglas Fraser.

“However, evidence to support this is severely lacking at this time.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Researchers are testing daily blood samples taken from London Health Sciences Centre patients presumed to have COVID-19 and looking for inflammatory biomarkers to track the changing immune response over time. Researchers will be comparing that data “to the immune response in patients with other infections, as well as in healthy controls.” The data will also be useful in future studies.

“This study could also inform why some people become critically ill and others do not, and help determine who will respond to certain therapies,” said Fraser.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Iran to use 20% of state budget to fight coronavirus

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is to allocate 20% of its annual state budget to fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the country, one of the worst-hit in the world, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday.

Iran’s death toll from coronavirus rose to 2,517 on Saturday, with 139 fatalities in the past 24 hours, as cases rose 3,076 to 35,408, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state television.

“We are in difficult conditions, in conditions of sanctions but we have allocated 20% of our budget this year to corona, … and this might be surprising for the world from a country under sanctions,” Rouhani said in comments broadcast on state TV.

Shut out of international capital markets and facing a further hit to its finances with the collapse in oil prices coming on top of U.S. sanctions, Iran is struggling to shield its economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

Rouhani reassured the public that the country had a strong healthcare system able to cope should there be a rapid progression of the disease. The state health insurance would cover 90% of coronavirus-linked costs of patients, he said.

The budget allocation, amounting to about 1,000 trillion rials, would include grants and low-interest loans to those affected by COVID-19, Rouhani said.

The allocated amount is worth some $6.3 billion at the rial’s free market exchange rate of about 160,000 rials per dollar. But the government may decide to allocate some of the funds at the official rate of 42,000 which is used to subsidize food and medicine

On Thursday, Rouhani said the government was seeking approval to withdraw $1 billion from Iran’s sovereign wealth fund for the fight against coronavirus.

Tapping the sovereign fund requires the agreement of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters.

Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

Iranian authorities, blaming U.S. sanctions for hampering Tehran’s efforts to curb the outbreak, have urged other countries and the United Nations to call on Washington to lift the sanctions. Washington has rejected easing the sanctions.

Source: Read Full Article