Two workers for millionaire weed magnate among 4 arrested for ‘kidnapping, shooting him and dumping body in luxury car’ – The Sun

TWO of the four suspects in custody for the kidnapping and murder of a millionaire weed magnate worked for the 50-year-old man, cops say.

Cannabis businessman Tushar Atre was sleeping in his California home early on Oct 1 when he was forced into his vehicle and driven to another property he owned, according to cops.

He was found shot to death in a luxury vehicle hours after he was taken.

Kurtis Charters, Stephen Nicolas Lindsay, Kaleb Charters, and Joshua James Camps – all 23 or younger –  were arrested this week, and their identities were revealed on Thursday.

Kurtis Charters, 22, and 19-year-old Kaleb are brothers.

Lindsay is just 22, and Camps is 23.

“There is compelling evidence against these four people,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said during a press conference.

Kaleb Charters and the 22-year-old Lindsay worked for Atre’s marijuana business Interstitial Systems, according to cops.

They were arrested in Michigan and Southern California on Tuesday for kidnapping, murder and robbery.

“Dozens of people knew and worked for Tushar. Their names came up early,” said Lt. Brian Cleveland of the sheriff's office, according to KRON.

“We were able to gather more and more information on this group.”

Critical evidence against the suspects include surveillance video recorded near the Santa Cruz County home where Atre was abducted.

Investigators say three assailants kidnapped him.

“This was a senseless crime. These people wanted monetary gain,” Cleveland said, according to KRON.

“They were there to take monetary items from Tushar.

"They were armed with a rifle. This was a planned event.”

Cops served hundreds of search warrants and witnesses were urged to come forward with information during the seven-month probe.

“We butted up against a lot of closed doors over the last seven or eight months," Hart told reporters.

"And every time that happened, our investigators found somewhere else to go with this case.

"This case was solved by outstanding police work being supported by a lot of different groups.

"I’m extremely proud of the work our investigation teams did.

"All of that work has culminated into bringing four people who did a very awful thing to justice."

Kaleb Charters is being extradited to California, according to KRON, while the other three are being held without bail in the Santa Cruz County Jail.


Source: Read Full Article

Healthcare workers to get special gongs in Queen’s Birthday Honours for their efforts during the coronavirus crisis – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS heroes will be honoured with special gongs in autumn to recognise their efforts during the pandemic.

Brits will be able to nominate doctors, nurses, care workers and volunteers who have made a real difference during the Covid crisis.

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

Boris Johnson revealed the Queen had postponed her Birthday Honours List, which will now take place this autumn – with an added focus on those who have battled the virus.

The PM said yesterday: "There is, understandably, huge appetite across the country to say thank you to all those on the frontline, within our communities and in our public services, who are supporting the nation through these unprecedented times.”

He added: “I want to provide assurance today, however, that the moment to mark so many extraordinary actions will not be lost.”

The list will also include those honoured before the crisis started, who would have picked up gongs this summer.

I want to provide assurance today, however, that the moment to mark so many extraordinary actions will not be lost.

Frontline work supporting the most vulnerable members of society who caught the disease are expected to be rewarded along with those who provided and developed innovations to support the battle against the bug.

Mr Johnson said that the Covid heroes will be added to that list and will be announced “when we can properly celebrate the achievements of all those included.”

The public can nominate those who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic on the .gov website.

The PM added: “We anticipate that COVID-19 recognition will happen across future honours lists, reflecting the on-going work being done by so many.

“To ensure we are capturing contributions from across the country I would encourage the public to put forward nominations for those they know are going above and beyond.

Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff

We are urging Sun readers to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.

We are backing 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 our readers to please sign the petition below.

Source: Read Full Article

How coronavirus-hit workers can claim a £1,200 savings bonus from the government

MILLIONS of coronavirus-hit workers will be eligible for a government savings top up worth up to £1,200.

The Help to Save scheme gives a 5o per cent top up on savings of up to £50 a month for four years.

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

It is designed to help people on lower incomes start putting money aside, and is available for workers on certain benefits.

Over 1.8million new people have signed up to Universal Credit since the government told people to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of these will now be eligible for the Help to Save programme and the government bonus.

Once you qualify for the scheme, you have access for the full four years, so it's worth applying even if you don't have any spare cash to save at the moment.

Here's everything you need to know:

Who is eligible for "Help to Save"?

The scheme is designed for lower-paid workers, but could be used by people who've seen a drop in income thanks to coronavirus and applied for Universal Credit.

The government has previously estimated that approximately 3.5 million people are eligible, although that number is now likely to be substantially higher because of the influx of coronavirus-hit workers.

Despite this, recent government figures show that only 163,000 people have opened an account.

To qualify you usually need to be a UK resident.

But you will also be eligible you or your spouse is posted overseas as a crown servant or in the Armed Forces.

You also need to be either:

  • Claiming Universal Credit and have earned £604.56 or more from paid work during the last monthly assessment period; or
  • Receiving Working Tax Credit; or
  • Eligible for Working Tax Credit and receiving Child Tax Credit.

Generally speaking, the benefit is aimed at workers, but if you are out of work and claim Universal Credit jointly with a partner, you may be entitled to your own savings bonus.

Even if you stop claiming benefits – you keep the scheme for the full four years, so if you've temporarily seen a hit in income, it might be a good way to boost your savings when things start to improve..

How much will I get?

How much you get depends on how much you save, but the total maximum bonus is £1,200.

This is split between two payments with a maximum bonus of £600 for the first two years and £600 for the second two.

You can put away up to £50 each month and you don't have to save at all if you can't afford to.

The rules around how the top up is calculated are different for each of the two bonus periods.

This means it can be tricky to work out exactly how much you will get.

It's made more complicated by the fact that you are allowed to dip in and out of your savings as and when you need to.

How the first top up bonus is calculated

At the end of your first two years, you get a bonus of the highest amount you've had in your savings account at any point in that period.

This might be your final savings balance at the end of the period, but it might be an earlier balance if you've made withdrawals.

For instance, if you save £50 a month for the first 22 months your balance rises to £1,100.

If you remove £100 a month for the next two months, your savings balance will drop to £900.

When your bonus is paid, you'll get 50 per cent of the higher amount which is £1,100 – so you'd receive £550 from the government.

To get the maximum bonus of £600 for the first period, you'll need to save £50 each month without withdrawing anything until the last month.

But as long as you save something you'll be entitled to some bonus.

How Help to Save affects other benefits

Universal credit

To qualify for Universal Credit you can't have savings of more than £6,000.

Your Help to Save account counts towards this limit, so if it tips your savings over £6,000 you could lose your benefits.

The bonuses do not affect your Universal Credit payments, and as they are paid directly into your bank account they won't affect your savings.

Working Tax Credit

Savings from Help to Save do not affect Working Tax Credit payments.

Housing Benefit

Like Universal Credit, this benefit is only available for people with less than £6,000 in savings.

Help to Save accounts count towards this limit, so you need to be careful.

The bonuses do not affect Housing Benefit payments.

How the final bonus is calculated.

After the first two years is up, you can choose to keep saving, or you can stop.

You won't lose your first bonus if you decide to stop saving.

But if you carry on, you can get a further bonus of up to £600 once another two years has passed.

The second bonus you get is calculated on the gap between your highest balance in the first two years and your highest balance in the second two years.

The government will pay you 25 per cent of the difference.

For instance – continuing the example above, your starting balance at the beginning of year three is £900.

If you manage to put away £50 per month all year, at the end of month 36 your balance is £1,500 (£600 new savings plus the £900 you started with).

In year four, you manage to save £50 a month for the first ten months, taking your savings total to £2000 in month 46.

Then in the last two months, you need to withdraw £500 taking your final savings balance to £1,500.

The highest balance in the first bonus period was £1,1oo (in month 22) and in the second period the highest point was £2,000 (in month 46).

HMRC calculates the difference between the two, which is £900 and gives you a bonus of 50 per cent of that.

Your final bonus at the end of year four is therefore £450. In year two you got £550 so overall you've had £1000 in free money.

If your balance in the second two years is never higher than you managed in the first two, you won't get a second bonus.

To get the maximum total bonus of £1,200 you'd need to save £50 every month and not make any withdrawals for all four years.

Making withdrawals early on makes it much harder to increase your highest balance figures, meaning a lower bonus in the first two years, and possibly no bonus at all in the final two.

What happens after four years?

After four years the account will be closed.

You get to keep the money you have saved as well as all your bonuses.

Unfortunately, you're only allowed one Help to Save account, so you can't open a new one.

How to apply

To get an account you'll need to apply online here.

You need a government gateway account, but you can create one when you apply.

You'll need your banking details so make sure you have those to hand.

If you can't apply online you can call 0300 322  7093 and the HMRC helpline advisers can help you open an account.

Once opened, you can manage your Help to Save account online by visiting or through the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) app which is available to download for free for iOS or Android.

You will receive an account number and sort code so you can pay money into the account.

You will also get a welcome pack from HMRC when your account is opened.


Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun's Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain's best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Millions of key workers face 8am rush tomorrow to bag one of 5k coronavirus home test kits after they ran out in 2 mins – The Sun

MILLIONS of key workers face an 8am scramble for coronavirus tests tomorrow morning when the government website opens up again.

Just 5,000 DIY home testing kits are available each day – with all of them snapped up within two minutes of the site going live this morning.

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

Millions of workers desperate to get their hands on the tests and head back to the office were left disappointed after the site ran out and error messages popped up.

And drive-through testing slots were also fully booked at a rapid pace, with all of the 19,000 appointments taken just two hours later.

A second batch of tests are up for grabs at 8am tomorrow morning with another rush expected.

The PM's spokesman said: "Within two minutes of the portal opening this morning, 5,000 testing kits had been ordered.

"And that's the available capacity for today."

They added up to 18,000 home testing kits per day will be available by the end of next week.

The government has struggled to meet the 100,000 daily tests hoped for by the end of April, despite huge demand.

Criticism has been levelled over a series of test shambles in the UK – as drive-through sites for NHS tests were pictured looking empty and some results were found to be inaccurate.

Frustrated people trying to get hold of tests complained the process was complicated and they couldn't find a category for their job role.

One person tweeted: "So frustrating, been trying to book my daughter Covid-19 test, as she key worker, its already closed. Craziness not simple at all, so stressful."

And another frustrated worker added: "I can’t book a test! I’m a key worker and I keep getting this message!!!!! @MattHancock why is this link not open? You said we could get tested from today!"

Mr Hancock announced last night testing would be expanded to millions of people so they can find out if they currently have Covid-19 – but only if they are showing symptoms.

Under radical new plans to get the country moving again, from today, seven million essential workers – including teachers, bankers or supermarket workers – were invited for testing.

For Brits without a car, home testing kits, including swabs and instructions, were made available to order online today.

Those who were first to get their hands on one will have them delivered by Amazon within the next 24 hours before being collected by the Royal Mail the next day – with results promises within 72 hours of collection.

Give now to The Sun's NHS appeal

BRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.

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

The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers. 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. No matter how little you can spare, please donate today here:

As the UK tries to get itself going from lockdown stagnation Mr Hancock today declared businesses which re-opened after shut at the start of the crisis were "never required to close".

The Health Secretary welcomed the move by firms to get people back to work amid signs Brits are growing tired of the shutdown.

He made clear the lockdown is still in place and social distancing needs to continue to protect the NHS, but said certain companies can re-open their doors as long as they work safely.

Large firms such as B&Q, house builders Taylor Wimpey and car makers Jaguar and Nissan have all started up again as fears grow over the damage the economy is facing over the lockdown.

Professor John Newton said that the Government's target to test 100,000 people a day by the end of the month was still on track, despite just 20,000 taking place yesterday.

Mr Hancock earlier this week told the House of Commons that Britain has reached the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

He said that ministers were trying to ramp up contact tracing so that all Brits could get access to them in future.

A NHS app is also being developed to try and monitor people who develop the virus, and tell them who they are likely to have come into contact with.


Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun's Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain's best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Six more health workers killed by coronavirus as death toll above 100

Six more health workers are killed by coronavirus: ‘Wonderful’ NHS surgeon and ‘heroine’ nurse who survived Apartheid are among those to lose their lives as death toll for medics and social care staff rises above 100

  • Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, died at Whiston Hospital where he worked as a surgeon
  • His colleagues at the hospital said he was a ‘much-loved member of the team’ 
  • He is one of six health worker deaths to have been announced today
  • The number of medical and social care worker deaths has now risen above 100 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

A ‘dedicated and always happy to help’ orthopaedic surgeon and a ‘passionate and hardworking’ nurse are among six of the latest healthcare workers to die of coronavirus. 

Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, described by his colleagues as ‘a much-loved member of the team’, worked at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Merseyside as a surgeon for 17 years before he died at Whiston Hospital. 

In a tribute to the surgeon, who died in the hospital he worked at, the father-of-four’s family said: ‘Sadeq was a wonderful husband as well as a devoted father and he dearly loved his family.

Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, an orthopaedic surgeon who worked at St Helens and Knowley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, died from coronavirus. Pictured with his sons

‘We cannot put into words the depth of our loss. He loved his work and was dedicated to supporting his patients and his colleagues.’

Ravi Gudena, Mr Elhowsh’s colleague and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said: ‘Nothing was ever too much trouble for Sadeq, he was always there to help anyone and was happy to do whatever was needed to help his colleagues and patients.’

Hospital chief executive Ann Marr OBE added: ‘Sadeq will be sadly missed by all who knew and worked with him. He was without doubt a much-loved member of the team.’

Josephine Peter, a nurse at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, has been described as a ‘heroine’ by her devastated husband after she died from the virus on Saturday, April 18. 

Josephine Peter, a nurse at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, leaves behind her husband Thabo, her two children Bongani and Buhle and a granddaughter

According to a GoFundMe page set up to honour Mrs Peter, who worked as a nurse for 20 years, she leaves behind her husband Thabo, her two children Bongani and Buhle who live in South Africa and a granddaughter. 

She was raised in Johannesburg, South Africa during Apartheid where, according to the fundraising page, she was ‘whipped and humiliated by the then white ruling party’ but she never let it break her spirit. 

The fundraiser, which has raised more than £3,000 so far, said she graduated as a professional nurse at University of Fort Hare and Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, South Africa, in 1998 before moving to the UK in 2002.  

She had been working at Southport hospital since February on an agency contract until she fell ill in early April. 

James Lock, chief executive of Altrix, the nursing agency that employed her, said: ‘Josephine was a diligent nurse who was highly regarded and liked by the team. 

‘She would always go that extra mile and was a pleasure to work with. My team and I send our very best wishes and deepest condolences to Josephine’s family.”

Liz Shale, 61, an NHS administration worker from Leeds died two days after she was rushed to hospital 

Liz Shale, a 61-year-old NHS administration worker from Leeds, died just two days after being rushed to hospital on Tuesday, April 7. 

Her family, who described her as ‘loving and crazy’ have pleaded with people to ‘take this virus seriously’ after they were unable to visit and say goodbye to her before she died at St James’s University Hospital and will have to watch her funeral via video link due to new restrictions.  

The grandmother-of-eight worked for the NHS for more than 20 years and spent the last decade working in palliative care in Bradford. 

Her son, Danny, said: ‘She was funny, loving and crazy, she would do owt for a laugh. She was definitely a character.

‘She was always cracking jokes to make them all laugh and keep them motivated.

‘She knew she had to keep going to work when this started and started working from home the week before everyone was told to but even though she had been staying at home, she still got it.’

He added: ‘Our life will never be the same again. My mum won’t get to see my children grow up all because of this virus. How people don’t realise the impact this has?

‘Basically, she’s now just seen as another number – a statistic – and it shouldn’t be that way. People should know who she was, not see her as another person who died.’

Another victim, Kirsty Jones, 41, had been working as a healthcare assistant and recently taken up a position in one of Lanarkshire’s Assessment Centres, based in Airdrie Health Centre, to help in the frontline response against the pandemic.

Kirsty Jones, 41, was working at an assessment centre helping in the frontline response. She leaves behind her husband Nigel and two sons, Sam age 14 and Finlay, four

Her death sees her leave behind her husband Nigel, and two sons, Sam aged 14 and Finlay, four.  

Mr Jones said: ‘Kirsty devoted her life to caring for others. She was larger than life itself and was a constant source of happiness for all who were around her. 

‘Kirsty will be greatly missed by all who knew her. A void has opened in our hearts that will never be filled.’

Tributes have also been paid to Khulisani Nkala, a mental health nurse who died on Friday. 

Khulisani Nkala, 46, worked as a mental health nurse for the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and died from the virus on Friday

The 46-year-old was the first staff member at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to died from the virus. 

Dr Sara Munro, chief executive of the trust, said: ‘Khuli was a well-respected and selfless professional nurse who ‘always put the patient first’ and will be greatly missed by his colleagues.’  

Juliet Alder, who died from coronavirus aged 58 on Tuesday, April 14, worked at the Hammersmith and Fulham Mental Health Unit supporting older people in the last weeks of their life.

She is the first member of the team to die from Covid-19, leaving behind her husband and daughter, and was described by her colleagues as ‘kind, caring and thoughtful.’

Her coworkers said: ‘She was compassionate to patients, colleagues and carers and maternal towards those who came in contact with her.

‘Juliet had a beaming smile and an infectious laughter and took great pride in looking after others. She’ll be missed by all.’

Yesterday it was announced Manjeet Riyat, a ‘widely respected’ doctor, who became the first Sikh to work as an A&E consultant in Britain, was one of the latest NHS victims of the pandemic.

The 52-year-old was described by colleagues at the Royal Derby Hospital as the ‘father of the emergency department.’

Manjeet Riyat died at the Royal Derby Hospital on Monday (University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust/PA)

The married father-of-two, who previously worked at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital, has been described as ‘instrumental’ in building the emergency medicine service in Derbyshire over the past 20 years.

He died on Monday at Royal Derby Hospital, the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust said. 

Married father-of-two Craig Wakeham, a doctor at the Cerne Abbas surgery in Dorset for three decades, died from coronavirus at the weekend, it emerged yesterday.

Married father-of-two Craig Wakeham, a doctor at the Cerne Abbas surgery in Dorset for three decades, died from coronavirus at the weekend, it emerged today

His colleagues at the surgery said: ‘His industry and innovation led our practice for 30 years.

‘He was also a leading light in both the Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Medical Committee, as well as a devoted husband a father to his two boys.

‘His legacy lives on in our patients who he cared for diligently, and in the good name he built for our surgery.’ 

Mr Rajit also acted as an emergency medicine tutor at Derby College where he oversaw the education of junior doctors.

His death marks the second at the trust, after Dr Amged El-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant at Queen’s Hospital Burton, became the first frontline hospital doctor to die in the pandemic.

Dr Amged El-Hawrani became the UK’s first front-line hospital doctor to die from coronavirus following warnings that a lack of protective equipment would cost medical staff lives

The number of health and social care workers to have died of coronavirus is believed to have surpassed 100 in the UK. 

Doctors, nurses, care home workers and allied healthcare professionals have all been lost in Britain’s fight against COVID-19. 

The Government has only confirmed the death of 27 NHS workers, but nursing platform NursingNotes says the number now stands at 106 this morning. 

Its records show Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people accounted for 75 per cent of healthcare workers deaths, despite them only being 20 per cent of the workforce.     

Speaking to Sky News, the cousin of Mr Riyat said: ‘He was a mountain of a man. He was my brother basically, if there’s one man I’m going to miss the most it’s him.

‘He was the most generous man you could meet – the kindest man you could meet, with a great sense of humour.’

Also paying tribute to Mr Riyat, trust chief executive Gavin Boyle said: ‘Mr Riyat, known to his colleagues as Manjeet, was a widely respected consultant in emergency medicine nationally.

‘Manjeet was the first A&E consultant from the Sikh community in the country and was instrumental in building the emergency medicine service in Derbyshire over the past two decades.

‘He was an incredibly charming person and well-loved. Manjeet knew so many people here across the hospital; we will all miss him immensely.

‘On behalf of everyone here at UHDB, including our patients and the communities we serve, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.’

In a tribute on behalf of the hospital’s emergency department team, emergency medicine consultant Susie Hewitt said: ‘Manjeet was one of the first clinical research fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic emergency medicine.

‘Despite his many achievements, Manjeet was most at home as a highly visible ‘shop floor’ emergency medicine consultant.

‘He was consistently generous with his remarkable clinical knowledge to everyone in the team.

Gerallt Davies, 51, is the first paramedic in Wales to die after suffering COVID-19

‘He had that rare gift of maintaining constant joy in the intellectual challenge of clinical medicine, combined with gentle kindness and compassion for his patients.

‘He was a powerful advocate for the sickest patients and was well known for his fair, no-nonsense approach.

‘By contrast, Manjeet could be relied upon to lift the mood with his dry humour and sense of fun.

‘Manjeet was enormously valued and much loved as a colleague, supervisor and mentor, as well as for his wise council and discreet support in tough times. 

‘For many, Manjeet was considered the father of the current emergency department in Derby and many more will reflect on how his inspiration has shaped their own careers.

‘Finally, Manjeet was fiercely proud of his wife and two sons and often shared the achievements and exploits of the boys with equal good humour. He always kept sight of what is really important in life and set an example by living life in keeping with his high standards and strong values. He will be hugely missed.’

Mr Riyat qualified from the University of Leicester in 1992 and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital. 

During this time he acted as team leader for the Accident Flying Squads at both hospitals. Manjeet was also one of the first Clinical Research Fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic Emergency Medicine.

In 2003, Manjeet became one of four Consultants in Emergency Medicine at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and was the first person from the Sikh community to be appointed as an Emergency Medicine Consultant in the UK. 

The first consultants in A&E medicine were introduced in the late 70s, and throughout the 80s and 90s their numbers increased significantly.

Mr Riyat became Head of Service for the Emergency Department in 2006 and made particular contributions to clinical governance and patient safety. 

Trust chairwoman Dr Kathy McLean said: ‘Mr Manjeet Riyat made a huge contribution to the NHS in Derbyshire and across the field of emergency medicine nationally.

‘I had known Manjeet from when he first joined the trust in the early 2000s and he very quickly made an impact with his focus on patient care and high standards.

‘It was clear that he was an outstanding emergency medicine doctor and generations of families in this region have benefited from the care he provided.

‘I met him again shortly after returning to the trust as chair and was greeted with a big hug. This is a terribly sad day for all of those who had the pleasure to have known him and to have worked alongside him.’

Ms Tapley’s heartbroken granddaughter said her grandmother was like ‘an additional parent’

As of Monday, a total of 16,509 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in the UK. 

Meanwhile, Gerallt Davies, 51, is the first paramedic in Wales to die after suffering COVID-19.

He had been awarded an MBE in 2009 for his work as a national operations officer for St John Cymru Wales.

He was based at Cwmbwrla Station in Swansea and had worked for the ambulance service for 26 years.

Mr Davies’ death was described as ‘a devastating blow’ for his colleagues. 

Yesterday it emerged two older health workers still caring for patients into their 70s and 80s have both died on the same day of coronavirus.

Ms Tapley’s granddaughter Hannah Tapley, a champion high jumper who has competed for team GB, said her grandmother would text and call her everyday

Great-grandmother Margaret Tapley was working as an auxiliary nurse at the age of 84 and hailed as ‘a legend on the ward’.

Sophie Fagan, 78, had served the NHS for more than five decades, starting as a nurse before becoming a hospital care co-ordinator.

Both were helping patients well past retirement age before passing away on Sunday.

Mrs Tapley had continued her night shifts at Witney Community Hospital in Oxfordshire and worked the last one of her 40-year career on April 10.

 Mrs Fagan began nursing in 1966 and had been working since 2000 as a care co-ordinator at Homerton Hospital in East London

Her family said she had been suffering symptoms before being admitted to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon three days before her death.

Her grandson Tom Wood, a senior A&E nurse, said she inspired him to go into healthcare.

‘She took huge pride in her work but was so humble,’ he added. ‘She embodied the nursing spirit. I struggle with one or two night shifts but grandma routinely did three a week.’

Mrs Tapley’s granddaughter Hannah Tapley said: ‘She was the most hard-working, caring and perfect woman. Devoting her life to others and working for the NHS doing night shifts at her age.’

Sophie Fagan, front row second left, arrived from India in 1961 to begin her nurse training. She has died aged 78 after contracting coronavirus. Picture: Homerton Hospital

Stuart Bell, chief executive at Oxford Health trust, said: ‘She was a legend on the ward and throughout the whole hospital.’ 

Mrs Fagan began nursing in 1966 and had been working since 2000 as a care co-ordinator at Homerton Hospital in East London, where she died.

Tracey Fletcher, trust chief executive, said: ‘Sophie wanted to make a difference and caring for the elderly was her passion.

Homerton Hospital nurse Michael Allieu, who has died after contracting coronavirus

Other healthcare workers to have died from coronavirus include Joanna Klenczon (left) a 34-year-old domestic supervisor who worked at the Northampton General Hospital (NGH) for 10 years and occupational therapist Vivek Sharma who died on Friday

‘Her taste for the brightest and most colourful jumpers, her elegance and her ability to talk to anyone made her stand out.’

Daughter-in-law Deni Fagan said she was dedicated to her son John and grandson Jack, 16.

She described Mrs Fagan as ‘a fit and healthy lady who just loved life, nothing would have stopped her from working.

‘She just refused to give up her job….despite her age. It goes to show what kind of lady she was. We are really very proud of her.’

Acute care nurse Michael Allieu, 53, became the second worker at the Homerton to die from the virus over the weekend.

Source: Read Full Article

NHS worker's roof is wrecked by fire after barbecue canister exploded

NHS worker’s roof is devastated by massive fire sparked when neighbour’s barbecue gas canister exploded in the middle of the night

  • Priscilla Ryan, 37, was woken up after a fire spread to her Birmingham garden
  • The mother of three lost the roof of her home and all her sentimental pictures
  • Her children and eight-month-old grandson  were in the house at the time
  • Ms Ryan’s sister has set up a fundraiser for the mental health worker 

An NHS worker has been left homeless after a neighbour’s barbecue’s gas canister exploded in the middle of the night and set alight her home.

Priscilla Ryan, 37, was asleep when one of her three children woke her up after she spotted a huge fire in the garden in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A neighbour’s barbecue had caught alight and Priscilla got her daughters and eight-month-old grandson out of the house before hearing a loud bang at around 12.30am.

The gas canister of the barbecue exploded and the fire spread to her house, destroying their bedrooms and roof.

Devastating: The fire spread from her Priscilla Ryan’s neighbour’s garden to her’s and another home, destroying the entire top floor of the house

Ms Ryan says she didn’t ‘expect to live through it’ after she rushed her three children and grandson out the house

The family returned the next day to find Ms Ryan’s grandchild’s cot was destroyed beyond repair and her children’s baby photos, videos and memorabilia were lost in the blaze

They watched as the flames engulfed the entire building, as well as another home in Selly Oak, while around 25 firefighters tackled the blaze.

‘It was like something out of a horror movie, you don’t expect to live through it,’ she told 

‘My kids were crying and screaming and I couldn’t even console them because I was just in shock.

‘The baby was in the room closest to the fire and we were worried about smoke coming through the window and passing down into his lungs.’

Ms Ryan says her ‘kids were crying and screaming and I couldn’t even console them because I was just in shock’ during the fire

Now she, her children, 21, 17 and 15, and her grandson are living in her ex-partner’s one-bed flat

The family returned to their home the following day but the entire top floor of the house had been ruined, including most of Ms Ryan’s sentimental belongings.

Her grandchild’s cot was destroyed beyond repair and her children’s baby photos, videos and memorabilia, along with Ms Ryan’s certificates were lost.

Now she, her children, 21, 17 and 15, and her grandson are living in her ex-partner’s one-bed flat.

She will return to work tomorrow at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, where she handles calls from people with sever anxiety and depression.

Her 17-year-old will also return to work at Asda after losing her job at the local cinema.

Ms Ryan hopes the family will soon be rehoused by Bournville Village Trust, but said no hotels are currently taking them due to coronavirus concerns.

Her sister has set up a fundraiser for the family to buy essentials, including food and clothing, which has raised more than £1,000 so far.

West Midlands Fire Service confirmed Ms Ryan’s neighbour’s garden was destroyed by the fire and one other home was damaged in the blaze. 

  • To donate to Priscilla Ryan’s fundraiser, click here

Source: Read Full Article

Amazon warehouse workers ‘say they have received NO pay or just 60% of wage despite sick leave pledge’ – The Sun

AMAZON workers who have fallen ill say they are getting just 60 per cent of their wages – or no pay at all – despite a company promise to pay employees sick leave.

One worker who wished to remain anonymous said she had been witnessing coronavirus symptoms, such as shortness of breath, and was worried her weak immune system would put her at risk if she continued to work.

The employee, who spoke to CNBC, said she was instructed to self-isolate by doctors.

Sharlene, who did not want her last name to be published for fear of reprisals, claims she still has not been paid by Amazon.

The company previously said it would offer up to two weeks of sick leave for full and part-time employees who show symptoms, have the coronavirus, or are quarantining.

It is also relaxing its attendance policy for warehouse workers, and would not assign "attendance points" which are given to employees to mark missed work shifts.

The media outlet spoke to four other Amazon employees who are also in quarantine and haven't been paid.

Earlier this week, Buzzfeed News reported Amazon workers with fevers were being sent home without pay.

Amazon workers have repeatedly raised the alarm that the company was not providing adequate sanitizing equipment to delivery drivers, nor was it doing enough to keep warehouse workers safe.

The company has started taking employees' temperatures as they report to work in an attempt to keep the virus from spreading inside warehouses.

But the organization's handling of employee Christian Smalls, who was fired after he organized a walk-out, have led to an internal backlash, reported Vox, while rumblings of more strikes and protests continue.

On April 7, warehouse workers in New York's Staten Island depot walked out just a week after Amazon fired Mr Small saying he breached coronavirus distancing and put others at risk.

Angeles Solis, who works at Make the Road New York, a non-profit that helped organize the strike on Monday, said Amazon had to do more.

If Amazon doesn't do more to protect workers, "they are not only profiting from this pandemic, but they’re helping to perpetuate it," she told Democracy Now.

The Sun has reached out to Amazon for comment.

Source: Read Full Article

Bustle axes 24 workers, closes one of its sites

Bustle Digital Group has laid off 24 staffers, ordered salary reductions and shut down culture website The Outline amid an industry-wide slump in advertising revenue.

“The impact of COVID-19 has forced us to make some tough business decisions,” a spokeswoman for the owner of websites like Nylon and elite daily. “Most staff will be taking temporary tiered salary reductions and unfortunately, we have eliminated two dozen positions across the company.”

Seven staffers are out of work at The Outline, a culture and lifestyle site started three years ago by Josh Topolsky, which struggled to build a business model not reliant on revenue from Google or Facebook. Bustle, headed by Bryan Goldberg, purchased The Outline in March 2019.

“We are halting operations of TheOutline going forward,” the spokeswoman said. “We will continue to host the publication and the archives, and Josh Topolsky will be exploring alternative paths forward for the publication’s future.”

“Farewell @outline. We have all been laid off,” tweeted executive editor Leah Finnegan on Friday.

Source: Read Full Article

Workers cram on to London's packed Tube trains AGAIN

Fury as key workers are forced to wait 20 MINUTES to cram on to London’s packed Tube trains AGAIN as Sadiq Khan insists he can’t increase services ‘because one in five staff are ‘off sick’

  • London Underground is running a reduced service on all lines leading to commuters cramming into trains 
  • Mayor Sadiq Khan says he cannot run anywhere near a full service because 20% of staff are already off sick 
  • Network full again today – on day 2 of lockdown – with people packed like sardines on Tube and buses
  • NHS staff have said that they are more worried about commuting than caring for coronavirus patients
  • 500 British Transport Police Officers have been deployed at major stations today to check those travelling
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

London’s Tube trains are packed again today as Sadiq Khan was accused of ‘risking lives’ after he claimed he had no choice but to slash services at a time of national emergency because one in five staff are already off sick.

MailOnline can reveal that during rush hour today some London Underground lines are currently only running one train up to every twenty minutes causing more crammed conditions in ‘death trap’ carriages and on heaving platforms. 

The Mayor of London is facing mounting fury over his decision to run reduced services, ‘herding’ workers into crammed trains and buses with some NHS workers claiming they are now more worried about travelling to work than treating coronavirus patients in hospital.

Key worker Tony Drew tweeted: ‘No-one is listening to you and don’t need to reduce the service as much as you have. You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk’.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said last night there is ‘no good reason’ Tube services have been slashed and Boris Johnson also questioned why up to three quarters of services had been axed in a call with Mr Khan yesterday,

Commuters have today vented their fury at the lack of trains, with one tweeting Mr Khan this morning with the plea: ‘You are herding key workers into a smaller space. Your decision is a difficult one but is directly risking lives. Please rethink this for our health workers so they can at least feel safe going to work’. Another NHS worker said: ‘Please sort the tubes out, this is risking lives. Emergency workers have to use TFL! Help now’.

Today 500 police officers were deployed at major stations to remind passengers that only those making essential journeys for work should be using the Tube and trains – but huge numbers have no choice but to head to work.

London’s Tube network is busy again today as Sadiq Khan blamed staff sickness for the severely reduced timetable

Commuters crammed on to the Central Line at Leytonstone this morning – where there was only one train every 15 minutes – when it would usually be around every three minutes 

A commuter in a gas mask waits for a Tube train as Sadiq Khan said it was not possible to run anything but a reduced service

Platforms are also packed with people who have no choice but to travel having been classed as key workers

There is mounting anger among NMHS workers who insist TFL can and must do more to ensure key workers get to work safely throughout the crisis

Today 500 police officers were deployed at major stations to remind passengers that only those making essential journeys for work should be using the Tube and trains

Mr Khan has blamed commuters for flouting a ban on ‘all non-essential travel’ and urged people to avoid rush hour ‘to save lives’ – claiming he does not have enough staff to return services to normal.   

Mr Hancock went on the attack as he was asked at a Downing Street press conference this evening why NHS staff and other key workers were being forced to put themselves at risk on crowded transport.

He said: ‘When it comes to the Tube, the first and the best answer is that Transport for London should have the Tube running in full so that people travelling on the tube are spaced out and can be further apart – obeying the two-metre rule wherever possible.

‘And there is no good reason in the information that I’ve seen that the current levels of tube provision should be as low as they are. We should have more tube trains running.’

Earlier, commuters packed in like sardines hit back at the Mayor, who runs the capital’s public transport network, with one victim claiming it was about saving money, tweeting: ‘Using the pandemic to save a few pennies. Nice work helping the people you claim to represent’. Another Londoner wrote: ‘Utter disgrace. We need professional leadership at this time’.

Tube trains were packed again today despite the Government’s unprecedented lockdown that started just hours earlier to save lives and take pressure off the NHS

Sharing a horrifying picture of a packed Tube train this morning, NHS sonographer Nicola Smith tweeted: ‘I love my job, but now I’m risking my health just on the journey in?! @SadiqKhan put the tube service back to normal so we can all spread out, or @BorisJohnson start policing who’s getting on. Help me!’. After completing her journey to the Imperial College NHS Trust in west London, she said: ‘I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital.’

And there is continuing confusion over who qualifies as a key worker, especially among London’s army of builders, meaning most had no choice but to ride the busy trains to work and run the terrifying risk of catching coronavirus, which has claimed 422 lives so far in the UK.

Boris Johnson also raised concerns about cutbacks in London Underground services with the capital’s Mayor in a call this afternoon and is said to have asked him to put on more trains. His Downing Street spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister raised with the mayor the issue of reduced services on the tube and its impact on people trying to get to work’. 

British Transport Police has said its officers will stop non-essential workers travelling on the Tube. A spokesman said the force would ‘ensure that only those making essential journeys for work are using the Tube and rail network’, adding: ‘Our officers will be on hand to support rail operators if people are clearly disregarding the advice’.

Hours after the PM said almost all Britons should should stay at home in the most draconian shutdown in modern history, people were nose-to-nose on the Tube, trains and buses despite being told to be two metres apart to avoid exposure to the killer virus.  

To stem the terrifying number of deaths, gatherings of more than two people are now banned and people must only leave their homes for essential supplies, medical help, or to travel to work if it is ‘absolutely’ unavoidable. Going out for exercise is allowed once a day as long as people stay two metres apart to stop the NHS collapsing under the strain of new cases.

But transport union TSSA today called for police to be deployed to make sure only key workers are getting on trains amid claims Tube staff could walk out unless ID checks start immediately because of ‘dangerous’ conditions at London stations. 

General secretary Manuel Cortes said: ‘Sadly, the situation on the London Underground has not improved. We urgently need British Transport Police and other officers at major stations across London’s transport network to ensure only those with a valid reason to travel are doing so in this emergency’.  

Mr Khan’s office hit back at Mr Hancock’s claim there was ‘no good reason’ not to have more frequent services on the Underground tonight.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor said: ‘This is simply not true. The Mayor has told ministers countless times over recent days that TfL simply cannot safely run a full service because of the levels of staff sickness and self-isolation.

‘Nearly a third of staff are already absent – there aren’t enough drivers and control staff to do it.

‘The Government must act urgently to get more people staying at home rather than going to work unnecessarily – that means taking the difficult decisions they are refusing to take to ban non-essential construction work and provide proper financial support to freelancers, the self-employed and those on zero-hours contracts to stay at home.’ 

Mr Khan has demanded that employers enable their staff to work from home ‘unless it’s absolutely necessary’ and avoid rush hour if they can’t, adding: ‘Ignoring these rules means more lives lost. Some of the people on the Tube yesterday and today are not essential workers, I can tell you that’.

But there is ongoing confusion caused by Boris Johnson’s long list of key workers – with many packed on to trains appearing to be labourers legitimately heading to building sites in London after housing secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted last night: ‘If you are working on site, you can continue to do so.’    

There are growing calls for police to be deployed at all main underground and overground stations to make sure only key workers are getting on trains (BTP officers pictured in Bristol today)

What major world cities have the lowest proportion of people moving around compared to normal? 

TWO WEEKS AGO (W/ending Mar 15) 

PAST WEEK (W/ending Mar 21) 


  • Milan 4%
  • Barcelona 5%
  • Madrid 5%
  • Lyon 5%
  • Paris 5%
  • Monaco 5%
  • Vienna 6%
  • Rome 6%
  • Amsterdam 7%
  • Brussels 8%
  • New York City 8%
  • San Francisco 8%
  • Chicago 9%
  • Washington DC 9%
  • Copenhagen 10%
  • Boston 10%
  • Istanbul 11%
  • São Paulo 13%
  • Berlin 13%
  • Lisbon 14%
  • Seattle 14%
  • Hamburg 15%
  • Los Angeles 16%
  • Rhine-Ruhr 17%
  • Philadelphia 17%
  • Montréal 18%
  • Tokyo 18%
  • Toronto 23%
  • Vancouver 24%
  • London 25%
  • Manchester 28%
  • Sydney 28%
  • Mexico City 30%
  • Birmingham 31%
  • Melbourne 33%
  • Stockholm 35%
  • Seoul 36%
  • Moscow 56%
  • Singapore 61%
  • St. Petersburg 73%
  • Hong Kong n/a 

Data from Citymapper Mobility Index 

Confusion as shop and office workers are told to stay home amid coronavirus lockdown but builders and delivery drivers can carry on 

The government has come under pressure to urgently clarify who it counts as a ‘key worker’ after Britons woke up in a state of lockdown confusion.

Last night in his historic address to the nation, Boris Johnson ordered the public to stay at home unless travelling to work was ‘absolutely necessary’. 

It was wrapped into an emergency package of draconian measures to keep people indoors to stem the tide of coronavirus infection, which threatens to overwhelm the NHS.

But the wriggle room left by the Prime Minister over exactly who was allowed to travel was seized upon by many workers who continued to commute to their jobs this morning.

Construction workers were seen operating in close proximity, causing head-scratching over why they were continuing to work while most of the country was forced to hunker down at home.

Responding to claims that details of the lockdown were ‘murky’, Michael Gove, the minister for the cabinet office, said: ‘It is the case that construction should continue on sites.

‘People should obviously exercise sensitivity and common sense and follow social distancing measures. But construction sites carried out in the open air can continue’. 

And Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan fanned further confusion when they advised construction workers to stay at home. 

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said it has closed its construction sites, show homes and sale sites due to coronavirus.

The company said it has a ‘large order-book and quality long-term landbank’ which provides it with increased resilience.

It said UK operations have ‘only been meaningfully impacted in very recent days’ while its smaller Spanish operations have been disrupted by a nationwide shutdown. Earlier on Tuesday, competitor Redrow said its sites remain open with ‘strict precautions in place including enhanced levels of cleaning, additional hygiene facilities and social distancing’.

The Department for Transport is identifying those lines that need more trains. It said: ‘We are aware of some instances of overcrowding on certain train services this morning, and are working with operators regarding capacity on specific lines as needed to make sure there is space to be safe.’

C2C, which runs commuter services between Essex and London, is thought to have been identified as a line in need of increased capacity.

Passenger watchdog Transport Focus said: ‘The Government should continue to review what measures are needed to make sure social distancing on trains services is safe.’

The RMT union said: ‘We know that many people who are not traditionally employed, whether they are self-employed, on zero-hour contracts or in the gig economy, feel they have no choice but to go to work because of their financial situation. We therefore call on the Government to do far more to help these workers.’

Vernon Everitt of TfL said: ‘To save lives, everyone must follow the Government and Mayor’s instructions to stay at home and only travel if absolutely essential. Only critical workers should be using public transport, and no one else.’

The Prime Minister’s shutdown will last for a minimum of three weeks and the UK’s new state of emergency is unprecedented in modern history. 

Gatherings of more than two people will be banned in the most dramatic curbs on freedom ever seen in Britain in time of peace or war, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease.

In a grim address to the nation from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: ‘Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses’, adding: ‘I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home’.

He said any family reunions, weddings, baptisms and other social events must be cancelled to stop the NHS collapsing under the strain. Funerals can go ahead attended by just a handful of closest relatives.

People must only leave their homes for essential supplies, medical help, or to travel to work if it is ‘absolutely’ unavoidable. Going out for exercise will be allowed once a day, but parks will be patrolled to make sure there is no abuse of the rules. 

Police will have powers to fine those who do not fall into line, and disperse any public gatherings, in measures to curb movement only seen during the Second World War. Historians have claimed you have to go back to 1666 to find when people were last forced to stay at home en masse, when Britons had to stay at home for 40 days to halt the spread of the Great Plague. 

The PM was finally forced into the draconian move amid fury that many people are still flouting ‘social distancing’ guidance, with parks and Tube trains in London – regarded as the engine of the UK outbreak – still busy despite repeated pleas.  

‘Though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more,’ Mr Johnson said.


Source: Read Full Article

Key workers from doctors to teachers tell us what’s REALLY going on in the daily frontline fight against coronavirus – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS disruption is playing havoc with all our lives — from the weekly shop descending into chaos to pubs indefinitely closing their doors and friends and family becoming infected.

But Britain's key workers are carrying on with their vital work as usual — even if it means they're at a higher risk of catching the killer bug.

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

Each day this week, Sun Online will be speaking to these resilient grafters as they battle to keep the UK's essential services online.

From doctors and teachers to carers and plumbers, all kinds of key workers are facing unprecedented challenges in fighting back against the coronavirus.

Here are their stories from the front line.

The carer: 'We are putting ourselves at risk – as well as the vulnerable'

Shannon Summerfield, 20, is a support worker with not-for-profit Dimensions in Cardiff. The organisation offers help to those with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs.

She says: "There are four ladies I look after in a house.

At the moment they’re self-isolating, just to lower the risk.

I usually take them out to classes in the community.

We also help them with personal care, preparing their meals, and supporting them with their families as well.

Last week, the company thought it was best to cancel some of the activities in the community.

When they said ‘no visitors’, I think that was quite daunting for them as well, because they do see their families on a regular basis.

One of the ladies I support has autism and she likes to be out and about — she’ll walk for hours and hours, she’s very active.

Being stuck in a house now is going to be quite difficult for her.

Mother’s Day was quite hard for their families.

Going forward, it's quite worrying because some of the people in our team have had to take time off.

One of them is pregnant and when staff are going off with symptoms it’s obviously quite hard on those that can work.

We are pulling together, but it is worrying, the fact that we are putting ourselves at risk as well as those ladies."

The childminder: 'I'm worried sick about money'

Kirsty Gage, 26, is a childminder from Kettering, Northamptonshire. She lives with partner Lewis and their son, Tommy, one.

She says: "I usually look after seven kids, between 14 months old and nine, but I am currently down to only having three children of key workers.

I charge £5-an-hour and monthly fees range from £220 to £600, so the shutdown has cost me over £,1000-a-month.

I’m worried sick about money because it's getting closer to bill day.

I am also really worried about my family’s health.

My son is young and I'm in a high risk category because I am on steroids for an allergy disorder.

"Because of that I didn't want to take the key workers’ kids – but that will be the only money I get.

I’m doing my best to keep everything sterile and I have guidelines that I have to adhere to, from my insurance company.

I have to wash their hands when they come in, sterilise the door handles, constantly check their temperature and so on.

If Tommy got ill I would blame myself but there's nothing I can do about it.

I was hoping this would only be going on for a month, and I really don’t know what we will do if this carries on for 12 weeks."

The frontline doctor: 'I'm feeling slightly anxious, I won't lie'

Dr Murray Ellender, 46, is a London-based GP and co-founder of eConsult.

He says: "The reality is that there’s a lot of GPs at the moment who are having to work significantly differently.

Some practices are better prepared for that than others. In ours, we’ve got a number of GPs now who are having to self-isolate because their family’s unwell or they might be pregnant.

They have to setup to be working in a different way i.e. we have to set them up with a laptop so they can access the GP system and work from home. But that’s really different.

Other GPs are having to go into the building and be the GP who sees patients.

Doctors saying they feel like 'lambs to the slaughter' or 'cannon fodder' are having to deal with a lot of patients, potentially, without the personal protective gear.

I know the Government are saying they’ve put a lot more out there, but I think there have been some delays in getting that kit to some practices.

Looking ahead, I’m feeling slightly anxious, I won’t lie.

That’s true for myself and other colleagues.

You can try and prepare yourself, but it’s difficult to know how bad it’s going to be."

The social worker: 'New mums are stuck without formula'

Katie*, 34, is a social worker, supporting vulnerable young adults between 18-25, many of whom have left the care or prison system, and often have severe mental health issues.

She says: "I have 25 young people who look to me for reassurance, and because we don't have all the answers right now, it's causing a lot of worry.

All I can do is be there on the phone, and we're also still dealing with non-999 emergencies in person.

This week, a lot of young mums have been concerned, and I’m not surprised.

We do the job we do because we care — and now we have to care from behind a keyboard.

I walked for over an hour to avoid public transport and went to eight different shops looking for baby formula and nappies for a young mum who was in isolation with her newborn because of stockpiling.

Today I found out a teenager went into labour over the weekend, and she’s panicked as she doesn’t have a baby car seat.

She’s not allowed to leave hospital without one and they’re all sold out, so I’ve put out a plea on Facebook.

It’s stressful times, but people are really pulling together right now and I know we’ll be able to sort it.

She has no family so I would usually go with her to the hospital, but won’t be able to.

It’s hard. We do the job we do because we care — and now we have to care from behind a keyboard.

It's not ideal, but we’re doing everything we can to still be there."

The plumber: 'Customers are lying about their symptoms to get us in the house'

Peter Booth, 38, from Leicestershire is a self-employed plumber running his family business GV Booth, with help from his 69-year-old dad – who manages the company’s office work.

He says: "If I stop working then I’m not going to be earning any money to pay my bills, put food on the table, pay my mortgage.

But at the same time, is it selfish of me to carry on? Sometimes I go into 10 people’s houses a day – am I going to be spreading this round?

Last Saturday an elderly couple knocked on the window and told me they’d jump in the car while I fixed the boiler, which was great.

But then another day, a guy suffering with COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease hadn’t even thought about it.

It’s also well known that some tenants lie about having an elderly relative, or a newborn baby in the house, hoping you’ll go straight away.

The worry now is, if I ask them if they have coronavirus symptoms, they’ll just say no.

I’m trying to stay safe. I’ve got disposable gloves, hand sanitiser, big wipes, and I wash my hands constantly.

My dad, 69, is another concern, but luckily he’s based in the office — so I’m limiting my contact with him now.

So far we’re still getting emergency work, but routine servicing down the line is being cancelled.

It could be hugely damaging for us."

The teacher: 'We have one thermometer for the whole school'

Gemma Woodall, 32, works as a primary school teacher in the village of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in Yorkshire.

She says: "We usually have 206 students enrolled but there’s 14 today.

We’ve had parents asking to bring kids in, but it’s like, ‘you need to protect us as well’.

We’ve got a few prison service and carers’ children.

I’ve got a single parent who has three kids and she works directly with the elderly, 12 hours a day.

With someone like that I know we are her last resort.

It can be frustrating when parents are still asking when they’re not key workers.

We understand it’s hard, but these rules need to be obeyed.

I’ve had some teachers come to me saying they’re worried and anxious about coming in too.

The minute we have any signs or symptoms of anything, even feeling unwell, we isolate the kids straight away.

Our biggest issue was we struggled as a school last week to get hold of a thermometer.

We were actually sharing one for the whole school.

The equipment situation is a real worry. We’re doing our bit by being here, at least provide us with what we need to keep things going.

It is a concern for me too. My grandma is completely on her own so my mum and I do help to care for her.

I’ve had to stop all that now."

The NHS 111 call handler: 'I cry after work'

Debbie* is an NHS 111 call handler based in the north of England. She was beginning to feel immense stress at work — but she's no longer going into the office and is self-isolating.

She says: "The past few days while I’ve been at work, the call volumes have been high.

We’ve had queues of over 200 people waiting to be answered at my centre.

The 111 service is under a lot of pressure.

It does seem to be getting better but there’s still a lot of vulnerable people who are worried.

I’ve worked there for over a year and I’ve never seen this much pressure on the service.

We have to carry on and help the public.

It has been very stressful and I have honestly cried over it as well when I’ve come home, but sadly we have to carry on and help the public.

Some people are panicked, mainly the ones who have underlying health conditions and a few elderly people as well.

Any of the coronavirus symptoms like a cough, high fever and breathlessness are the symptoms we have to focus on.

That’s when we assess further and sometimes get a nurse or doctor to call the patient, but we can’t diagnose at 111.

It’s just an assumption in case they do have the virus, then they will need to self-isolate."

The chef: 'I've never been so exhausted'

Sam Oxley, 31, a senior sous chef at Italian restaurant Forza Win, in Peckham, South London. 

He says: "As a senior sous chef, I’m used to working extremely long hours in an intense and fast paced environment.

But to be honest, I’ve never been so mentally exhausted than I was by the end of last week.

Like a lot of industries, the hospitality business has been brought to its knees, and it’s heartbreaking to see with no meals to cook and no tables to wait on, colleagues and friends across the industry were sent home.

We were so worried the business would have to close so we tried to keep going, but at the same time, we knew we needed to shut — our customers were so loyal and wanted to show their support still, but it was hard trying to stay open while not knowing if it was the right thing to do.

Boris’ announcement that they would pay 80 per cent of staff wages came as a much needed relief on Friday, and this week we’re working hard at the restaurant I work in, Forza Win in Peckham, to set up so we can begin deliveries and play our part in helping people do their bit by social distancing.

It’s a new world, and we all have to adapt."

The undertaker: 'Some people say they feel cheated'

Raegan Drew, 30, is a funeral director for the Co-op Funeralcare in Edinburgh.

She says: "The coronavirus restrictions are affecting all funerals and, for the first time, we’re not able to offer the best service we can, with everything families want.

For example, we're not providing limousines and only 25 people are allowed to attend the service.

However, the crematoriums are offering a free web link so that mourners that feel at risk or are self-isolating can watch at home.

That helps limit the number of people and makes vulnerable people feel part of the day.

Although they completely understand, I've heard some people say they feel cheated that they're not able to have the funeral tea, or wake, because the hotels and halls are closed.

We're discouraging hand-shaking and hugs. Embracing your loved ones and showing them you care is a big part of funerals but right now, you need to show you care by not doing that.

I’m not worried about my own health, because I don’t sit inside the service itself.

We are in contact with people at the parlour, but we're doing everything we can to limit that, asking them to will arrange over the phone and email where possible.

We're trying to limit the amount of people coming in, asking if two can come in rather than five or six being in a room for a couple of hours.

Our business goes in peaks and troughs and winter is always busier than the normal but I haven’t noticed it’s much busier.

We’re having to tweak the details of a lot of funerals that we’ve already arranged which adds to the workload.

Not being able to have everything they want is upsetting for families who’ve lost a loved one, but they understand it’s necessary."

*Names have been changed to protect their identities.

Source: Read Full Article