Two Pandas At An Empty Zoo Under Coronavirus Quarantine Finally Boned After 10 Years Together

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If being quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic has you feeling a little horny, you’re not alone.

Two giant pandas at a Hong Kong zoo mated successfully on Monday for the first time in almost 10 years together at the park.

Staff at the Ocean Park theme park and zoo announced female Ying Ying and male Le Le, both 14, finally sealed the deal around 9 a.m. local time after showing signs that they had entered their hormonal estrous cycle, or mating cycle, in late March.

Giant pandas are notoriously bad at breeding, at least in captivity, so news of the bonking bears had staff thrilled.

“Since Ying Ying and Le Le’s arrival in Hong Kong in 2007 and attempts at natural mating since 2010, they unfortunately have yet to succeed until this year upon years of trial and learning,” said Michael Boos, executive director of zoological operation and conservation. “The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination.”

Images released by the park, which has been empty of visitors since Jan. 26 due to the coronavirus outbreak, showed the black-and-white beaus embracing and doing the deed.

Zoo staff noticed that last month that Ying Ying had began spending more time in the water, while Le Le was leaving scent markings around his habitat as he looked for his panda paramour — both apparently signs that the bears were feeling a little more randy than usual.

Vets at the zoo have been monitoring the pair closely and will continue to do so in the hopes that Ying Ying is expecting.

“If successful, signs of pregnancy, including hormonal level fluctuations and behavioral changes may be observed as early as late June, though there is always a chance that Ying Ying could experience a pseudo-pregnancy,” said Boos.

“We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year,” he added, “and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species.”

According to the zoo, a panda’s gestation period ranges between 72-324 days, but the pregnancy can only be detected by an ultrasound about two weeks before birth.

Reacting to the news, people on social media were both happy for the bears — and jealous.

Panda numbers are slowly increasing in the wild. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature shifted giant pandas from their endangered category to being listed as vulnerable due to a 17% rise in the number of pandas between 2004 and 2014.

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  • David Mack is a deputy director of breaking news for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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Bill Withers dead at 81 – Lean On Me and Lovely Day singer passes away from heart problems – The Sun

THE legendary Lean On Me singer Bill Withers has died at age 81.

The singer, who also wrote Lovely Day and Ain't No Sunshine has died from heart complications, his family announced today.

The three-time Grammy Award winner died on Monday in Los Angeles, his family said in a statement to AP.

The family statement read: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father.

"A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other

“As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”

Withers was best known for his iconic songs Lean on Me, Lovely Day and Ain't No Sunshine.

However the singer was also part of the Navy for six years, after joining at the age of 17.

Withers worked as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets until his discharge, when he then moved to Los Angeles and worked at an aircraft parts factory.

While in Los Angeles, he bought a guitar at a pawn shop and started to record demos of his tunes in hopes of landing a recording contract.

In 1971, the signer signed a record deal with Sussex Records where he put out his debut album Just As I Am, which included the hit Ain't No Sunshine.

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We will stop at nothing to get protective gear to NHS front line staff, says Matt Hancock – The Sun

THE Government will "stop at nothing to get protective gear to NHS front line staff", according to the Health Secretary.

Matt Hancock, who has today ended his own self-isolation after suffering Covid-19 symptoms, committed to getting medics "the right equipment".

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Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock said: "I come back redoubled in my determination to fight this virus with everything I’ve got.

"I’ll stop at nothing to make sure that frontline staff have the right equipment so they are safe."

It follows an outcry over a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) – including masks, gloves, gowns and goggles – on the NHS frontline.

There have even been cases where medics, care facilities and hospitals have been forced to buy their own PPE due to the international shortage.

Some say they have even been threatened with reprisals if they speak out about concerns.

It prompted 5,000 doctors to sign a letter saying they feel like "lambs to the slaughter" and "cannon fodder" due to the shortage.

New guidance

In response, the Government has today strengthened its PPE guidance covering NHS workers in hospitals, GP and dental surgeries, and those working in care homes and delivering care to people's homes.

It says that when staff are providing direct patient care within two metres to somebody with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, they should wear appropriate kit.

Previously, the kit was only required if staff were working within one metre of a confirmed or suspected case.

The guidance stresses that when "the potential risk to health and social care workers cannot be established" before caring for a patient, then aprons, surgical masks, eye protection and gloves should be worn.

In primary care, the guidance stops short of recommending GPs use PPE for all patient contacts but suggests this may be necessary depending on "local risk assessment".

GP receptionists talking to people within two metres are urged to wear a disposable mask.

The guidance makes no changes to the actual kit to be worn in hospitals, stressing that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the guidance as meeting its standards.

The new guidance says that while gloves and aprons should be disposed of after a single use, masks and eye protection can be used for a session of work.

Gowns can also be worn for a session of work in higher risk areas, it says.

The UK-wide guidance has been agreed by the UK's four chief medical officers, chief nursing officers and chief dental officers in the UK.

It says WHO recommends the use of FFP2 masks for aerosol-generating procedures, such as dental drilling, intubating patients and surgery, but "the UK has gone further and recommends the use of FFP3 masks".

But FFP2 masks can be used if FFP3 masks are unavailable.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England said: "Protecting our NHS colleagues on the frontline is vitally important.

Our standards are amongst the highest in the world and in line with what the WHO recommends

"This updated guidance provides a greater degree of clarity so that NHS clinicians caring for patients feel confident in the PPE they need to wear.

"Our standards are amongst the highest in the world and in line with what WHO recommends in circumstances and settings with the highest risk of transmission."

Protection levels

As part of the review, the Health and Safety Executive concluded that aprons offer a similar level of protection to the gowns recommended by WHO and that FFP2 respirators offer protection against Covid-19.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: "We cannot underestimate the loss of confidence among key frontline staff on this issue – today's guidance is badly needed and we very much hope this will be an important step towards rebuilding trust.

"Apart from the detail, two points are critical – it has the support of WHO, and it has been produced with input from infection control experts across the UK, and from the medical royal colleges, trade unions and professional organisations."


But he said "guidance is not the whole answer," adding "there have been real problems with distribution, and we have been assured they are being addressed and, to be fair, in many places that is happening.

"But any remaining supply chain problems need to be dealt with without delay.

"We have been promised Amazon-style distribution will be up and running in days, enabling every GP surgery, care home and hospital to order what they need and receive their delivery fast."

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), said: "It is four days since the minister Robert Jenrick gave the assurance that no frontline staff should be working without the right protective equipment.

"Yet this week the BMA has received concerns from doctors in over 30 hospital trusts about inadequate PPE supplies and GPs across England who are yet to receive eye protection.

"Doctors are being put in a harrowing position. Faced with a national emergency, they stand committed to meet the immense challenges that lay ahead and to save lives.

"However, the lack of PPE provision is not only risking the health of doctors but also of them becoming vectors of infection and potentially turning them into super-spreaders, carrying the virus to non-Covid 19 patient after patient."

Death toll

It comes as 2,921 people were confirmed to have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Wednesday.

The youngest person who died without underlying health conditions was aged 25.

The total is up by 569 from 2,352 the day before and is the biggest day-on-day increase so far, just above the 563 reported the day before.

Coronavirus testing: What is the difference between antigen and antibody tests?

Coronavirus tests are key to getting a clearer idea of the scale of the outbreak in the UK and grasp a handle on it.

In recent days, there's been a lot of talk about the two different types of tests that the government are ramping up.

The government refers to them as the 'have you got it' antigen test or the 'have you had it' antibody test.

Here we explain the difference between the two…

What is an antigen test?

Antigens are found on the surface of invading pathogens, including coronavirus.

Testing for antigens can determine whether someone is currently carrying the virus and are actively infectious.

The NHS is currently using antigen tests in hospitals to determine if someone is currently infected with Covid-19.

Samples are taken using a swab – which resemble a large cotton bud – from deep inside the nose and throat before being sent off to a lab for testing.

Most labs use a method called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which takes several hours to get a result.

It can take days for labs to run the tests and tell people their result.

Several companies are working on ways to fast track this type of testing.

What is an antibody test?

When a person gets infected with antigen, the body starts making specially designed proteins called antibodies in response – as a way to fight the infection.

After they recover, those antibodies float in the blood for months, maybe even years.

That's the body's way of defending itself in case it becomes infected with the virus again.

So an antibody test specifically looks for antibodies which will be able to tell whether you've already been exposed to Covid-19.

Anyone who has already had the illness is presumed to be immune to getting it again – at least, in the intermediate term.

This would allow them to go back to work safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to become infected again or pass the virus on.

The check that has been developed for Covid-19 is a finger-prick blood test, with the samples sent to laboratories and results available within a few days.

Dr Hilary Jones, a GP and resident doctor on Good Morning Britain, explained that it works "almost like a pregnancy test, except you need a drop of blood".

These tests are being developed by several different firms and Public Health England (PHE) is also working on its own test.

They still need to be validated to ensure they give accurate results.

 

Meanwhile, Number 10 said work was ongoing with nine potential suppliers on developing an antibody test which would show whether people have had the virus.

Such a test would enable people to get back to work quickly and some experts say this type of testing is the quickest way out of the current lockdown.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We are working as quickly as we can on that and as soon as a test is approved then we will announce it publicly."

He said the Government had previously been offered tests that had not met the required levels of accuracy "and therefore would not have been safe to use".

It was also suggested that immunity certificates to identify people who have had coronavirus are being considered by the Government.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said this had been discussed in other countries and the UK was watching what happened closely.

This follows fierce criticism of the policy on testing, with the UK only hitting a target of 10,000 tests per day in the last few days.

The latest testing figures show 10,657 tests were carried out on Tuesday, the Department of Health tweeted.

Some 2,800 NHS staff have now been tested for coronavirus at drive-in facilities.

Professor Paul Cosford, former medical director of Public Health England (PHE), admitted "everybody involved is frustrated" by the low number of tests being carried out.

He pointed to ongoing capacity issues and said the "core priority" until now has been testing hospital patients with suspected Covid-19.

PHE's focus has been on NHS testing laboratories, while other work is now being led by the Office for Life Sciences to collaborate with universities and non-PHE labs, he said.

Prof Cosford said five drive-through NHS staff testing hubs are up and running, with "another four to come on stream this week".

Testing will hit 15,000 per day "imminently", he said, adding: "It will be 25,000 by the middle of April."

Work being led by the Office for Life Sciences "to look at a much broader set of universities, industry and other laboratories" will "give us another 100,000 or more tests per day", Prof Cosford continued.

"We've certainly not refused any help from any laboratories and we've talked to many about what might be possible, he said, but added: "We need to be very careful to make sure that the tests we use are tests that work."

Asked why it is taking so long to increase testing, Prof Cosford told Good Morning Britain: "This is an incredibly complex operation to put in place in a very short period of time."

He added that there is "24/7 work" going on to overcome "a whole range of issues" in ensuring testing is rolled out properly.

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Jacqueline Jossa hints at third baby as she teases maternity clothing range – The Sun

JACQUELINE Jossa has hinted she wants another baby with Dan Osbourne as she teases a maternity line with In The Style.

The actress, 27, requested her 2.6million followers ask her questions since she's bored in isolation.

The mum-of-two – who shares daughters Ella, five, and Mia, one, with husband Dan – dropped a big hint she wants another baby.

One fan asked about her new In The Style lounge wear range: "Have you thought about doing maternity wear?"

The Queen of the Jungle replied: "Yes, I thought about this, maybe if I am ever pregnant. Will be the first thing I do."

However, she is definitely not pregnant right now, adding: "Right now I don't think it would work."


Jac dropped her comfy lounge wear range yesterday as people stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is part of her six-figure deal to be the face of In The Style, signed after she won I'm A Celebrity.

The actress said earlier this week she will be taking "time off" Instagram in order to reconnect with her husband.

She called on her followers to make the most of this "natural pause" life has given us and embrace time with family.

"I had a bit of a rubbish day yesterday, thinking what is actually happening, when will we next see our nums and dads?" said Jacqueline on Instagram, revealing her "kids are used to seeing their nannies and grandads, I think they are getting confused".

"Can we do months of this?" she asked before admitting that she tried to make an effort today but getting dressed and having a coffee.

Revealing that Dan was using the time to fall back in love with Lego and the pair had finished house chores they never previously had time for, Jac reminded fans that "it's the little things" that will help get you through.

"Life has given us a natural pause, there is nothing we can do we have to embrace this gap," she said.

"When I was in the jungle I spent four weeks away from my children and it was the hardest, worst experience ever in that sense," she added.


"But it enlightened me, I am never taking for granted my kids, I want to spend all the time with them.

"What I am trying to say is you should take this pause and natural time to restart and reconnect with your kids, don't put pressure on yourself, play with the kids, do fun things and make fun things.

"So with that I am going to take a couple, maybe today, off Instagram with the kids and play with Daniel and the kids, we're all going to play, just enjoying being at home."

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Over 50s at higher risk from coronavirus, new study reveals

MIDDLE-AGED Brits could be at greater risk of severe coronavirus than experts first thought, it has emerged.

A new study found while the overall death rate of Covid-19 in China was 1.38 per cent – that rate increased with age, reaching 7.8 per cent in the over 80s.

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In the UK anyone over the age of 70 has been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks, to reduce the risk of catching the bug.

That comes as evidence from China and countries like Italy suggested older people were at much greater risk – along with those with underlying health conditions.

But new analysis, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, has showed an increase in risk for coronavirus once a person reaches middle age.

It found 3.43 per cent of people in their 30s needed hospital treatment for Covid-19, rising to 4.25 per cent in their 40s and 8.16 per cent in their 50s.

It jumped to 11.8 per cent in their 60s; 16.6 per cent in their 70s; and 18.4 per cent for over 80s.

Professor Azra Ghani, a co-author of the study, said: "Our analysis very clearly shows that at aged 50 and over, hospitalisation is much more likely than in those under 50, and a greater proportion of cases are likely to be fatal."

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The study was based on analysis of 70,117 laboratory-confirmed and clinically-diagnosed cases in mainland China, combined with 689 positive cases among people evacuated from Wuhan on repatriation flights.

The latest study estimates the number of undetected cases and suggests an overall death rate of 0.66 per cent – that's higher than swine flu, which had a death rate of 0.02 per cent.

Using data on 24 deaths that occurred in mainland China and 165 recoveries outside of China, the study indicated it took an average of 17.8 days from the onset of symptoms to death, and 24 days for survivors to be discharged from hospital.

The study revealed a very low death rate in those under the age of 20, although it found they are not at a lower risk of infection than older adults.

Professor Ghani said: "Our estimates can be applied to any country to inform decisions around the best containment policies for Covid-19."

As of 5pm on Sunday, 1,408 people are confirmed to have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said Britain's outbreak may be starting to slow with almost two million people infected.

He said as the UK epidemic peaks, similar age groups in the UK are likely to be hospitalised and die as seen in China.

It came as Belgian research suggested the true number of people infected without realising it could be far higher than thought, with a study indicating it could be 85 times greater than official estimates.

The findings echo controversial estimates from a group at Oxford University which has suggested half of Britain could already have been infected.

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‘Throw the book at them’: Health Minister addresses Aspen controversy

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has blasted the behaviour of a couple accused of flouting quarantine advice after returning from an exclusive cocktail soiree in Aspen, Colorado, with COVID-19.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed last week that dozens of infections can be traced to a group of Australians skiers visiting the Colorado resort of Aspen, some of whom failed to place themselves into self-isolation even after testing positive.

A pointed message to visitors spotted on a sign in the seaside town of Rye on the Mornington Peninsula.Credit:Simon Schluter

A Melbourne couple infected with COVID-19 at the party, who were supposed to be in quarantine at a property in Portsea, were the subject of repeated police complaints after they allegedly flouted advice to self-isolate and visited shops in nearby Sorrento and played golf.

"Some people think that the laws and, even more importantly, the notion of socially responsible behaviour does not apply to them," Mr Hunt said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

"In my view, that's a disgrace … The police should feel free to throw the book at them."

Many of the most affluent suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney now have the highest rates of infection. Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, where many of the Aspen crowd sought refuge, has also recorded more than 35 cases, which has triggered a fierce backlash from permanent residents on the coast.

Mr Hunt stressed that while the couple had a holiday house in his electorate of Flinders, which covers the the Mornington Peninsula, he did not know who they were.

He added that "the overwhelming majority of Australians are doing the right thing".

The couple, whom The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have decided not to name for legal reasons, returned to Melbourne on March 6 and four days later were informed by Victorian health authorities that they were at high risk of infection because of the outbreak in Aspen.

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

Australian authorities had issued an order at the end of January for people to self-isolate for 14 days if they had been in contact with a coronavirus case, but mandatory self-isolation for all overseas travellers was not enacted until March 15.

The couple were asymptomatic and did not self-isolate immediately on their return from the US. They were tested on March 15 at Frankston Hospital, a source said. The woman was the first to test positive to COVID-19 and her partner tested positive two days later. The two were advised to isolate from the public.

Mr Hunt said the requirement to quarantine for 14 days after overseas travel was necessary "to save lives" and that "people that breach the rules are putting the lives of other people at risk".

"I don't care if you are rich or famous or anything else, these laws and these rules apply to everybody," Mr Hunt said.

The unnamed couple were among about 40 people to attend a cocktail party on March 2 by Flexigroup founder and Liberal Party powerbroker Andrew Abercrombie and wife Shadda.

Mr Abercrombie owns two adjoining condominiums in the exclusive resort, and the cocktail party is a highlight of the annual trip.

Despite only running from 7pm until 9pm, and unbeknown to the hosts, the lavish event became a hotbed of transmission, both in Aspen and back in Australia.

Mr Abercrombie issued a statement saying he had been found to be coronavirus-free after being tested twice. He was also spotted at Portsea last weekend.

The Age does not suggest Mr Abercrombie did anything wrong, or had knowledge that his guests may have flouted isolation regulations or protocols.

A source close to Mr Abercrombie said he wasn't aware that any of his guests had been infected until days after the gathering.

Another Melbourne woman, who was also infected with COVID -19 while visiting Aspen and the nearby resort of Vail, attended a 21st birthday party where at least six people later tested positive the virus.
Many guests who attended the party in Malvern were furious they were not warned earlier about the heightened risk of infection.

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A mass outbreak in Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast has also been linked to another business figure who had recently returned from Aspen and attended a private function at Sails Restaurants on March 14, when 24 guests, including four staff were struck down with the virus.

The rapid spread of the disease has caused ructions and recriminations among the eastern seaboard's wealthiest communities, where resentment continues to simmer over the reluctance of some holiday makers to self-isolate upon their return from the US.

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At least 8 strains of the coronavirus are spreading across the globe

Scientists have identified at least eight strains of coronavirus as the bug wreaks havoc spreading across the globe.

More than 2,000 genetic sequences of the virus have been submitted from labs to the open database NextStain, which shows it mutating on maps in realtime, according to the site.

Researchers said the data, which includes samples every continent except Antarctica, revealed the virus is mutating on average every 15 days, National Geographic reported.

But Nextstrain cofounder Trevor Bedford said the mutations are so small that there is no strain of the virus that is more harmful.

“These mutations are completely benign and useful as a puzzle piece to uncover how the virus is spreading,” Bedford told the outlet.

He said the various strains allow researchers to see whether community transmission is widespread throughout a region, which can inform whether lockdown measures have been effective.

“We’ll be able to tell how much less transmission we’re seeing and answer the question, ‘Can we take our foot off the gas?’” Bedford said.

Charles Chiu, a professor of medicine and infectious disease at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, said that the database also provides insight into how the virus is moving throughout the US, according to USA Today.

“The outbreaks are trackable,” Chiu said. “We have the ability to do genomic sequencing almost in real-time to see what strains or lineages are circulating.”

Most of the cases on the West Coast are linked to a strain first identified in Washington state, which is only three mutations away from the first known strain, the outlet reported.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, the virus appeared to have come from China to Europe and then to New York and other states.

But Kristian Andersen, a professor at Scripps Research, cautioned that the maps don’t show the full picture of the spread of the virus.

“Remember, we’re seeing a very small glimpse into the much larger pandemic,” Anderson told USA Today. “We have half a million described cases right now but maybe 1,000 genomes sequenced. So there are a lot of lineages we’re missing.”

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Fears medics lives at risk as they are forced to wear trash bags and masks made from take-out boxes – The Sun

8
LIVES of medics are feared to be in danger after being left with no choice but to wear trash bags and masks made from take-out boxes during the coronavirus pandemic.

One neurologist in New York has resorted to using a plastic take-out container as a face-mask and a garbage bag on his head for safety – as more than 500 people have died from COVID-19 in the state.


A Twitter user, who goes by the name of M. Goodleaf, shared photos of a nurse and neurologist in New York, who had to take extra precautions due to limited protective resources.

M. Goodleaf tweeted Friday: "Not enough personal protective equipment for nurses/nurse assistants/physicians.

"My father is a neurologist in NY called to consult on COVID-19 patient is reduced to wearing a garbage bag on his head, a face mask made from uncle Giuseppe take out dinner stapled to a shower cap."

The man was also wearing surgical scrubs, a gown, and gloves.

"The president and governor say there is enough protective devices for health care providers??!?!! WRONG.

"PLEASE DO SOMETHING. CALL YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. DONATE SUPPLIES IF YOU HAVE THEM," M. Goodleaf said in a followup tweet.

The unidentified man wore the creative outfit into the ICU on Friday, according to M. Goodleaf.

As the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States surpassed 85,600 on Friday, with at least 1,300 deaths, many hospitals have been struck by an urgent shortage of personal protective equipment.

Hospital workers across the country have fallen victim to COVID-19 after treating patients for the infectious disease, often without adequate gloves, masks and other protective gear.

Kious Jordan Kelly, a 48-year old assistant nursing manager in NY died from coronavirus after treating patients while dressed in trash bags.

A shocking photo of three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black garbage bags as makeshift gowns circulated the internet and highlighted the severity of the problem.

The photo was captioned: "No more gowns in the whole hospital.

"No more masks and reusing the disposable ones… nurses figuring it out during Covid-19 crisis."


However, his sister, Marya Sherron, has no idea where her brother's body is after he died Tuesday – a week after contracted the deadly virus.

This comes as President Donald Trump accused the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo of "exaggerating" the state's need for coronavirus ventilators.

Trump said he doesn't think some hard-hit areas need the tens of thousands of machines requested to treat COVID-19 patients, while the Surgeon General agreed some of the numbers were "off."

New research predicted the virus could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June.


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Sister of nurse who died at hospital where workers ‘forced to wear TRASH BAGS’ does not know where his body is – The Sun

THE sister of a nurse who died from coronavirus after treating patients dressed in trash bags says she doesn't know where her brother's body is.

Marya Sherron spoke out about her devastation and shock after the death of her 48-year-old brother, Kious Jordan Kelly.

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Kious died on Tuesday night –  a week after he was admitted to the hospital he worked at, Mount Sinai West, where he and other staff dressed in makeshift protective suits made from garbage bags.

A spokesperson for Mount Sinai Health System said she was not aware this was happening and noted that the nurses pictured had other protective uniform on under the bags.

She said: "The safety of our staff and patients has never been of greater importance and we are taking every precaution possible to protect everyone."

Numb with grief, Marya told CNN: "I don't know where he is. I don't know where his body is.

"We don't know what's happening entirely."

Marya, from Indianapolis, described how her brother's condition rapidly deteriorated within a week.

"Unfortunately everything happened so quickly.

Knowing that he died alone, that's just gut-wrenching to think about.

"He told my parents that he was positive and had corona," She said.

"Three days later he sent me a text message and shared that he was in ICU and on a ventilator and couldn't talk or he would choke so he was having trouble breathing."

Six days later her beloved brother died.

Kious worked as an assistant nursing manager for the New York hospital, but like many in the area and elsewhere, it had been struck by an urgent shortage of personal protective equipment.

A shocking photo of three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black garbage bags as makeshift gowns highlighted the severity of the problem.

The photo was captioned: "No more gowns in the whole hospital. No more masks and reusing the disposable ones… nurses figuring it out during Covid-19 crisis."

Fighting for better protective measures for care workers, Marya, who never got to say goodbye to her brother, said: "If he were still alive today, he would be fighting for their protection. He advocated for them."

FIGHTING FOR BETTER PROTECTION

She said that her late brother would want all medical and health care workers protected as they continue to be exposed to the virus on a daily basis.

She branded her brother's death as "too soon, too quick and not necessary."

Kious's family said one of the worst parts of his death was the fact they weren't able to say goodbye to him due to the virus.

Marya said: "Our parents are older and calling them and telling them knowing that none of us could get to him, knowing that he died alone, that's just gut-wrenching to think about."

Sources have said that the hospital is treating around 40 patients with coronavirus.

According to the Post, at least four other members of staff who worked with Kious have also contracted the virus.

Yesterday, the Covid-19 death toll hit 365 in New York City.

New York State reported 37,258 confirmed cases – an increase of more than 6,400 from Wednesday morning.

This comes as President Donald Trump accused Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo of "exaggerating" the state's need for coronavirus ventilators.

The president said he doesn't think some hard-hit areas need the tens of thousands of machines requested to treat COVID-19 patients, while the Surgeon General agreed some of the numbers were "off."

Speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Trump said: “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be.

“I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators.

"And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

Trump's words were seemingly targeted at Cuomo who recently claimed his state needed 30,000 ventilators.

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson said

system "always" provides "all our staff with the critically important" PPE "they need to do their job."

"If an individual does not have their proper personal protective equipment, they do not go on the floor, period. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not accurate," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson acknowledged that the pandemic is "straining the resources of all New York area hospitals."

"This crisis is only growing and it’s essential that we not only have all the right equipment but that we come together to help and support one another," the spokesperson said, adding they are "grieving deeply" over the nursing manager's death.

The Sun has approached Mount Sinai West hospital for comment.

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'Survivor 40: Winners at War': Sandra Diaz-Twine Blocks Russell Hantz on Twitter for Blasting Her

Two-time champ Sandra Diaz-Twine and one time runner-up Russell Hantz haven’t seen eye to eye since she won over him nearly 10 years ago in Heroes vs. Villains. After he blasted her on social media for her performance in Survivor 40: Winners at War, the Queen blocked the notorious villain.

[SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information revealed in Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 7.]

Sandra Diaz-Twine quit ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’

After Sandra Diaz-Twine appeared on Season 39, Island of the Idols alongside Boston Rob Mariano, the two returned for Survivor 40: Winners at War to compete against former champions for a $2 million cash prize.

In the first episode, Sandra Diaz-Twine bought an immunity idol from Natalie Anderson on the Edge of Extinction that was only good for three Tribal Councils. Even though Sandra is currently the only player to win twice, she was not on anyone’s radar and never had to use the idol.

Therefore, on the last day it had value, the two-time champ sold it to Denise Stapley for two fire tokens. The Philippines winner agreed to give her one before Tribal Council and one afterward.

Sandra explained that the other four castaways would vote for Denise, and she should write down either Jeremy or Tony’s name. Itching to make a big move, the Philippines champ played Sandra’s idol on herself and saved original tribemate, Jeremy Collins, with the idol she found on the Sele tribe and sent the Queen to the Edge of Extinction.

Sandra Diaz-Twine and Russell Hantz history

After winning Pearl Islands in 2003, Sandra returned for Heroes vs. Villains seven years later. Placed on the Villains tribe, she sided with Boston Rob Mariano’s alliance over Russell Hantz’s, and the two never got on the same page.

Russell won the Final Immunity Challenge and decided to turn on Jerri Manthey at the Final Four, believing he had a better chance to win over the Pearl Islands champ and his closest ally, Parvati Shallow.

However, the jury, consisting mainly of Heroes, did not like Russell’s cutthroat gameplay and associated Parvati with Russell despite her impressive performance.

Therefore, they awarded the Washington-native her second Sole Survivor title. Since her victory, Russell, who has made it to the Final Tribal Council twice in a row and lost both times, has consistently denounced Sandra’s win and doesn’t believe she earned it.

Recently, he called her an “overrated player.” 

Sandra Diaz-Twine blocked Russell Hantzon on Twitter

After arriving on the Edge of Extinction, Sandra explained what happened that led to her downfall. Then, the castaways began informing the new arrivals that they had to walk up a mountain to retrieve a small portion of rice for the day.

Upon hearing that, Sandra chose to raise the white flag and quit as opposed to sitting on the Edge with almost no chance of returning as she’s not a physical competitor.

Many fans had mixed feelings regarding Sandra’s choice to quit as some believed she should have stuck it out, and others understood why she raised the flag.

After the episode, Russell Hantz posted a screenshot showing the two-time champ blocked him from her Twitter. He captioned it, “Finally got under her thin skin! Quitting that game bothers her, she just doesn’t want to say it!”

Many people commented their opinions on his post with some agreeing and others claiming Sandra had a point in quitting. He responded to one follower, “I will never respect a quitter! If you sit on the bench the whole game, and then you decide to walk off, and the game is not over, that makes you a quitter.”

Someone explained that Sandra already won twice and has nothing to prove, and Russell replied, “It’s not about her wins; it’s about her character, disrespect, disregard, and outright laziness for the game.” He claimed he’s always noted she’s a “non-deserving winner” because he saw her regularly quit when they played together.

Survivor 40: Winners at War airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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