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Woman ‘sold homemade sanitiser that burned four kids’ amid coronavirus outbreak

A shopkeeper allegedly sold homemade hand sanitiser that burned four children amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Manisha Bharade, 47, has been issued a summons for charges of endangering the welfare of children and deceptive business practices, according to authorities.

Reports suggest she mixed a foaming hand sanitiser, which was not intended for resale, with water and then re-packaged the mixture to sell in the 7-Eleven store in New Jersey.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “Let me be perfectly clear: If you try to take advantage of our residents during a public health emergency, we will hold you accountable.

“Retailers who try to make a quick buck by exploiting others will face civil and criminal consequences.”

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According to Grewal and Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, the mixture resulted in burning three 10-year-old boys and one 11-year-old.

The Daily Voice reported that police do not believe she intentionally tried to hurt anyone.

A law enforcement official who spoke to the outlet said: “She wasn’t trying to make a lot of money and obviously didn’t mean to hurt anybody, but she’s no chemist.”

Daily Star Online has approached 7-Eleven for comment.

The coronavirus panic has caused shortages of hand sanitisers all over the world, with pharmacy and supermarket shelves running empty.

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Others looking to capitalise on the shortage have even put bottles of Carex up on eBay and Amazon, with one 250ml bottle of Mr Men Sherbet Lemon Handwash going for £199.99.

One cheeky boy went viral on social media after his mum wrote he had been "caught charging students 50p a squirt for hand sanitiser to protect themselves from the bl****y coronavirus!!"

One of the key pieces of advice to stop the spread of COVID-19 from the NHS is “wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds or whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough and eat or handle food”.

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IOC won’t discuss Olympic contingency plans despite coronavirus concerns

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains defiant about whether this summer’s Tokyo Olympics could be cancelled, delayed or held without spectators because of the novel coronavirus.

This is despite growing concern and increasingly restrictive measures being imposed around the world meant to either prevent or slow down the spread of the disease.

In a statement released Thursday, the IOC said it expects the Games to begin as scheduled.

“We remain absolutely in line with our Japanese hosts in our commitment to delivering safe Olympic Games in July,” the statement said.

At present, there are roughly 100 million people in China and Italy on lockdown because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Other countries, such as Argentina, have imposed mandatory quarantines for travellers, while the United States announced Wednesday that it is restricting travel for non-U.S. citizens and permanent residents coming from Europe for 30 days beginning on Friday at midnight.

A growing number of Olympic qualifying events around the world have also been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus and the disease caused by it, COVID-19. This has affected sports such as boxing, judo, three-on-three basketball and athletics.

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Latest updates: Coronavirus in Canada

The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization after it spread worldwide — with major hotspots in China, Iran and Italy.

Doctors and health officials are urging people to practise social distancing, and governments worldwide are limiting large gatherings in order to limit the spread of the disease.

Canadians are urged to reconsider their travel plans and make sure to practise good hygiene, including frequent handwashing.

News on the virus and how the world and Canada are reacting is changing daily.

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Coronavirus: MLB suspends spring training, delays Opening Day

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced it will suspend the rest of spring training and has delayed Opening Day by two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The league made the announcement Thursday afternoon after the NBA and the NHL announced its seasons have been suspended indefinitely and the MLS said it would be suspending its 2020 season for the next 30 days.

The NBA announced its suspension in the wake of a player on the Utah Jazz testing positive for Coronavirus. The MLB, however, has not had any confirmed cases in regard to players or staff.

“This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans,” a statement on behalf of the MLB said.

The league said as of 4 p.m. Thursday, all spring training games have been cancelled, along with the 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games which were to take place in Tucson, Ariz.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.”

There are currently 59 cases of coronavirus in Ontario, including a baby boy and over 100 in Canada.

The Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s lone MLB team, is currently in Dunedin, Florida for spring training.

A statement from the Jays released Thursday said the team is in “full support” of the league’s decision.

 

 

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Coronavirus warning: Spread of coronavirus ‘MUCH worse’ than deadly Ebola outbreak

The head of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot, said the disease outranked Ebola in terms of severity. He told Sky News: “This is much, much worse than Ebola. Ebola requires very close contact for transmission. People are very scared of it, but frankly, it is usually very contained. There are some exceptions.

“But because it is a respiratory transmitted virus, that makes it so worrisome.

“It’s very infectious because there’s so much virus in your throat.

“So this is literally something you can catch by talking to somebody, which is not the case with other viruses.”

Professor Piot is a Belgian microbiologist who has conducted research into emerging viruses such as Ebola and AIDS.

In the same year as the first Ebola virus was discovered, 1976, Professor Piot also became one of the pioneering researchers into AIDS – the life-threatening illness which arises from the HIV virus. 

The scientist added coronavirus has the potential to become “a really bad situation”. 

In his interview, he also criticised the decision of President Donald Trump to place a travel ban on flights from mainland Europe to the United States.

It appears only countries within the Schengen Agreement – those European states which have abolished passport and border control – will be affected by the ban.

However, Professor Piot described the move as “pretty bizarre”.

He added: “The US has in-country transmission, lots of cases.

“I can only think that this is a political decision. It’s hard to imagine that this would have any impact.”

Professor Piot also said the coronavirus was like going “back to the times of the Spanish flu”, however took comfort in the advances of modern medicine.

The World Health Organisation recently classified the coronavirus as a pandemic.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the organisation, described being “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction” towards tackling the virus. 

However, the WHO chief told reporters the change of classification to a pandemic was not changing the organisation’s advice on the matter. 

Today, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced the Government would be moving into its second stage, delay, of a response to the virus. 

Mr Johnson said: “It’s clear that coronavirus continues to spread across the world and our country over the next few months.

“It is now a global pandemic and the number of cases will rise sharply. The true number of cases is much higher perhaps than the cases we have confirmed with tests.

“This is the worst public health crisis for a generation. Some people compare it to seasonal flu – that is not right…this is more dangerous.

“I must level with you. Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.

“As we have said, we have a clear plan we are now working through. We are getting onto the next phase on that plan. This is now not just to contain the disease but to delay its spread and thereby minimise the suffering.”

Professor Piot, who is a grandfather himself, expressed concern about school closures announced in Ireland, Italy and France amongst other countries.

He said: “In this case, for COVID-19, children seem to be less affected.

“But the question I have, since I’m a grandfather, is who is going to take care of these children?

“There’ll be older people who are often grandparents. So, that may indirectly make things worse for those who are at higher risk of dying.

“We need to think things through.

“But the good news in this country is that all the decisions are grounded in very solid scientific advice.”

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Ontario set to open first wave of COVID-19 assessment centres across province

TORONTO – Dedicated COVID-19 assessment centres in Ontario are set to open in the next several days.

The government says the first wave of such centres will be facilities at Brampton Civic Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, North York General Hospital, Mackenzie Health in York Region, Scarborough Health Network, and Trillium Health Partners in Peel Region.

The centres will be located in separate spaces to protect other patients.

More centres are set to be established across the province in the next few weeks.

Ontario has also approved new physician billing codes for telephone assessments, which will allow doctors to do more evaluations that way rather than having people come into their clinics.

The province is also in the early stages of planning to establish at-home testing.

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'It's ridiculous': Trump travel ban sows panic in European airports

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) – Weary and confused travelers, many wearing face masks, rushed to board flights from European airports to the United States on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping travel restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

His 30-day travel order applies to citizens of 26 European countries but excludes Britain and Ireland as well as American citizens. It takes effect from midnight on Friday.

“It caused a mass panic,” said 20-year-old Anna Grace, a U.S. student on her first trip to Europe who changed her booking to fly home from Madrid’s Barajas airport instead of going on to France. Her friends were less successful in rebooking flights.

Though American citizens are exempt from the travel ban, Grace and many others said they preferred to return home in case the restrictions are expanded or for fear of contracting coronavirus while in Europe.

“We are nervous that we won’t be able to get back into the country,” said Atlantia resident Jay Harrison, 29, hoping to board a flight in Brussels. “If it’s going to be another 30 days and we’re stranded, it’s going to be very difficult, very expensive and just tough to get back in and tough to live with.”

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Paola Mesa, 29, a Spanish woman flying from Barcelona to San Francisco, said she backed Trump’s ban on travel from Europe.

“It’s what Spain should have done before,” she said. The death toll from coronavirus in Spain nearly doubled to 84 on Thursday and the number of cases rose to nearly 3,000.

Trump says he had to act as the European Union had failed to take adequate measures to stop the coronavirus. The EU dismissed his comments and criticized the lack of consultation from the U.S. side.

“A BIG MESS”

Many travelers, however, were critical of Trump’s decision.

“It’s ridiculous. Why do we impose a ban now when the virus is already in the United States?” said Leo Mota, 24, who had just arrived at Paris’s main international airport, Roissy Charles de Gaulle, from Los Angeles.

Miguel Paracuellos, a Spaniard who works in the United States, said Trump was trying to compensate for his failure to expand testing and screening programs at home. “He is blaming an external enemy, in this case Europe,” he said.

Jon Lindfors, an American traveler in Paris, was equally scathing about Trump, who will seek re-election in November.

“Trump said it’s not a health crisis but it is, that it’s not an economic crisis but it is. We don’t believe what Trump says anymore,” Lindfors said.

A Delta crew member, who asked not to be named, said Trump’s travel ban had caught the airline off-guard.

“It’s going to be a big mess… We were not expecting something like that. We don’t have all the details to know what it means for us and for the company,” the crew member said.

At Rome’s Fiumicino airport, largely empty due to draconian measures taken by Italy to combat coronavirus, one Italian traveler just back from New York said the United States would soon face the disruption Europe is now experiencing.

“(In New York)… there were only a few flights canceled or delayed… They don’t understand the situation yet,” said Giuseppe Riccio, who wore a face mask. “There are no controls in place, shops are full of people.”

Gregory and Ada Goldberg, an American couple from San Francisco, were trying to bring forward their flight home from Barcelona but were not getting much help at the airport.

“This was meant to be two weeks of pleasant vacation but it has become a nightmare,” said 69-year-old Ada.

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Finland prepares for third of country becoming ill

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland is recommending cancelling public meetings of more than 500 people until the end of May due to the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday, as the government prepares for the possibility of a third of Finns becoming ill.

Under Finnish legislation, Marin said the government was not able to ban all public meetings unless emergency powers were activated, meaning local authorities are in change of enforcing the recommendation.

The announcement came after country confirmed cases had jumped by 50 in a day to a total of 109, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare said, and after the Foreign Ministry recommended citizens avoid traveling anywhere in the world now.

Marin said the government had called a meeting with all parliamentary groups to discuss the circumstances of activating emergency legislation, in case it becomes necessary to impose further restrictions such as regional shutdowns, closing schools and universities or banning air and ferry traffic.

“During the first wave some 35% of Finns could fall ill and that is what we are prepared for,” Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said.

The government also recommended any people returning from epidemic areas to stay home for 14 days to avoid spreading the infection in workplaces.

The government said Finland would grant 5 million euros ($5.6 million) to international organizations developing a vaccine for the virus.

Earlier on Thursday, healthcare authorities said a heart surgeon who had returned from a trip to Austria had been tested to have coronavirus, having exposed 28 staff members, including another 15 doctors or roughly half of the Finnish capital’s heart surgeons to the virus and sending them to home quarantine as a precaution.

In addition to healthcare staff, four patients and two of their relatives had been exposed.

The government’s recommendation to cancel public events was immediately followed by cancellations by organizers of sports events, including the Finnish Basketball Association cancelling all games at all levels until further notice.

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UK enters delay phase over coronavirus outbreak – but schools set to stay open

The UK has moved from "contain" to the "delay" phase over the coronavirus outbreak, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced.

The announcement means Britain has now switched from trying to contain the COVID-19 outbreak to delaying its spread.

It comes following a COBRA meeting, with Boris Johnson set to hold his own press conference later today.

The move means that from tomorrow (Friday March 13) if you have symptoms of coronavirus you should stay at home for seven days and overseas school trips should not go ahead.

The move comes after teachers were told to prepare “home-learning packs” for students, amid fears schools could be closed for as much as two months.

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"The decision has been taken that we have now moved from a contain phase, into the delay phase," Sturgeon said, following a meeting of the government's emergency committee.

She added: “There will be significant changes to people’s experience.”

The move to the “delay” phase comes a day after the World Health Organisation designated COVID-19 a pandemic.

The number of cases also leapt by 74 on Wednesday to 456, with the figure expected to rise significantly in the coming days.

The UK is not yet, however, copying the drastic action in Italy, where the entire population has been quarantined and football matches played behind closed doors.

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Italy is the worst affected by COVID-19 in Europe, with more than 12,000 cases and 800 deaths.

The country is now on lockdown with events cancelled, workplaces shut and churches, museums, cinemas, theatres and schools closed.

The UK’s move to enter the delay phase comes hours after Ireland also announced the lockdown of its schools.

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar said the measures take effect from 6pm on Thursday through until March 29.

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He also said indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump earlier announced he was suspending travel to the US from 26 European countries – but not the UK or Ireland.

The US president said the "strong but necessary restrictions" would come into effect on Friday, and last 30 days.

Countries across Europe are now implementing month-long emergency restrictions – including closures and cancellations – after the World Health Organisation hit out at “inaction”.

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WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold in two weeks, and that he was "deeply concerned" by "alarming levels of inaction".

Worldwide there are currently around 130,000 positive cases of coronavirus – mostly in the epicentre of the disease in China – and nearly 5,000 deaths.

Around 70,000 of the cases have recovered, according to reports, with the majority of deaths including elderly people or those with underlying health conditions.

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BBC Weather: Europe to be scorched with temperatures to soar ‘well above seasonal average’

BBC meteorologist Stav Danaos noted heat has been a weather talking point across southwest Europe for the last few days. The temperature even reached 31 degrees celsius in Seville in Andalusia on Wednesday. Mr Danaos said that this was “well above the seasonal average” for March where we should be seeing around 22 degrees.

He told viewers: “It’s also been warm as well into southern France around the Alps.

“That’s elevated the avalanche risk, certainly across Switzerland.

“It remains high into Friday as well with plenty of sunshine here.

“The big story’s also been this unseasonably deep area of low pressure across Egypt, Cyprus, into the Levants and southern Turkey.”

Mr Danaos continued: “That’s going to continue to spin up further heavy rain and strong winds there to end the week.

“But it should ease away eastwards during the weekend.

“It stays warm across Iberia, not as hot as it has been.

“That warmth will stretch into central and southern France as well.”

He added: “Temperatures will be in the single digits though for Scandinavia.

“There’ll be some sunshine but also some snow showers around.

“Looks like it improves across the eastern Mediterranean, turns a little bit dry there.”

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The weather presenter also said: “There’ll be lots of sunshine for Greece, the islands and southern Italy.

“For Spain and Portugal, it remains very warm indeed.

“We could see something a bit springlike and more settled in London and Paris as we head on into next week thanks to a ridge of high pressure.

“For Nicosia it turns a bit drier and sunny, a little bit warmer into the weekend.

“As that low clears away, we should see plenty of dry weather in Athens.”

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