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Hospitals ‘adding new coronavirus symptoms’ to lists after expert warnings

Hospitals are now reportedly treating a loss of smell and taste as symptoms of coronavirus after experts warned of the tell-tale signs.

Younger patients are especially likely to lose these senses, even if they do not experience any other symptoms.

Scientists now believe losing your smell or taste — a condition known as anosmia — could be a sign that you are a "hidden carrier" for Covid-19.

ITV News correspondent Paul Brand claims: "Have learned that some hospitals are now adding loss of taste and smell to the list of symptoms for coronavirus, as they triage patients.

"Some concern among doctors that these particular symptoms have been underplayed in all the messaging so far."

Professor Nirmal Kumar, head of ENT UK, has urged people to self-isolate if they have this symptom.

He told Sky News: "In young patients, they do not have any significant symptoms such as the cough and fever, but they may have just the loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are lodging in the nose."

In a statement, ENT UK said: “There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven Covid-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia (loss of sense of smell).

“There have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms – this has been widely shared on medical discussion boards by surgeons from all regions managing a high incidence of cases.”

The British Rhinological Society Profession and the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology both say there appears to be a link.

  • Coronavirus panic buyers spark anger as pictures show bins overflowing with food

Approximately a third of patients who have tested positive in South Korea, China and Italy reported experiencing a loss of smell, they said in a joint statement.

The statement read: "In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases," the associations said in a joint statement.

"There have been a rapidly growing number of reports of a significant increase in the number of patients presenting with anosmia in the absence of other symptoms.

"Iran has reported a sudden increase in cases of isolated anosmia, and many colleagues from the US, France and Northern Italy have the same experience."

The Department of Health and Social Care says people should self-isolate if they have a consistent cough or a fever.

The NHS website does not currently list losing smell and taste as a reason to avoid going out.

Daily Star Online has approached Public Health England for comment.

The UK death toll from coronavirus currently stands at 1,228.

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Coronavirus panic buyers spark anger as pictures show bins overflowing with food

Brits who stockpiled food following the coronavirus outbreak have come under fire after pictures emerged showing out-of-date items dumped in bins.

Images on social media show packets of bread, cheese, fresh bananas, and even burgers still in their wrapping left out for collection.

It has sparked a string of outraged comments after the snaps were taken in the Midlands.

They were posted on a Facebook group with the caption: “This is what panic buying really looks like, waste, waste, and more waste", Coventry Live reported.

The photographer added: "A normal shop is all that’s needed, not only do the stores stay stocked longer, less people in said stores, win win. Just take a few minutes to think.”

Many have demanded to know why the food was not donated to a foodbank.

One person asked: “Why couldn't it have been given away to someone who would have been grateful for it, rather than it being binned?”

Another said: “They now need to be fined for not using the correct recycling bin.”

The photos were also shared by Derby Liberal Democrat councillor Ajit Singh Atwal – although it is not clear if he took them himself.

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His tweet, which has been shared more than 7,000 times, read: “To all the people in this great city of ours in Derby, if you have gone out and panic bought like a lot of you have and stacked up your houses with unnecessary items which you don't normally buy, or you have brought in more food than you need, then take a long hard look at yourself.”

Earlier this week, a national business waste company warned that panic buying will result in an increased amount of food being thrown away.

Mark Hall, of Business Waste, said: “At the moment there is a huge strain on supermarket supply chains to ensure there is enough food to go around during these difficult times.

“People should only buy what they need, otherwise they will only be throwing a lot of it away when it all goes out of date. There’s only so much you can eat.”

Many shops have now imposed limits on how many items you can buy after shelves were stripped empty because of panic buying.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda have set a limit of three for any item and two for essential products, such as toilet roll and handwash.

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Modi seeks 'forgiveness' from India's poor over coronavirus lockdown

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the nation’s poor for forgiveness on Sunday, as the economic and human toll from his 21-day nationwide lockdown deepens and criticism mounts about a lack of adequate planning ahead of the decision.

Modi announced a three week-lockdown on Tuesday to curb the spread of coronavirus. But the decision has stung millions of India’s poor, leaving many hungry and forcing jobless migrant laborers to flee cities and walk hundreds of kilometers to their native villages.

“I would firstly like to seek forgiveness from all my countrymen,” Modi said in a nationwide radio address.

The poor “would definitely be thinking what kind of prime minister is this, who has put us into so much trouble,” he said, urging people to understand there was no other option.

“Steps taken so far… will give India victory over corona,” he added.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India rose to 979 on Sunday, with 25 deaths.

The government announced a $22.6 billion economic stimulus plan on Thursday to provide direct cash transfers and food handouts to India’s poor.

In an opinion piece published on Sunday, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo – two of the three winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019 – said even more aid for the poor is needed.

“Without that, the demand crisis will snowball into an economic avalanche, and people will have no choice but to defy orders,” they wrote in the Indian Express.

The lockdown is expected to exacerbate India’s economic woes at a time when growth had already slumped to its lowest pace in six years.

MIGRANT CRISIS

There still appears to be broad support for strong measures to avoid a coronavirus catastrophe in India, a country of some 1.3 billion people where the public health system is poor.

But opposition leaders, analysts and some citizens are increasingly criticizing its implementation. In particular, they say the government appears to have been caught off guard by the mass movement of migrants following the announcement, which threatens to spread the disease into the hinterlands.

“The Gov’t had no contingency plans in place for this exodus,” tweeted opposition politician Rahul Gandhi as images of migrant laborers walking long distances to return home dominated local media.

#ModiMadeDisaster was a top trending topic in India on Sunday on social media site Twitter.

Police said four migrants were killed on Saturday when a truck ran into them in the western state of Maharashtra. Also on Saturday, a migrant collapsed and died in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, according to a police official.

“We will die of walking and starving before getting killed by corona,” said migrant worker Madhav Raj, 28, as he walked by the road in Uttar Pradesh.

On Sunday, several hundred migrants in the town of Paippad, in southern Kerala state, gathered in a square demanding transport back to their hometowns.

The central government has called on states to provide marooned laborers with food and shelter, and Modi’s supporters slammed state governments on Twitter for failing to properly implement the lockdown.

In India’s cities, too, anger was rising.

“We have no food or drink. I am sat down thinking how to feed my family,” said homemaker Amirbee Shaikh Yusuf, 50, in Mumbai’s sprawling Dharavi slum.

“There is nothing good about this lockdown. People are angry, no one is caring for us.”

Following is the spread of the coronavirus in South Asia’s eight nations, according to government figures:

* Pakistan has registered 1,526 cases, including 13 deaths.

* India has registered 979 cases, including 25 deaths.

* Sri Lanka has registered 115 cases, including one death.

* Afghanistan has registered 128 cases, including 3 deaths.

* Bangladesh has registered 48 cases, including 5 deaths.

* Maldives has registered 28 cases and no deaths.

* Nepal has registered 5 cases and no deaths.

* Bhutan has registered 4 cases and no deaths.

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Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 838 overnight to 6,528

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain awoke to its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government met to approve a strengthening of measures and the coronavirus death toll rose by a record 838 cases overnight to 6,528.

Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus. L8N2BL0LH]

He said workers would receive their usual salaries but would have to make up lost hours at a later date. The measure would last from March 30 to April 9.

Unions welcomed the measures and business groups CEOE and CEPYME said that while they would comply with the new rule, “it will generate an unprecedented huge impact on the Spanish economy, especially in sectors such as industry”.

The slowdown “may lead to a deeper crisis in the economy that could become social”, they warned in a statement.

In Madrid, birdsong drowned out traffic on deserted streets on Sunday morning as police reinforced patrols, stopping buses and cars to check passengers had reason to be out of their homes.

Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14 and most of the population is house-bound as Spain tries to curb the virus.

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Pope backs U.N. chief's call for global ceasefire to focus on coronavirus

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday backed a call by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at his weekly blessing, Francis appealed to everyone to “stop every form of bellicose hostility and to favor the creation of corridors for humanitarian help, diplomatic efforts and attention to those who find themselves in situations of great vulnerability”.

Guterres made the appeal on Monday.

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Exclusive: Qatar Airways says it will need state support as cash runs out

DUBAI (Reuters) – Qatar Airways will have to seek government support eventually, Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told Reuters on Sunday, warning that the Middle East carrier could soon run out of the cash needed to continue flying.

Several states have stepped in to help airlines hammered by the coronavirus pandemic that has virtually halted international travel, with the United States offering $58 billion in aid.

Qatar Airways is one of few airlines continuing to maintain scheduled commercial passenger services and over the next two weeks expects to operate 1,800 flights.

“We have received many requests from governments all over the world, embassies in certain countries, requesting Qatar Airways not to stop flying,” Baker said by phone from Doha.

The state-owned carrier is operating flights to Europe, Asia and Australia, repatriating people who have been left stranded after many countries shut their borders.

“We will fly as long as it is necessary and we have requests to get stranded people to their homes, provided the airspace is open and the airports are open,” Baker said.

However, he warned that the airline was burning through cash and only had enough to sustain operations for a “very short period”.

“We will surely go to our government eventually,” Baker added.

He declined to say when the airline would need state aid, which could come in the form of loans or equity, but said it was taking measures to conserve cash.

Employees have taken paid and unpaid leave voluntarily and Baker said he had forfeited his salary until the airline returns to full operations. Staff would not be forced to take pay cuts, though Baker said some had offered to do so.

The airline had said before the pandemic it would report a loss this financial year because of a regional political dispute that forces it to fly longer, more expensive routes to avoid airspace that it had been banned from using by some of neighboring countries.

Rivals Emirates and Etihad Airways, of the United Arab Emirates, have grounded passenger operations, which Baker said had not benefited his airline.

Qatar Airways has been operating some flights at 50% occupancy or less and if it fills 45% of seats on flights over the next two weeks it will carry about 250,000 passengers.

“We are not taking advantage … this is a time to serve people who want to be with their loved ones in a very trying time,” Baker said.

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Calls grow for Indonesia restrictions as coronavirus toll rises

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Doctors, politicians and human rights commissioners are calling on Indonesia’s government to enact tighter movement restrictions as the death toll from coronavirus rose on Sunday in the world’s fourth most populous country, which has resisted lockdowns.

A government minister in the country of 260 million said on Friday that a regulation was being prepared so regions can limit movement to stop the spread of the disease, which has killed 114 people in Indonesia as of Sunday, with 1,285 confirmed cases.

But he did not say when the legislation would be ready or how far it would go.

A hashtag that translates as #LockdownOrDie was trending on social media at the weekend, while human rights groups and medical professionals all joined calls for rapid action.

A spokesman for President Joko Widodo did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the demands for movement restrictions.

“There are a lot of people who have called on the central government to put in place a lockdown policy, especially in epicenters,” said Halik Malik, a spokesman of the Indonesian Doctors Association.

He said the association would support whatever approach is taken by Widodo, who has encouraged social distancing but questioned whether Indonesians have the culture or discipline for lockdowns.

That has marked Indonesia out from Southeast Asian countries that have enacted restrictions, such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

China, where the coronavirus originated, placed some 500 million people under restrictions at one point. India has ordered a total lockdown of its more than 1.3 billion people.

Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights, a government body, called for a regional quarantine on areas that have been categorized as “red zones.”

The University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Medicine called in a letter for more “local lockdowns”. Arsul Sani, vice chairman of the upper house of parliament, said it was ready to support “regional quarantine” measures.

One major concern is whether the virus will spread during the “mudik” – when millions of Indonesians traditionally leave cities for their hometowns at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.

The Indonesian capital Jakarta ordered a state of emergency on March 20, closing schools and entertainment spots. The city of Tegal, which like Jakarta is on the densely populated island of Java, said it would impose some restrictions from Monday.

The eastern province of Papua closed airports, sea ports and land borders on Thursday, but was ordered to reopen them by the central government.

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Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak had entered a new phase as the total number of cases in the Russian capital exceeded 1,000 with many Muscovites going out despite a plea to stay home.

Authorities in Moscow, Russia’s worst-affected area, shut shops and entertainment venues from Saturday and urged Muscovites to stay at home during the non-working week announced by President Vladimir Putin.

But at least 52,000 people took walks in the city parks on Saturday, and many elderly people made long trips on the city’s vast public transportation network, Sobyanin said on his website.

“The situation with the spread of coronavirus has entered a new phase. More than 1,000 cases of the disease have already been recorded in Moscow. Nobody is insured,” Sobyanin wrote.

“An example of miserable Italian and Spanish cities, even New York, where tens and hundreds of people die every day, is in front of everyone’s eyes.”

The official tally of confirmed cases in Russia rose by 270 in 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,534. Nine people have died of the coronavirus, seven of which in Moscow.

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Mum’s coronavirus warning with heartbreaking video of 12-year-old son wheezing

A mum-of-five has issued a stark warning to other parents after her 12-year-old son was struck down with severe breathing difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lianne Curbishley, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, has shared a video of Jayden struggling to breathe on social media.

She has also shared a photograph of the "normally fit and well" boy using a ventilator at their home in Westhoughton, Manchester Evening News reports.

In the clip, the poor lad is wheezing and hooked up to a breathing apparatus while he rests in his bedroom.

Although Jayden has yet to be tested for coronavirus, he is being treated by the NHS as if he has it, and so Lianne shared the post as a warning.

She said that Jayden and her other children have been following the guidelines and self-isolating but she has seen "lots of teenagers" who are seemingly ignoring government advice.

Directing a Facebook post at parents of teenagers, Lianne wrote: "I wasn't going to share this to the public as its not confirmed Covid-19 but I'm seeing lots of teenagers still hanging about with there friends outside in groups, not following guidelines, and prob thinking they will be OK.

"This is Jayden, he's 12, he's never had any breathing trouble in his life, he's normally fit and well.

"He's needed oxygen, steroids, inhalers, and been very unwell. It's not been confirmed Covid-19 as they are not testing, but he has some of the symptoms and they are treating it as if it is, however we don't know.

"Jayden hasn't been playing out, we have followed all the guidance but still we've been hit with something.

“I now have to pray my other children are going to be OK, especially my daughter who is high risk with asthma."

Lianne said that Jayden's symptoms started three days ago but she is hoping he is now over the worst.

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Chinese markets linked to coronavirus re-open selling bats and scorpions

Bats and scorpions are back on sale at Chinese meat markets – just months after the outbreak of coronavirus which has caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world.

A shocking eyewitness report claims huge crowds descended on indoor markets in Guilin, south west China, and Dongguan, southern China, when they re-opened yesterday.

Many places in China, where the killer disease originated, have celebrated "victory" over coronavirus as businesses open their doors for the first time in weeks.

The scene was witnessed by a Mail on Sunday correspondent, who described it as "deeply troubling".

The paper reports that no efforts seemed to have been made to prevent a future outbreak by raising hygiene standards.

In Dongguan, bats – linked to the Covid-19 outbreak – are advertised by a medicine seller.

The Chinese population have been urged by the government to return to normal, with just a tiny number of new infections reported.

The unnamed China-based correspondent said: "Everyone here believes the outbreak is over and there's nothing to worry about any more.

"It's just a foreign problem now as far as they are concerned."

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And in Dongguan, they stated, the only change was that guards were stopping people taking pictures.

"The markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus," they said.

The coronavirus has been traced back to a market in Wuhan, which was completely shut down in the aftermath of the outbreak.

More than 665,000 people have been infected around the world, with Spain, Italy, the US and Britain among the worst-affected countries.

At least 30,900 people are known to have died.

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