Telecoms engineer moves into garden TENT as he self-isolates

Telecoms engineer moves into garden TENT as he self-isolates to protect 21-year-old family member with chronic asthma amid coronavirus lockdown

  • Engineer John has moved into a garden tent in Thornaby-on-Tees for his family
  • He works in Chelmsford but lives in their North Yorkshire home between jobs
  • His wife’s daughter Tasha, 21, has chronic asthma and is one of UK’s vulnerable
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

 A frontline telecoms engineer has moved into a garden tent to protect his 21-year-old family member who has chronic asthma.

John Lendon works in Chelmsford but returns to his home in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire when he is in-between jobs.

His daughter Tasha is on a 12-week lockdown as she has chronic asthma and is classed as one of the UK’s 1.5million ‘most vulnerable’ people.

She has ended up in intensive care from a simple cold in the last few months.

John Lendon and his daughter’s partner Alex, 19, are sleeping in a tent to protect a family member from coronavirus (Pictured: Mr Lendon and family friend Danny)

Mr Lendon is living with Tasha’s partner Alex, 19, in a tent to protect her from contracting coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,789 people amid 25,000 cases in the UK.

Mr Lendon’s wife and Tasha’s mother Emma Lendon said: ‘We have cried an absolute river, this has been the hardest part through all this.

‘But just thought straightaway we can’t take the risk of them coming in the house.’

John is working during the epidemic to earn a living for his family, even if it means he can’t go into his home.

His daughter Tasha is on a 12-week lockdown as she has chronic asthma and is classed as one of the UK’s 1.5million ‘most vulnerable’ people (Pictured: Mr Lendon and Danny)

Pictured L-R: Tasha, mother Emma Lendon and Louise, 13, with Tasha’s five-month-old daughter Amelia

Ms Lendon said: ‘This is unprecedented in our lifetimes. It’s emotional.

‘John is not coping very well, it’s really hard to see a grown man cry.

‘All he wants to do is look after us, but he can’t.

‘The only way he can do that is by working; being able to earn is a luxury in itself.’

Ms Lendon works as a cleaner and is taking extra precautions to protect her daughter. She has been in self-isolation for more than two weeks.

Alex cannot hold his five-month-old daughter Amelia as it could put Tasha at risk of catching the coronavirus.

Ms Lendon said: ‘Alex is a frontline worker, so he’ll be staying in the tent for the foreseeable future.

‘He’s finding it hard, it’s hard for everyone to get their heads around.

‘But you do what you have to do to keep your children safe.’

NHS staff and frontline workers across the country are making the heart-wrenching decision to isolate from their families to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Ms Lendon said: ‘[Tasha’s] had about 40 admissions to hospital in the last two years.

‘I self-isolated two weeks ago. I also took my youngest daughter out of school on the Tuesday before they broke up.

‘I know that me, my younger daughter, Tasha and her baby are OK.

‘I’m taking extra precautions whenever we’re going shopping.’

Ms Lendon’s other daughter Charlotte, 25, is also social distancing to protect her family.

England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said life may not return to normal until September at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Sunday.

She said the UK had to be ‘responsible’ in its actions and reduce social distancing measures gradually.

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Pony owner offers reward for return of his beloved Shetland

Gang of horse rustlers steal 29-inch tall Shetland pony and bundled animal into back of a FORD FIESTA during night time raid on stables

  • A gang of three men stole a Shetland pony from a stables in Essex on Friday night
  • Violet was taken in a late night raid by the thieves who race off in a Ford Fiesta
  • The pony’s owner John Lowe is offering a ‘big reward’ to whoever recovers her
  • He vowed to find those responsible and urged any witnesses to get in contact 

Shocking CCTV footage has captured the moment a gang bundled a Shetland pony into the back of a Ford Fiesta before racing off in a late-night raid. 

Violet was taken by three men who conducted a late-night raid of John Lowe’s stables in Ashingdon, Essex which had been holding 12 other horses.  

John is offering a big reward in the search for his ‘favourite pony’ to ensure that  Violet is ‘too hot to handle’. After inspecting the stables, he saw that the locks and chains on the stables had been cut through, with the £1600 pony nowhere to be seen.   

The footage of the incident on Friday night was captured by a neighbour living opposite the stables, who watched the gang break open the stables with a grinder before driving off with the 29-inch pony.  

Violet, who stands at just 29 inches, was stolen by thieves from her stables on Friday night

CCTV footage captured by a neighbour shows a gang racing off with the pony in a Ford Fiesta

A neighbour had watched thieves break into the stables using a grinder in the late night raid 

John, from Hockley, Essex, said: ‘I am just so gutted, she was my favourite pony. It’s such a terrible thing that’s happened. 

‘My ponies are my pets – they’re like family to me. She’s not really worth anything to anyone stealing her, but for me she’s irreplaceable.

‘My whole family is missing her so much. I just want anyone who has any information to come forward and help find her.’

John has owned two-year-old Violet for just seven months – and described her as a ‘lovely and very friendly pony’.

He said: ‘I go down and see the ponies every day. I was there with them twice on Friday – at about 9am, and then in the evening at about 7pm.

John Lowe, owner of the stables, said he lost his ‘favourite pony’ who was ‘like family to me’

‘It happened between 9pm and 10pm, and I found out the following morning when I went to the site.

‘The gate and chains were cut and a neighbour heard them using a small grinder cutting tool to get into the field. I was devastated. I am so concerned for her welfare and how she’s being treated, that’s the main worry.

‘I just hope she’s not being mistreated. The whole thing would have been very distressing for her.’

John’s other ponies that he keeps at the stable were also left wandering free in the road after the gate was cut open – but were luckily returned to their enclosure by the neighbour.

John hopes his cash reward will make Violet ‘too hot to handle’ and ensure her safe return

John added: ‘It’s just awful that people feel they can do this when we are all feeling at our lowest and feeling stuck inside.

‘The other ponies know she’s gone and are missing her, and I am sure she’s missing them as well.’

Now, he is offering a ‘big cash reward’ for anyone with information – vowing to track down those responsible and get Violet returned home safely.

He said: ‘I have reported it to the police, but they’ve just given me a crime reference number and not really done much. There have not been any leads.

‘I will find whoever took her, so the best thing to do is get in contact with me or someone who knows me, and it will end there.’

Violet is a distinctively-marked, bay and white coloured Shetland pony, with a white tail. Anyone with any information should call Essex Police on 101.




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Coronavirus stockpilers binning unused food bring vermin into homes

First the lockdown… then the RATS! Torn open trash lines the streets after first week of isolation as up to a third of UK bin men are off sick, collections are reduced while one council tells locals to put waste in the SHED

  • Councils across Britain have had to reduce waste collection to stop virus spread
  • It means bags of rubbish are being left out on the street or in people’s gardens 
  • Britons spent £10.8bn in supermarkets in March resulting in excess food waste  

Streets up and down Britain are littered with rubbish just one week into lockdown, with bin men off sick, waste collections scaled back and families unable to eat all the food they stockpiled.

Several local authorities have stopped collecting food and garden waste because so many bin men are self-isolating.

Residents are being told to put everything in the same bins, with one council even asking families to store uncollected rubbish in their garden sheds. 

But with Britons still panic-buying food, drink and toilet paper, thousands of bins have been left overflowing with  trash leaking out onto the streets. 

Families now fear it could result in a vermin problem, as bin bags mount up outside their front doors.  

Refuse workers are under huge pressure to pick up panic buyers’ excess waste and have spoken of their fears of catching the deadly virus due to a lack of protective gear.

A street in Putney, south west London, is pictured with rubbish bags leaking outside people’s homes today after residents bought more food than they could eat 

This area of south west London was overflowing with excess rubbish amid the UK stockpiling craze

Another street in Putney, south west London, is pictured covered in excess rubbish amid nationwide stockpiling and waste collection cuts 

Today streets across Putney, south west London, were seen with dozens of rubbish bags outside each home after residents failed to consume all the food they bought. 

Wandsworth Council told MailOnline its rubbish collection has not been scaled back and the bin bags were out to be collected as usual, but more rubbish is being thrown out due to more people being at home.

Yesterday bins in nearby Shepherds Bush were spotted overflowing with unusually large amounts of rubbish. 

Among councils making cut backs is Rotherham City Council, which has suspended brown bin collections for food waste for the next six weeks after revealing a third of its workforce were at home.

Bin collections face ‘significant disruption’ due to coronavirus sick leave

Bin collections could be ‘significantly disrupted’ in the coming weeks if more and more rubbish collectors are forced to self-isolate, one council has warned.

West Berkshire Council has expressed concerns they will not have enough refuse workers as more cases of the virus are reported in the area. 

Bosses have said if enough employees have to self-isolate because they or their families develop symptoms, they may not be able to collect everyone’s rubbish.  

The council has already suspended household waste recycling centres and bulky waste collections.

But Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, lead for environment, told Berkshire Live: ‘I appreciate that waste collections are a much valued service, so please be assured that we are engaging regularly with our contractor to keep collections going as best we can.’

Further reductions in waste collection could come ‘with or without advance notice’, a council spokesman added. 

The council has asked people to reduce the amount of rubbish.

If people continue to throw out so much rubbish, it could ‘overwhelm our already stretched collection systems and lead to significant services disruption’, a council spokesman said.

Bin lorries may come round earlier than normal, so people should leave bins out the night before or by 6am on the day they are collected.

Local authorities in Milton Keynes and Stockport are also no longer collecting green bins for cut flowers and garden waste, with residents urged to use their own compost heaps.

All glass collections have been suspended in Stirling, while in Dorset street and dog waste bins will be emptied less often to prioritise household collections.

Meanwhile, Brighton and Hove Council left residents furious after authorities told them to dispose of their own rubbish because bin collections had been missed ‘because of coronavirus’.

In West Berkshire, council bosses have shut household recycling centres and stopped household bulky waste collection.

They have urged residents to cut down on waste if possible and store it in their garden sheds if necessary.  

One bin man, from the East Midlands, told The Daily Star about his coronavirus concerns: ‘The biggest problem we’ve had is social distancing – trying to keep two metres apart.

‘When you’re a bin man you tend to sit in the wagon with three guys, so ­obviously you can’t have a two- metre gap.’ He also complained that a request for face masks had been rejected. 

Another waste collector described the difficulty of facing mountains of extra rubbish.

‘Our problem is the public at home, online shopping and panic buying,’ he said. ‘With staff shortages and extra waste we are very stretched.’ 

Homeowners could be vulnerable to a number of pest-related problems if rubbish is left out, including ant infestations and a bacterial infection called Weil’s disease.

Mice in the UK have also been known to carry a new US-born virus called hantavirus that has killed at least one person in China.

People who catch the virus can suffer a fever and even internal bleeding and organ damage.   

Stuart Richards, from the GMB Union who represents binmen and women across the country said: ‘The picture is changing every day, but we are seeing a significant number of our members not being able to come into work (either through shielding, self-isolation or actual sickness).

A row of bins in Shepherds Bush, west London, are pictured overflowing yesterday 

Panic-buying and an increase in waste from home deliveries has also led to more waste being thrown out. Pictured: Bins overflowing in the Docklands, east London yesterday 

‘However, up to the end of last week, it seemed that the majority of councils and contractors have been able to continue without massive disruption.

‘Continuing staff absences and revised working practices to try and ensure safety (smaller crews, etc) are having an impact, though, and this is likely to have a cumulative effect over time.

‘From our perspective, GMB members are doing an amazing job and continuing to deliver vital front line services.’

Mr Richards said he was not aware of any domestic waste rounds being reduced yet.

‘The madness continues’: Social media users slam ‘wasteful’ panic-buyers who are still throwing away perfectly good food after stockpiling more than they can consume 

By Jemma Carr for MailOnline

Stockpilers are continuing to throw away food after hoarding more than they can consume due to coronavirus panic buying.

Pictures of bins piled high with vegetables, fruit and bread were shared to social media after just one week of a nationwide lockdown.

And over the weekend, loaves of bread, bunches of bananas and unopened packs of chicken products were tossed aside after they went past their use by date.  


Bins overflowing with fresh food families stockpiled but were unable to eat were pictured in Derby over the weekend  

Unopened tins of food and packets of pasta filled a black bin in Bury, Greater Manchester.

A picture of the bin was shared to Twitter, prompting social media users to slam the panic buyers as ‘disgraceful’.

Panic about the killer bug prompted Britons to flock to supermarkets over the last few weeks to stock up on basic, long-lasting food.

Since then, strict lockdown rules were introduced, instructing Britons to only leave the house once a day and to shop only for essentials. 

Stockpilers are throwing away perfectly-good food after hoarding more than they can consume due to coronavirus panic buying in Bury, Greater Manchester

Donna Ball, the executive director of operations at Bury council, shared a picture of a full bin to social media today prompting outrage.

She wrote: ‘The madness continues, if you are throwing perfectly good food in the bin that could support your food banks then give your head a bloody wobble! 

‘Binmen daily seeing good food thrown in black bins. This had bags of pasta underneath also.’

Maggie Kufeldt replied: ‘Goodness – who are these people? My blood is boiling!’

Col Barlow wrote: ‘Ok why would anyone throw away unopened tins of food, there’s over half a dozen in view.’ 

John Currie added: ‘WTF is wrong with people in this country?’

Over the weekend, loaves of bread, bunches of bananas and unopened packs of chicken products were tossed aside after they went past their use by date in Derby

Nicole added: ‘Should name and shame them! It’s disgraceful! They could feed a poor family who haven’t got the money! It angers me so much!’

Over the weekend, former Liberal Democrat Councillor Ajit Singh Atwal shared a series of images on social media that showed rubbish bins overflowing with discarded food. 

He posted the photos with the caption: ‘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 you don’t normally buy or you have bought in more food than you need, then you need to take a good look at yourself.’

One social media user who shared the pictures wrote: ‘Absolutely disgusting! Wasteful hoarding pigs! Those bins should have wheeled around to the needy at the very least.’


 More bins in Derby are pictured overflowing or with rubbish piling up beside them

 

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Fla. Man Who Claimed to Have Coronavirus Charged with Intentionally Coughing on Cop

A Florida man is now facing charges after allegedly purposely coughing on a member of law enforcement after claiming to have the coronavirus.

On Sunday, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said 23-year-old Christian Perez was taken into custody and charged with assault and threat to a public servant on a law enforcement officer for the coughing action.

According to a press release, Perez was initially pulled over for reckless driving. He then told the deputy who stopped him that he currently was infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the contagious respiratory virus that can be spread through coughs and sneezes.

The officer provided Perez with a face mask so he could cover his mouth during the encounter. Authorities said that Perez then removed the mask and began “intentionally coughing” in the officer’s direction. To minimize further spread, the officer put the mask back over Perez’s mouth.

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Perez was also arrested for allegedly driving under the influence and driving without a license.

It was not immediately clear whether Perez had a representative for PEOPLE to reach for comment.

“We have zero tolerance for this despicable behavior, and anyone who threatens the health and lives of my deputies will face the maximum charges,” said Sheriff William Snyder in a statement.

There have been several other recent instances of intentional coughing leading to arrests earlier this month as the public and experts learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic.

A New Jersey man was accused of making a “terroristic threat” for coughing toward a grocery store employee, according to The New York Times, and a Pennsylvania woman was recently arrested after purposely coughing on grocery store inventory in a “twisted prank,” NBC News reported.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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Frustrated mom ‘admits torturing & starving toddler daughter for 18 MONTHS until she nearly died’ – The Sun

A MOM reportedly admitted to cops she tortured and starved her toddler daughter for 18 months until she nearly died.

Celia M. Lara-Licon, 24, was arrested after her daughter was hospitalized earlier this month for dehydration, kidney failure, malnutrition and fractures to nine bones.

Lara-Licon allegedly told Missouri state child welfare workers on March 3 that she had been abusing her daughter because she was "frustrated," the Joplin Globe reported.

Authorities believe the abuse took place between 2018 and March 3, 2020.

On March 4, she took her daughter to the hospital because she was continuously vomiting.

But Lara-Licon was arrested later that day after an investigation by Joplin police and the Missouri Department of Social Services.

She was busted shortly after taking her 3-year-old daughter to the emergency room of Mercy Hospital Joplin.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, the nine bone fractures were found to be in different healing stages, suggesting "chronic violence."

A nurse practitioner noted the toddler was nonverbal, weighed only 25 pounds, was not able to hold a cup and was severely dehydrated.

She was also found to be suffering from malnutrition, bruising and kidney failure.

Due to the severity of her condition, she was flown to the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where she was treated in the pediatric intensive care unit according to a probable-cause affidavit and as reported by the Joplin Globe.

The child was additionally diagnosed with laceration of her pancreas and pancreatitis caused by blunt force trauma to her abdomen.

Lara-Licon was charged with first-degree domestic assault, child abuse, and child endangerment.

She has been ordered to remain in jail without bond and her next hearing is set for April 1.

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Coronavirus Cold War:Treat China like Soviet Russia, says ex-minister

The new ‘Cold War’: Ex-deputy prime minister Damian Green says we should be treating modern China as ‘an aggressive adversary’ like Soviet Russia with blast at its ‘dubious attitude to statistics’ over coronavirus pandemic

  • Green said a rethink was needed in dealing with the Communist state
  • Criticised Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which started in China
  • Accused Communist regime of a ‘dubious attitude to statistics’ over death toll  
  • Ex-minister also a critic of plans to allow Huawei a role in 5G telecoms network 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Britain must toughen up its attitude to China and treat it more like the former Soviet Union in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a former Cabinet minister warned today.

Damian Green said that the contagion, which started in the Asian nation, plus the row over Beijing tech giant Huawei and its access to 5G networks, showed that a rethink was needed in dealing with the Communist state.

Mr Green, 64, who was Theresa May’s de-facto deputy prime minister between 2016 and 2017, criticised Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has now spread around the world.

In an article for the Conservative Home website he argued that ‘it is clear that a deeper look at the long-term interdependence of Western capitalism and Chinese communism will take place’.

He said that the viewpoint of the past decade, that ‘the economic gain from linking our economy closely with the Chinese was worth the obvious risks’, would have to change.

He argued that is has not worked and that China was continuing to act as ‘an aggressive adversary’ on the world stage, building up its military and commercial might.

‘The UK stance towards China, regrettably, may have to become similar to our attitude to Russia in the more peaceful stages of the Cold War,’ he said.

Damian Green said that the contagion, which started in the Asian nation, plus the row over Beijing tech giant Huawei and its access to 5G networks, showed that a rethink was needed in dealing with the Communist state

Mr Green said it is ‘undeniable’ that the pandemic – which has, as of 5pm on Sunday, seen 1,408 people die in UK hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 – started in China (pictured) due to lax hygiene practices.

‘Co-operate where we can, but guard when we must. It is a depressing prospect in many ways, but at least we can console ourselves with the thought the right side won the Cold War in the end. 

‘We need to protect our values as well as our economy.’

Mr Green is one of a large group of Tory MPs who were already opposed to detente with Beijing over Huawei before the coronavirus outbreak.

His comments come after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested on Monday that a ‘lessons learnt’ inquiry would be needed in the aftermath of the crisis due to questions surrounding China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Green said it is ‘undeniable’ that the pandemic – which has, as of 5pm on Sunday, seen 1,408 people die in UK hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 – started in China due to lax hygiene practices.

His comments are a nod to reports that wet markets in the Communist country, where live animals are sold, could have been behind the outbreak in Hubei province. 

‘The irritation of the British Government with its Chinese counterpart, both for the delay in informing international bodies of the arrival of coronavirus and for its slightly dubious attitude to statistics, has been obvious in recent days, he said.

‘Whatever charges can be laid at the door of others, it is undeniable that the pandemic started because of unhygienic practices in Chinese markets, which have been known about for years, and that the Chinese authorities were dilatory in informing the World Health Organisation about the outbreak.’

The former welfare secretary argued that a ‘deeper look at the long-term interdependence of Western capitalism and Chinese communism’ would ‘take place’ once countries were done fighting their respective health emergencies.

Governments across the world have been forced to impose draconian lockdowns on society and build field hospitals in a bid to stem and deal with the coronavirus outbreaks on their shores.

Mr Green said Britain should rethink its policy of fostering relations with China and review dependence on the powerhouse within global supply chains.

Already a vocal critic of Boris Johnson’s decision to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei a role in the UK’s fledgling 5G network, he made the case for UK manufacturers to use factories outside China for their products to protect supply lines, looking to the likes of Vietnam and Cambodia instead.

The freedom of the internet would also need to be protected against tightening Chinese regulation, Mr Green argued, highlighting the state’s control over the use of Facebook among its 1.4 billion population. 

Fellow Tory MP Bob Stewart was forced to apologise this week after referring to the Covid-19 virus as ‘the foul Chinese illness’ but said the description was not intended to denigrate Chinese people.

 

 

 

 

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NHS prescription charges set to rise to £9.15 tomorrow amid coronavirus epidemic, charities warn – The Sun

NHS prescription charges are set to rise by 15p to £9.15 tomorrow – amid the coronavirus epidemic, charities have warned.

The price hike – which comes around on April 1 every year – is in line with inflation, the Government says.

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But campaigners warn that these price increases could put people with long-term conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, at risk.

Laura Cockram, head of policy and campaigns at Parkinson's UK and chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said: “The Government is quick to say this rise is in line with inflation, but any increase in this unfair charge is too much.

“During the Covid-19 outbreak, keeping yourself healthy is crucial to avoid placing extra strain on the NHS.

"The medication people with long-term conditions need to stay well is an essential part of that.

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"Our research shows that a third of people with long-term conditions don’t take their medicine, because they can’t afford it and this can mean they end up going into hospital.

"We are incredibly disappointed in the rise for individual items and the increases to the prepayment certificate price – it’s a double whammy for the 10 per cent of people in England with long-term conditions who have to pay for their medication.

"The prepayment certificate has long been lauded as an affordable alternative to paying for individual prescriptions, but for many, the upfront cost is still too much.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, keeping yourself healthy is crucial to avoid placing extra strain on the NHS

"Increasing this fee, in line with inflation or not, will result in even more people skipping essential medication and place even more pressure on our already overloaded NHS."

The price increase may only be a two per cent increase since last year, but it's a 12 per cent rise compared to the cost of a prescription in 2015.

A previous freeze on prescription payment certificates (PPC), which allow patients to get as many medicines needed in a set period at a fixed price, will also be removed.

It means the 3-month PPC will increase by 55p to £29.65 and a 12-month PPC goes up by £1.90 to £105.90.

And dental charges will go up to with the cost of getting your teeth checked expected to rise to £23.90 from 2019’s cost of £22.70 – an increase of five per cent but a 26 per cent rise since 2015.

Other fees

Charges for prescription wigs, bras, spinal and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation, the government said.

Bras – worn after surgery – will now cost £30.05, abdominal or spinal supports will rise to £45.35, synthetic wigs will increase to £74.15, partial human hair wigs will increase to £196.40 and full bespoke human hair wigs will rise to £287.20.

Charges only apply to patients in England, while prescriptions continue to be free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The NHS last year said that the charge changes were a result of having to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings and provide £10billion investment for the NHS by 2021.

Simon Dukes, Chief Executive of Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said the move 'ultimately adds to the NHS bill'.

He said: "Prescription charges represent a Government tax which community pharmacy teams have to collect: as health professionals, we would like to see their time being better spent on the provision of advice and clinical services to NHS patients.

"Pharmacies report that many people already find it difficult to pay the prescription charge.

"Whilst we recognise the financial pressures that the NHS is under, raising the prescription tax once again runs the risk of those most in need not getting their medicines – ultimately adding to the NHS bill elsewhere."

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Can you spot the snow leopard that's perfectly camouflaged in India?

Spot the snow leopard! ‘Ghost cat’ is perfectly camouflaged in the Indian wilderness – so can YOU find it?

  • Australian photographer Bobby-Jo Vial spent three days tracking elderly male snow leopard through India 
  • 37-year-old said she routinely lost sight of the ‘ghost cat’ as it perfectly blended in with its surroundings 
  • Photographs reveal just how well the snow leopard’s camouflage coat works – making him hard to see 
  • Snow leopards are listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species with just 6,000 left in the wild, making them a rare sight 

An Australian photographer trying to track a snow leopard through the Indian wilderness has proved just how good the animals are at camouflaging themselves in these amazing photographs. 

Bobby-Jo Vial, 37, from Dubbo, west of Sydney, spent three days trying to follow an old male snow leopard through the mountains of Kibber National Park, India, but routinely lost sight of him because of how well he blended in.

Snow leopards are listed as ‘vulnerable’ because there are thought to be just 6,000 left in the wild – with only 30 remaining in this part of India, meaning that seeing one of them is an extremely rare event. 

ANSWERS BELOW  

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Bobby-Jo Vial, 37, from Dubbo, Australia, spent three days attempting to follow an elderly male snow leopard through the wilderness of India’s Kibber National Park – but kept loosing sight of him. Can you spot the cat in this photo?

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Despite the leopard’s name, Vial said that he stood out well against the snow but kept vanishing when he walked over dry, arid ground thanks to his dark coat and spots which break up his outline

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There are thought to be just 6,000 snow leopards left in the world and only 30 in this part of India, meaning that seeing one is an especially rare event

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Snow leopards are ambush predators, using their camouflage to sneak up on their prey before pouncing – using their sharp claws and teeth to drag them down and kill them

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Vial spent three days following this elderly male during February, but heard that he had slipped and fallen to his death while chasing an Ibex – a kind of deer – down a cliff face shortly afterwards

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Snow leopards are nicknamed ‘ghost cats’ for their ability to avoid detection – and this photo shows exactly why

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‘He was really obvious when walking against the snow but as soon as he moved in front of rocks he would completely disappear! It was amazing and also frustrating,’ Vial said.

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Snow leopards are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by conservationists because habitat loss, climate change and hunting by humans means their population has fallen rapidly in the past few decades

Bobby-Jo, co-director of Duma Safaris, said: ‘The snow Leopard is the holy grail of wildlife photography and I have always dreamed of seeing one in the wild.

‘I also used to care for snow leopards in my early zoo-keeping career. They are a spectacular big cat and have quite the reputation of being incredibly elusive to observe in the wild.

‘We were incredibly fortunate to spend three days with a very old male snow leopard. His camouflage really surprised me. 

‘He was really obvious when walking against the snow but as soon as he moved in front of rocks he would completely disappear! It was amazing and also frustrating.

‘A few days after we left Kibber we received news that the old male snow leopard had fallen to his death chasing an Ibex down the side of the gorge.

‘Fantastic organisations like the Snow Leopard Trust are helping protect Snow Leopards through conservation, research and education’.

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Coronavirus 'may still be contagious eight days after symptoms disappear'

People might still be able to pass on coronavirus eight days after their symptoms disappear, a new study suggests.

Researchers carried out tests on 16 patients in China who had been treated for Covid-19 in PLA General Hospital in Beijing between January 28 and February 9.

All patients had throat swabs collected on alternative days and analysed.

On average (mean), they had symptoms (such as fever and cough) for eight days after taking five days for the virus to incubate.

The study said that half (8 out of 16) of the patients remained viral positive even after the resolution of symptoms.

The median amount of time was 2.5 days, but it ranged from one to eight days.

Study authors wrote: ‘Cases have been reported where a patient could infect their close contacts even after ‘apparent recovery’ from the infection.

‘This warrants us to investigate the ‘shedding window’ after the clinical recovery of the patient.

In this study, we report that half of the patients continued to be viral positive even after the resolution of symptoms up to eight days.

‘Our study provides initial insights into the viral clearance kinetics and the ability of the virus to persist even after the resolution of the for as long as eight days, which may pose a significant challenge in controlling the spread of the disease,’ the study said.

But they said further studies were needed to find out if the virus was capable of being transmitted at the later stage of the disease.

They said their study subjects were mostly young and male, and the figures could differ for older patients or those with immune deficiencies.

The team, from Yale University School of Medicine, published the study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

It could suggest that people should self-isolate for longer than the recommened 14 days to ensure they do not infect others.

Corresponding author Lixin Xie said: ‘If you had mild respiratory symptoms from Covid-19 and were staying at home so as not to infect people, extend your quarantine for another two weeks after recovery to ensure that you don’t infect other people.’

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Hero of the Day: Mom of three works ER overnight treating coronavirus patients

She’s a mom of three working 13-hour days on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis in an overnight emergency room. 

“It’s definitely emotionally draining,” said 32-year-old Megan Benjamin, an ER technician at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, one of New Jersey’s largest trauma hospitals. 

“When you’re at work, you’re almost like a robot,” she told The Post. “You go in and do what you have to do, you take care of every patient, you take care of everybody that you work with, and at some point, you have to be able to decompress, and with the added stress of the pandemic that’s going on, it takes a little bit of an emotional toll.” 

Last week, Benjamin was still on the clock when a shooting broke out in Ashbury Park, said her father, Gil Benjamin. 

“In just one shift, she went from slipping in blood as she worked in the trauma center to spending hours in the coronavirus unit just to help others,” the dad said. 

She’s the one putting herself at risk every day. She’s the one who sometimes comes home and cries because of what she sees during the day but still goes back to work so she can help the next family, the next person.” 

Since the coronavirus outbreak hit the tri-state area, Megan Benjamin has been clocking 50 to 60 hours a week — but she said that if she could, she’d be “working every single night. 

“I’m willing to do that because when I first started working in this job, I solely did it because I wanted to help other people and make a difference in someone else’s life when they’re having a bad day,” she explained. 

“But now with all of this going on, I have a work family, and we take care of each other. I don’t want to see my other co-workers struggle because of the volume that we have and the sick patients that we have. I don’t want them to be understaffed and for them to run themselves down.” 

Benjamin said the hardest part about the pandemic is having to go days on end without seeing her kids, ages 9,4 and 2.

“I miss my babies,” Benjamin admitted as she fought back tears. 

“It’s actually been a major struggle. When I’m working, my parents are helping me care for my children. … I don’t want to go see them in between shifts because I need to change my clothes and sleep.

“Then by the time I wake up, I have to go back.” 

She said daily FaceTime sessions with her children, plus support from the community, are what pushes her to keep going each day. 

“I’m confident that in the end we’re all going to get through it together. It’s what we do, as Americans and as healthcare workers,” Benjamin said. 

“We’re all warriors.”

Do you have a nominee for The Post’s Hero of the Day? E-mail [email protected]

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