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EXCLUSIVE: Mamman Daura, Buhari’s Powerful Nephew, In Critical Condition In UK

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Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, is currently in a critical condition in United Kingdom, SaharaReporters has gathered.

Top governnent officials, who spoke with one of our correspondents on Friday, disclosed that the 80-year-old had seen his health dip in recent days, raising fears among family members and close associates including President Buhari, who often relies on his counsel before making key decisions.


Mamman Daura Exclusive

“He is not in good shape in London. He’s not been back since the time he was flown there. There is serious concern around his health,” one source said.




Mamman Daura Exclusive






Recall that in August, SaharaReporters revealed how Daura was flown to the United Kingdom for urgent medical treatment over an undisclosed ailment.

He was said to have been flown in a private jet to the UK after exhibiting respiratory difficulties with symptoms similar to Coronavirus.

He is said to have had a history of renal crisis and had regularly visited the West for medical attention.




Mamman Daura Exclusive






Despite these revelations, the Presidency claimed that the former journalist travelled to UK for leisure and not for medical reasons.

In September this year, Daura was unable to attend the wedding of Hanan, President Buhari’s daughter, due to his poor health despite being scheduled to be the father of the day for that occasion.

The absence of Daura at the event remained a major talking point among major political players especially considering his closeness to President Buhari.

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Pride of Britain: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds praise NHS staff

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pride of britain boris johnson and carrie symonds praise nhs staff

Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for delivering their son Wilfred and for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus.

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday.

The couple nominated nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma, two nurses who cared for Mr Johnson at St Thomas’ Hospital in April, and the maternity team who delivered Wilfred later the same month. 

Ms Symonds says in the video: ‘You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it’s because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy.

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister's life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister's life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

‘As a family we have so much to be thankful to the NHS for and we will never stop being grateful.’

The Prime Minister then adds: ‘Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital who saved my life.

‘There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny.’

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple’s first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later.

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their 'courage and dedication' during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their 'courage and dedication' during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday

Baby Wilfred was born on April 29, less than two weeks after Mr Johnson left hospital

Baby Wilfred was born on April 29, less than two weeks after Mr Johnson left hospital

Baby Wilfred was born on April 29, less than two weeks after Mr Johnson left hospital

Boris Johnson left intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 9 (pictured) after being admitted with coronavirus four days prior

Boris Johnson left intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital in central London on April 9 (pictured) after being admitted with coronavirus four days prior

Boris Johnson left intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on April 9 (pictured) after being admitted with coronavirus four days prior

On March 27, he announced he had tested positive for the virus, but he continues to work from home, chairing cabinet meetings and issuing social media releases.

In a video message on Twitter, he said: ‘I’m working from home and self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.

‘But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced he had tested positive for Covid-19, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty said he had symptoms of the disease and was self-isolating.

Timeline: Boris’s battle with coronavirus 

March 26: Boris Johnson announces he has tested positive for coronavirus in a Twitter video and continues working in self-isolation from his Number 11 flat.

April 2: The PM comes out of self isolation

April 3: He urges people to stay at home

April 5: Downing Street says the PM has been taken to St Thomas’ Hospital as a precaution after displaying persistent symptoms.

April 6: Mr Johnson is moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit after his condition worsened, but does not require ventilation. Dominic Raab begins to deputise for the PM.

April 9: He was moved out of intensive care and back on to the normal ward.

April 11: The PM was discharged from hospital. He thanked NHS staff for saving his life in a video recorded from Downing Street before heading to Chequers with his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds.

April 26: Mr Johnson arrives back in Number 10 as he prepares to return to work. 

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Some questioned why the PM had adopted a business-as-usual approach to governing after putting the rest of the UK on lockdown, with Mr Johnson accused of not following his own advice.

The House of Commons continued to sit, with Cabinet meetings and daily press briefings held in person throughout the first weeks of March. 

Mr Johnson was seen in person on April 2, after stepped outside No.11 Downing Street to clap for carers. 

He told those gathered outside: ‘I am not allowed out really, I am just standing here.’ 

The next day he issued a plea for people to stay at home and save lives, as he was still suffering from a temperature.

He urged people not to break social distancing rules as the weather warmed up, even if they were going ‘a bit stir crazy’. 

On April 4, then-pregnant Carrie Symonds, 32, said she was ‘on the mend’ after suffering coronavirus symptoms herself.

Shortly after the PM’s announcement on March 27, Ms Symonds – who usually lives with him in the No.11 flat – shared a photograph of herself self-isolating in Camberwell, south London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn.

Just days later on April 5 Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests. 

On April 6 Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.

‘I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.

‘Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.’

Just hours later, Downing Street said the Prime Minister’s condition had worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he had been moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit. 

Ms Symonds says in the video: 'You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it's because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy

Ms Symonds says in the video: 'You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it's because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy

Ms Symonds says in the video: ‘You continue to provide care for all of us in the very toughest of times and it’s because of you that not only is Boris still here, but that we are proud parents to our sweet baby boy

The Prime Minister then adds: 'Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas' Hospital who saved my life

The Prime Minister then adds: 'Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas' Hospital who saved my life

The Prime Minister then adds: ‘Exactly right. So I want to pay thanks to the utterly brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital who saved my life

On April 7 Downing Street said the PM’s condition remained ‘stable’ and he was in ‘good spirits’ following his first night in intensive care, but he would need to remain there for ‘close monitoring’. 

The next day the Prime Minister was said to be ‘responding to treatment’ after a second night in intensive care.

Downing Street said he remained in a stable condition.

'There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny,' Mr Johnson said

'There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny,' Mr Johnson said

‘There were many of them, but I want to nominate two nurses in particular, Luis and Jenny,’ Mr Johnson said

Chancellor Rishi Sunak later told the daily coronavirus press briefing that Mr Johnson was still in intensive care, but had been sitting up in bed and engaging with his clinical team.  

On April 9, the Prime Minister was moved out of intensive care and went into a normal ward.

He was discharged two days later on April 11 and thanked NHS staff for saving his life in a video recorded from Downing Street before heading to Chequers with his then-pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds.

He returned to Number 10 on April 26 and Ms Symonds gave birth in London on April 30, with the Prime Minister at her side. 

In a heart-warming Instagram post revealing the boy’s name, Ms Symonds revealed that the middle name Nicholas was a tribute to two NHS doctors, Dr Nick Price and Professor Nick Hart, who  ‘saved Boris’ life.’

Dr Nick Price

Dr Nick Price

Professor Nick Hart

Professor Nick Hart

In a heart-warming Instagram post revealing the boy’s name, Ms Symonds revealed that the middle name Nicholas was a tribute to two NHS doctors, Dr Nick Price (left) and Professor Nick Hart (right), who ‘saved Boris’ life’

Among the first to send their wellwishes following the announcement were the two medics who said they were ‘honoured and humbled’ to serve as the inspiration for the newborn’s middle name Nicholas.

They said in a statement: ‘Our warm congratulations go to the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds on the happy arrival of their beautiful son Wilfred.

‘We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised in this way, and we give our thanks to the incredible team of professionals who we work with at Guy’s at St Thomas’ and who ensure every patient receives the best care.

‘We wish the new family every health and happiness.’ 

The first name is a tribute to Mr Johnson’s paternal grandfather, Osman Wilfred Kemal, and Lawrie a reference to Ms Symonds’ grandfather. 

Accompanying the caption was a photograph in which the first-time mother was seen tightly cradling her son, who sported an extraordinary full head of hair not dissimilar to that of his father.

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple's first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple's first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later

Mr Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19 in the London hospital, before the couple’s first child together was born at University College Hospital weeks later

The 32-year-old fiancee of Mr Johnson, who said ‘my heart is full’ in the caption, also revealed for the first time that Wilfred had been born at the maternity wing of the NHS’s University College Hospital in central London.

The caption read: ‘Introducing Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas born on 29.04.20 at 9am. Wilfred after Boris’ grandfather Lawrie after my grandfather Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors that saved Boris’ life last month.

‘Thank you so, so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH that looked after us so well. I couldn’t be happier. My heart is full.’ 

It was also revealed that Boris Johnson received a congratulatory phone call from the Duke of Cambridge on Friday afternoon, with a record of their conversation recorded as an official event in the Court Circular. 

Among the first to send their well-wishes following the announcement were Dr Nick Price and Prof Nick Hart, who said they were ‘honoured and humbled’ to serve as the inspiration for the newborn’s middle name Nicholas.

They said in a statement: ‘Our warm congratulations go to the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds on the happy arrival of their beautiful son Wilfred.

‘We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised in this way, and we give our thanks to the incredible team of professionals who we work with at Guy’s at St Thomas’ and who ensure every patient receives the best care.

‘We wish the new family every health and happiness.’ 

There was also a message of congratulations from the University College Hospital, where Wilfred was born.

UCLH chief executive Professor Marcel Levi said: ‘Congratulations to Carrie Symonds and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the birth of their son. We wish them every happiness at this special time.

‘I would like to thank the teams who cared for Carrie and her baby. 

‘They are an incredibly skilled, dedicated and compassionate group of professionals who put patients at the heart of everything they do.

‘I am very proud of them and all our staff at UCLH who are working extremely hard in very difficult circumstances at the moment.’ 

Elsewhere in the Sunday broadcast, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will present a special recognition award to NHS staff.

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2020 will be broadcast on ITV at 9pm on Sunday.

Boris Johnson participated in the 'Clap for our Carers' outside No11 Downing Street on April 2

Boris Johnson participated in the 'Clap for our Carers' outside No11 Downing Street on April 2

Boris Johnson participated in the ‘Clap for our Carers’ outside No11 Downing Street on April 2

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Newly-released SAGE files reveal ministers were told Britain needs REPEATED circuit breakers

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newly released sage files reveal ministers were told britain needs repeated circuit breakers
Ministers were told more than one circuit breaker would be needed in Britain to control the coronavirus, according to SAGE papers published today.

Scientific advisers claimed a single two-week lockdown, which they first pleaded with ministers to implement in September, would not be enough to stem infections for the whole of winter. 

It would probably need to be imposed twice over the space of a few months to keep the country ticking over until a vaccine is ready, researchers at University of Warwick told the Government.

This is because the effects of the intervention would start to fade after a month or two and infections would start to creep up again.   

The revelation emerged in SAGE papers presented to the Government this autumn to help steer ministers through the crisis. 

Other documents handed to Number 10 and released today revealed 90 per cent of Brits are now catching the coronavirus from strangers.

During the first wave of the epidemic, the vast majority of people were catching it from loved ones and household transmission was rife.

Among the other documents made public today: 

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We won’t need just one circuit breaker, but SEVERAL, SAGE said 

SAGE has been pleading with the Government to consider a two-week lockdown since mid-September, after cases began creeping up when lockdon was eased in August.

The experts first highlighted that an immediate ‘circuit breaker’ was the best way to control cases at a meeting on September 21. 

SAGE WARNED MORE MEASURES WERE NEEDED A MONTH BEFORE THEY CAME IN

The Government’s expert advisers said that coronavirus infections and hospital admissions were exceeding the worse case scenario planning levels at least a month before Boris Johnson announced the three-tier system of restrictions.

A document from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) summarising the SAGE meeting on September 17, SAGE said: ‘The current situation continues to reflect the Reasonable Worst-Case Scenario (RWCS).

‘Medium-term projections indicate a rapid increase in hospital admissions in the coming weeks, and in a scenario where there were no interventions, this would have the potential to overwhelm the NHS.’ 

Later in the SAGE meeting on October 8, scientists said incidence and prevalence across the UK continue to increase with data showing ‘clear increases’ in hospital and ICU admissions, particularly in the North of England.

The paper said projections indicate the number of deaths is ‘highly likely’ to exceed Reasonable Worst Case Scenario (RWCS) planning levels within the next two weeks.

‘Well over 100 new deaths per day are projected to occur within 2 weeks, even if strict new interventions are put in place immediately,’ the document said, adding: ‘In all scenarios the epidemic is still growing.’ 

Four days after the SAGE meeting, on October 12, the Prime Minister announced England would be placed into ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ alert levels – or Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 – under a new tier system of restrictions aimed at tackling the virus.

Since the three-tier system has been implemented, the number of deaths announced on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard has exceeded 100 on every day except two – and on a couple of days more than 300 deaths were announced.

At a Downing Street press conference that day alongside Mr Johnson, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty – a member of Sage – said he was ‘not confident’ that the ‘base case’ for Tier 3 proposals ‘would be enough to get on top of it’.

The newly published Sage document comes as the effectiveness of the three-tier system is more widely being called into doubt. 

The Government’s scientific advisers have called for the UK to follow in the footsteps of Germany and France and retreat back into a full national shutdown because they say the current three-tiered lockdown system is failing. But top experts say interventions take at least three weeks to take effect.

The tiered system only came into force on October 14, little over two weeks ago. 

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But today it emerged that SAGE subsequently warned that one circuit breaker would not be enough.

In the 59th meeting of the group, on September 24, SAGE said: ‘While a single circuit breaker has the potential to keep prevalence much lower than no intervention, it is not a long-term solution. 

‘Long-term control of the virus will likely require repeated circuit breaks, or for one to be followed by a longer-term period with measures in place to keep R at or below 1.’  

But the Prime Minister has been keen to avoid a blanket ban on social mixing, the closure of pubs, restaurants and gyms across England. 

Mr Johnson dismissed calls for the measure which he branded ‘miserable’ in the Commons on October 14, insisting his job was to balance the economic and wider interests of the country with the science.

But the PM admitted he will ‘rule out nothing’ in the bid to stop coronavirus but stood by his tiered local lockdown approach in which areas with the highest infection rates face the toughest rules. 

He said the three-level local system, which could soon become four, ‘can drive down and will drive down the virus if it is properly implemented’.

But with Wales, Ireland, and other European countries like Germany and France going into lockdowns in the past two weeks, Mr Johnson is facing renewed pressure from his medical officers to impose a nation-wide shutdown.  

Senior figures are warning that the UK’s three-tier system is not enough to ‘get on top of the numbers’ before Christmas.  

A University of Warwick study, which was officially published by the Government today but widely reported two weeks ago, said a two-week circuit break would have no impact if restrictions were lifted again.  

The study, conducted in September, outlined how a short, planned lockdown could stop the UK’s spiralling outbreak in its tracks. 

It said that if the growth rate of the virus was five per cent (currently it is about 4 per cent)  the action of a two-week circuit breaker ‘is cancelled the following fortnight by two weeks of ‘normal’ behaviour’.

They suggested a ‘two-week on – two-week off strategy to maintain control’ but that this would need to be looked at in more detail.

The team’s findings, which came before October half term, said it was important to do it during a school holiday to minimise disruption to life.  

In the paper the experts suggested more than 100,000 British lives could be spared by January in the worst-case scenario if the country shut down over half-term. 

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick indicated this week the Government has not chosen to use a circuit breaker because it would lead to stop-start lockdowns.

On a round on media interviews on Thursday morning, Mr Jenrick said the Government’s ‘very firm view’ is that a short national ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown would be the wrong approach, saying ‘you can’t have a stop-start country’.   

Only 10 per cent of people know how they caught the coronavirus, suggesting most catch it off strangers

Around nine in ten people who get the coronavirus don’t know who they caught it from, according to a SAGE meeting on September 17.

The group noted data from the REACT study, led by Imperial College London, which tracks the outbreak using two waves of swabs from random people in England. 

The findings ‘indicate that currently only about 10 per cent of confirmed cases have a known history of exposure to another case, which suggests that much transmission may be through unrecognised contacts’, SAGE discussed in its 57th meeting.

It suggests the majority of transmission occurs in hospitality settings, such as pubs, bars and restaurants, the scientific experts speculated.

'Long-term control of the virus will likely require repeated circuit breaks, or for one to be followed by a longer-term period with measures in place to keep R at or below 1', SAGE said in September. However SAGE said today it currently sits at between 1.1 and 1.3 in the UK ¿ representing the situation over the last few weeks

'Long-term control of the virus will likely require repeated circuit breaks, or for one to be followed by a longer-term period with measures in place to keep R at or below 1', SAGE said in September. However SAGE said today it currently sits at between 1.1 and 1.3 in the UK ¿ representing the situation over the last few weeks

‘Long-term control of the virus will likely require repeated circuit breaks, or for one to be followed by a longer-term period with measures in place to keep R at or below 1’, SAGE said in September. However SAGE said today it currently sits at between 1.1 and 1.3 in the UK – representing the situation over the last few weeks

However, they also pointed to PHE data which shows ‘household transmission is currently the most commonly identified route’.

SAGE also said its likely most people don’t know how they got Covid-19 because they were infected by someone who was not showing symptoms, known as asymptomatic. 

Taken together, the Government advisors said interventions that limit indoor social mixing will have the greatest effect at stopping the outbreak from growing.

‘No evidence to date’ that BAME are more at risk of Covid-19 due to Vitamin D deficiency

SAGE dismissed rumours that BAME people may be more at risk from Covid-19 due to a deficiency of vitamin D.

At the 59th meeting on September 24, the advisory panel warned: ‘There was no evidence of an effect from vitamin D (on risk of infection) to date.’

There have been fears that a lack of the vitamin – which the body makes through exposure to sunlight – could be a risk factor for Covid-19.

Scientists have theorised this could be why BAME groups have higher odds of getting Covid-19 and have been investigating further. 

Officials estimate two in five Britons are deficient between October and April when sunlight levels outside are lower.

But the rate is up to 90 per cent in people with darker skin, such as BAME populations, because it is harder to obtain the vitamin from the sun.

A mountain of studies have suggested the vitamin could help protect people against the worst impacts of the virus.

One study, published last month by Boston University, found Covid-19 patients were 52 per cent less likely to die than when they got enough of the vitamin.

The scientists took blood samples from 235 patients admitted to hospitals in Tehran for Covid-19. Overall, 67 per cent had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL.

There isn’t a clear marker for the ideal level of vitamin D, but 30 ng/mL is considered as sufficient.

SAGE instead suggested that other factors could be contributing to higher death rates among minority groups, other than vitamin D. 

The group said in the most recently released minutes: ‘Ethnic groups may be at greater risk of infection after having come in contact with the virus, for example due to differences in immune response and nutritional status, which in itself could be related to stress or environmental conditions such as air pollution (differential susceptibility to infection).’ 

Evidence highlights some minority ethnic groups are overrepresented in health and social care and other key public sector jobs, where they may come into more contact with infected coronavirus people. 

Care home residents may be more at risk of catching the virus from staff than patients discharged from hospital 

Transmission from care home staff to residents could be a more significant route of coronavirus infection than when residents are discharged from hospital, documents suggests. 

SAGE said that for every resident who tests positive for the virus, there were approximately four positive cases among care home staff.

Transmission from care home staff to residents could be a more significant route of coronavirus infection than when residents are discharged from hospital

Transmission from care home staff to residents could be a more significant route of coronavirus infection than when residents are discharged from hospital

Transmission from care home staff to residents could be a more significant route of coronavirus infection than when residents are discharged from hospital

Minutes from a meeting, dated September 24, also acknowledged the ‘growing evidence’ of the negative mental health and wellbeing impacts of isolation on care home residents and their families.

Experts also warned that cases and outbreaks in care homes were beginning to increase again across the UK.

‘The concurrent ratio of positive tests in care staff to residents was approximately 4:1 (high confidence) suggesting potential staff to resident transmission,’ the document said.

‘Current evidence suggests discharge from hospitals may be less significant, and transmission from staff may be more significant, but quantification is difficult without better data linkage.’

The document said there was evidence of multiple routes of infection into care homes, including direct admission of residents, through staff and through visitors.

‘Understanding the different routes of transmission and their relative impact is critical,’ it added.

The document urged policymakers to balance the negative mental health and wellbeing impacts of isolation on care home residents and their families against the transmission risk.

Testing technology in the future may enable visitors to be rapidly tested for Covid-19 prior to visits, it adds.

In April, it was announced that coronavirus tests will be extended to all residents and staff in care homes – regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Staffing is one of several factors thought to have played a part in the spread of Covid-19 within care homes during the first wave of the pandemic, with employees often working between different sites.

Other factors were said to include the rapid discharge of thousands of hospital patients and struggles to access personal protective equipment (PPE) and regular tests. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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66% believe UK government SHOULD extend free school meals

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66 believe uk government should extend free school meals

Two thirds of Britons back Marcus Rashford and believe the Government should help feed the poorest schoolchildren during the holidays, with more than half saying that ministers’ refusal to do so makes them look ‘unkind’.  

A new poll for MailOnline suggests that official attempts to rebuff the campaign led by England football ace Marcus Rashford are badly out of kilter with the feelings of voters.

A survey for this website by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that there is overwhelming support for aid for those struggling the most during the coronavirus crisis.

Some 66 per cent agree that the Government should take some responsibility for feeding the poorest children when schools are closed.

And in a sign that may alarm Downing Street, 54 per cent of those polled believed that attempts to argue that there are better ways of helping are making the Government look miserly. 

The same amount believe that the Government’s handling of the row was ‘inept’.   

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People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

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The survey of 3,000 people was carried out on Wednesday as Boris Johnson was under pressure to reverse his decision not to extend free meals.

Mr Rashford’s petition to end child food poverty passed an incredible one million signatures  this week.

The online petition, titled ‘End child food poverty – no child should be going hungry’, reached the milestone and continues to rise constantly as more members of the public support the footballer’s campaign. 

Tory backbenchers this week denounced the Government’s handling of the free meals row as ‘shockingly inept’ and a ‘s*** show’. 

A Labour motion to extend meals until Easter 2021 was voted down by MPs in the Commons last week, to the general fury of much of the public.

The England ace quickly blasted Tory MPs who overwhelmingly rejected the scheme and rallied an army of sympathisers on Twitter to put the Government under pressure.

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Meanwhile Labour has taken a five-point lead over the Conservatives amid the fall-out from Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis in a separate poll today. 

An Ipsos MORI poll today puts Labour on 42 per cent, up five, while the Tories have slumped three points to 37 per cent. It is Labour’s first lead over the Conservatives since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister.

His personal popularity has also taken a battering, with a net satisfaction rating of -26, the worst score of his premiership with the pollster.

In contrast, Sir Keir Starmer was on 26, the best of any Labour leader at this stage of their leadership in the past 35 years – apart from Tony Blair. But the poll has carried out before yesterday’s anti-Semitism report release which led to Jeremy Corbyn being suspended.

The poll also found increasing pessimism over the economy, amid fears that England could completely be placed into lockdown.

More than seven in 10 (71 per cent) believe that the economy will get worse in the next year, up 5 per cent on last month.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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