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Couple find Banksy Valentine’s love bomb on side of family home

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Banksy valentines
A young girl fires a slingshot of flowers at a Bristol building in Banksy’s latest work (Picture: Reuters/PA)

The elusive street artist Banksy has confirmed that he is behind a piece of street art showing a young girl firing a slingshot of flowers at a building in Bristol.

A local couple walking in the Barton Hill area of the city were stunned to find the striking piece – since dubbed ‘the Valentine’s Banksy’ – on the side of a building.

James Bullock said he saw scaffolding on the wall at about 6.20am on Thursday and was amazed when he returned later with his girlfriend and noticed the artwork had appeared.

The piece, in Marsh Lane, features a stencilled image of a girl firing a slingshot of red flowers and leaves.

Banksy confirmed the piece was his by posting two images of it on his official Instagram account and website in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

A new work of art on the side of a house on Marsh Lane, Barton Hill, Bristol, which is thought to be by street artist Banksy. The black and white stencil of a girl with a catapult and the paint splat, made of roses and plastic flowers, is in the style of Banksy, but has yet to be confirmed as being the work of the artist. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The new work on the side of a house on Marsh Lane, Bristol (Picture: PA)
A suspected new mural by artist Banksy is pictured in Marsh Lane in Bristol, Britain, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Crowds were drawn to the scene in Barton Hill (Picture: Reuters)
PABest A new work of art on the side of a house on Marsh Lane, Barton Hill, Bristol, which is thought to be by street artist Banksy. The black and white stencil of a girl with a catapult and the paint splat, made of roses and plastic flowers, is in the style of Banksy, but has yet to be confirmed as being the work of the artist. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The street art has been dubbed ‘The Valentine’s Banksy’ (Picture: PA)
A new work of art on the side of a house on Marsh Lane, Barton Hill, Bristol, which is thought to be by street artist Banksy. The black and white stencil of a girl with a catapult and the paint splat, made of roses and plastic flowers, is in the style of Banksy, but has yet to be confirmed as being the work of the artist. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The work appeared on Thursday (Picture: PA)

The artwork appeared on a rented home owned by Edwin Simons, who celebrated his 67th birthday on Thursday.

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His daughter, Kelly Woodruff, 37, found out about it after being tagged in a Facebook post.

She told the PA news agency: ‘We’ve been down here all day and it’s just been a complete buzz of excitement.

‘There’s so many people coming and enjoying it, taking pictures, it’s fantastic.

A possible new Valentines Day Banksy has appeared overnight Thursday 13 February 2020, on Marsh Lane Bristol. The mural has drawn crowds ontheearly morning commute and school run. See SWNS story SWBRbanksy;
The girl in the painting uses a slingshot to throw flowers (Picture: SWNS)
A possible new Valentines Day Banksy has appeared overnight Thursday 13 February 2020, on Marsh Lane Bristol. The mural has drawn crowds ontheearly morning commute and school run. See SWNS story SWBRbanksy;
Banksy later put an image of the work on his Instagram page (Picture: SWNS)
Is this a new Banksy? The artwork shows a girl with a sling shot on the side of a house in Barton Hill area of Bristol. 13 Feb 2020. See SWNS story SWBRbanksy;
Residents at the house want to preserve the work with glass, before Storm Dennis arrives (Picture: SWNS)
A new work of art on the side of a house on Marsh Lane, Barton Hill, Bristol, which is thought to be by street artist Banksy. The black and white stencil of a girl with a catapult and the paint splat, made of roses and plastic flowers, is in the style of Banksy, but has yet to be confirmed as being the work of the artist. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Roses and plastic flowers are used in the work (Picture: PA)

‘There’s been a lot of debate if it is a Banksy or not. Most people I’ve spoken to think it 100% is, and they’re naming it the Valentine’s Banksy.

‘It’s incredible and beautiful.’

The family are looking to cover up the artwork with glass to preserve it.

‘We hope it’s Banksy’s work. Come and have a look yourself. Whoever painted, it’s worth admiring their creativity. Thank you.’

Ms Woodruff continued: ‘My slight worry is, we’ve got this Storm Dennis coming on the weekend, so I really want to try and protect the roses.’

News of the work first emerged on Twitter, with the Bristol Somali Community Association writing before the artist’s confirmation: ‘Today in Barton Hill, we woke up with this remarkable mural art painted on one of the houses of the area.’

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‘We hope it’s Banksy’s work. Come and have a look yourself.

‘Whoever painted, it’s worth admiring their creativity. Thank you.’

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Source: Metro News

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Bailout of the giants: Biggest firms put thousands of staff on furlough – and we face £60bn bill 

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More of Britain’s biggest firms revealed plans yesterday to suspend tens of thousands of staff in a move which could cost the taxpayer up to £60billion over the next six months.

In a vivid illustration of the impact of coronavirus on the economy, British Airways, Nissan, Topshop owner Arcadia and energy firm Ovo all announced plans to furlough workers as they try to cut costs.

They join a growing list of household names, from Greggs to Costa, McDonald’s and Primark, which have already sent home 400,000 staff.

All plan to reclaim wages from the Government’s job retention scheme, which covers 80 per cent of salaries up to £2,500 a month.

Experts at the Centre for Economics and Business Research think-tank last night predicted that as many as 6.1million private sector employees could be furloughed.

That would cost the Government £30billion if they were off work for three months or £60billion if they were off work for six months, based on estimates by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Once the self-employed are accounted for, the cost could hit £80billion.

The IFS conceded the totals were ‘uncertain’, but they underline the huge cost of the Covid-19 outbreak to the country.

The furlough scheme is not expected to be up and running until the end of the month, meaning many will have to get by for weeks.

And the number of those furloughed is set to spiral in the coming weeks. The British Chambers of Commerce estimates 44 per cent of firms expect to furlough at least half of their staff, and almost a third between three-quarters and all of their workforce over the next week.

Where does the word furlough come from?

The term furlough refers to when employees are given a temporary leave of absence.

It is believed to have derived from a Dutch word in the 17th century as a term of absence for those in the military.  

In modern terms, it generally indicates when an employee is forced to take some time off work because the company it works for may be in a difficult financial situation.

In recent history, the term started appearing in the US during the financial crisis of 2008, as many American companies furloughed its employees.  

US companies have also started to furlough its employees during the current coronavirus crisis, although the US government scheme works differently from the UK’s.

In the US, companies that keep paying workers who can no longer work because of the coronavirus shutdown are given tax breaks. 

However, many retailers like Urban Outfitters have not chosen to do that, leaving staff without pay, while only preserving their health coverage. 

There are now growing fears the Government may have underestimated the cost of subsidising the wages of Britain’s workforce, having already committed a £330billion rescue package for businesses.

The IFS’s Carl Emmerson said: ‘Large increases in borrowing are well advised to address this current crisis, but the consequences for the public finances will be felt long after the immediate public health emergency has hopefully passed.’

Yesterday British Airways confirmed plans to suspend more than 30,000 staff – roughly three-quarters of its workforce – until the end of May. Those furloughed include the vast majority of cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those working at head office. Thousands of pilots have already been suspended with a 50 per cent pay cut.

Arcadia Group – the retail empire of disgraced billionaire Sir Philip Green which owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge – announced it would be suspending 14,500 of its 16,000 staff.

For shop workers, the furlough is effective from March 21 – when non-essential retailers were ordered to shut down stores – while most head office staff have been told they will be suspended from tomorrow.

Nissan also revealed the majority of the 6,000 workers at its Sunderland plant, which closed on March 17, will be furloughed for the remainder of this month, while energy firm Ovo will suspend 3,400 staff – more than a third of its workforce. 

 

I’ve been furloughed: What does it mean, why are companies doing this and what happens next? 

 ByCamilla Canocchiand Jayna Rana For Thisismoney.co.uk

Until a fortnight ago, it’s unlikely many British workers had ever encountered the term ‘furloughed’, but now it is a concept that has been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus crisis.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a series of measures to cover the wages of millions of people suddenly left without work and prevent businesses going bankrupt due to the coronavirus crisis – and furloughing staff lays at the heart of it.

The so-called coronavirus job retention scheme enables businesses to continue paying part of their employees’ salary who would otherwise have been laid off because of the crisis. 

Sunak said the Government will cover 80 per cent of salaries up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month – equivalent to the UK average wage of £30,000 a year.

Going home: easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can't work after the company grounded all of its flights

Going home: easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can't work after the company grounded all of its flights

Going home: easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can’t work after the company grounded all of its flights

The scheme, open to all firms with employees, will be up and running by the end of April and backdated to March 1. 

But in order to access it, businesses will have to ‘furlough’ their employees who they can no longer afford to pay. 

This term, until now more or less unknown in the UK, is suddenly popping up everywhere, with easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can’t work after the company grounded all of its flights.

Here we explain what furlough means and what it entails for workers and businesses. 

What does it mean to be ‘furloughed’? 

Essentially, if you’re being furloughed by your employer, it means you’re being sent home, but will still receive 80 per cent of your salary by the Government, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

This Government job retention scheme is only for employed people, it does not apply if you are self-employed.  

However, you first need to agree to be put on furlough by your employer, who can then apply for the money to the Government. You cannot apply for it yourself.

Your employer can choose to pay the remaining 20 per cent of your wages, although it is not obliged to do so. 

If you earn more than £2,500 a month, your employer can choose to ‘top up’ your salary, but again it is not forced to do so. 

You will still continue to pay income tax and national insurance contributions while on furlough.  

‘This has made me research my options and cut back on spending’ 

Amy Frankland-Hull is a Learning and Development Executive and has been furloughed, which has led to her having to take a mortgage holiday and cut back.

She said: ‘I was told last week that I had the option of furlough or redundancy.

‘I was told I was being placed on furlough until the Government ends the scheme, or the firm asks me to come back to work, or I leave. 

‘This has made me research my options and cut back on unnecessary spending, such as buying new clothes. Fortunately, with the furlough cap being 80 per cent coverage of salary up to £2,500 a month, my company is covering the 80 per cent of what I earn above £2,500, so I am on 80 per cent of my full pay.

‘I have applied – and been accepted – for a mortgage holiday and I have also cancelled subscriptions to BT Sport and Sky Sports while there is no live sport on TV. I have also been doing online courses for personal development and have applied to do some volunteering work for the NHS.’

Can I be furloughed if I’m on a zero-hour contract? 

Yes. Also if you’re on a flexible contract or are employed by an agency.

If you are on a zero-hour contract, which means you don’t necessarily earn the same amount each month, your employer should give you the 80 per cent of your average monthly salary since you started working.

That also applies to workers who have been employed for less than a year.

If you’ve worked for your employer for a year or more, you should receive 80 per cent of your average monthly salary, or 80 per cent of what you earned in the same month during the previous year – whichever is highest.

If you started work only in February, your employer will pro-rata your earnings from that month. But if you’ve started working on 28 February or after, you are not eligible. 

If you have been made redundant after February 28, or even if you left a job after that date, you could be reemployed under furlough if your employer is willing to do so.  Otherwise you will have to claim unemployment.  

Gatwick's North Terminal has shut with the South Terminal operating from 2pm and 10pm to cut costs, meaning most of the airport's 2,500 staff will be furloughed this week

Gatwick's North Terminal has shut with the South Terminal operating from 2pm and 10pm to cut costs, meaning most of the airport's 2,500 staff will be furloughed this week

Gatwick’s North Terminal has shut with the South Terminal operating from 2pm and 10pm to cut costs, meaning most of the airport’s 2,500 staff will be furloughed this week

Can I be furloughed if I’m sick? 

If you’re fallen ill and in the meantime your employer has had to shut down, you should first get statutory sick pay first, but can be furloughed after this. 

Those who are self-isolating because of coronavirus can also be placed on furlough. 

People who are ‘shielding’ and are vulnerable to potential severe illness caused by the coronavirus, can also be placed on furlough. 

At the moment, employees can be furloughed from a minimum of three weeks up to three months, although the Government may look to extend that if needed. 

‘I won’t be able to save any money for the next few months’

James Mooney is a medical claims assessor at a medical insurance company based in Surrey. He was furloughed this week which means he’s had to put a hold on saving to buy his first home.

He said: ‘I was furloughed on Monday but we were told last week some changes were going to be made in response to the coronavirus situation so it wasn’t that much of a surprise.

‘Essentially half the team has been furloughed while the other half, who have been employed the longest, will continue working from home. 

‘I currently rent a flat with my girlfriend while we save up to buy our own place. Fortunately she is still working full time but with my 20 per cent pay cut, we can just about pay for the rent, bills and food.

‘We’re going to have to hold off buying new furniture and I won’t be able to save any money for the next few months. I haven’t done all the maths but looking at it quickly I think we should be fine.’

Which businesses can apply?

Any company with employees can apply, including charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.  

However, the Government does not expect many public sector organisations to apply, as ‘the majority of public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak’.  

Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to the coronavirus outbreak are not expected to furlough staff. 

Employers can furlough staff for a minimum of three weeks and are not allowed to rotate employees on furlough. 

In order to access the scheme, businesses need to change the status of their employees to furlough workers and submit the information to HMRC.  

HMRC are currently working to set up a system for reimbursing companies. 

‘I’d like to think I will go back eventually’

Primary school teaching assistant Dawn Harrison from Hertfordshire was furloughed on 30 March, ten days after Boris Johnson announced schools would be closing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  

She said: ‘I’d never heard the term furlough before but after everything that’s happened and then with schools closing for everyone but the children of key workers, I knew it was coming for me. 

‘I received an email on the morning of 30 March telling all staff at the primary school that furloughing was the next step and those who would be sent home would be called.

‘I received the call later that day. The headmaster was very compassionate and reassuring and I know it wouldn’t have been a nice call to have to make.

‘I’m ok with the situation for the time being and am trying to remain positive but that may change if we’re in the same situation in June.

‘I am fortunate that this hasn’t had much of a financial impact yet but I am concerned about what may happen to my husband, who works in the airline industry.

‘I’d like to think I will return as the schools will have to eventually go back. If being furloughed will save the school and my job, then it’ll be worth it.’  

I have been furloughed, can I go and find a temporary job to earn extra money elsewhere?

You can do other work to earn extra money while furloughed but you should check with your employer first.

There may be something in your contract that says you cannot do this, or that you have to officially ask if you can and they could say no. If you are struggling financially, make sure that you mention this in your request.

The official Government line is that if your existing employment contract allows then you are free to seek another job while on furlough and your 80 per cent furlough pay will not be affected.

Obviously, if your employer is topping up your furlough pay, then asking if you can do work elsewhere to earn extra money is a tricky issue.

 

 

 

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Princess Cruises employee films coronavirus parody video on board

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A Princess Cruises employee has been filmed in a parody music video mocking the coronavirus outbreak that has killed at least eight cruise ship passengers in Australia.

Rhys William Clayton is a dancer and entertainer for Princess Cruises, which owns the COVID-19-stricken Ruby Princess ship that is anchored off the coast of NSW.   

In a two and half minute music video shared on social media on Tuesday, the employee is seen making light of the health crisis in a bid to pass the time on board the Emerald Princess.

The clip, titled ‘I Will Survive (COVID-19 edition)’, is shot throughout the deck, cabins, swimming pool and dining area of the empty ship while he sings to the melody of the hit Gloria Gaynor song.  

‘At first I was afraid, I’d be quarantined. Never expected to be sitting here on Deck 16’, the song begins, showing Clayton in bed dressed in protective equipment. 

In one lyric, he pokes at fun at those stuck in isolation singing, ‘Do you think I’m bothered, you should have care more for yourself.

Rhys William Clayton, a dancer and entertainer for Princess Cruises, was filmed in a parody music video about the coronavirus outbreak

Rhys William Clayton, a dancer and entertainer for Princess Cruises, was filmed in a parody music video about the coronavirus outbreak

Rhys William Clayton, a dancer and entertainer for Princess Cruises, was filmed in a parody music video about the coronavirus outbreak 

The cruise ship employee is seen making light of the crisis in a bid to pass the time on board

The cruise ship employee is seen making light of the crisis in a bid to pass the time on board

The cruise ship employee is seen making light of the crisis in a bid to pass the time on board

He sings to the melody of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, saying he is 'living the dream'

He sings to the melody of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, saying he is 'living the dream'

He sings to the melody of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, saying he is ‘living the dream’ 

‘Oh no, not I. Living the dream.

‘I’m still on here with food and beer and I’ve got pizza and ice cream.’   

The video has been viewed more than 15,000 times and has received over 130 responses, many praising Clayton for providing comic relief amid the pandemic.   

Clayton's video has been viewed more than 15,000 times

Clayton's video has been viewed more than 15,000 times

Clayton’s video has been viewed more than 15,000 times 

Some viewers however, criticised the song due to the nature of the lyrics. 

‘Now stuck at home like every other fool?? This is so disrespectful!’ one woman commented. 

Another woman took issue with the man appearing to having a great time while others are stuck in quarantine.

‘This is giving the world the wrong impression. Were you not turned away from getting vital supplies? You do not have all the food and drinks you are showing here. If you want help from other countries, they need to know you are not having the time of your life’, she said. 

In a response, Clayton said the video was intended to make people laugh and smile during a hard time.  

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the employee and Princess Cruises for comment. 

The video has been viewed more than 15,000 times and has received over 130 responses, many praising him for providing comic relief amid the pandemic

The video has been viewed more than 15,000 times and has received over 130 responses, many praising him for providing comic relief amid the pandemic

The video has been viewed more than 15,000 times and has received over 130 responses, many praising him for providing comic relief amid the pandemic

Some viewers took issue with the man appearing to have a great time on board while others are stuck in quarantine

Some viewers took issue with the man appearing to have a great time on board while others are stuck in quarantine

Some viewers took issue with the man appearing to have a great time on board while others are stuck in quarantine

In one lyric, he pokes fun at those in self isolation while he's 'chilling here' on deck of the ship

In one lyric, he pokes fun at those in self isolation while he's 'chilling here' on deck of the ship

In one lyric, he pokes fun at those in self isolation while he’s ‘chilling here’ on deck of the ship

Clayton, along with other Princess Cruise crew members, has been stuck on board the Emerald Princess, which is now anchored in Freeport, Bahamas. 

The vessel was forced to cut its voyage short last month after the cruise liner announced it was suspending global operations of its 18 cruise ships for 60 days due to the coronavirus crisis.  

The move came after multiple cruise ships from the cruise liner’s fleet began to report outbreaks among passengers and crew.

A number of Princess cruise ships are now anchored at various locations around the world with their crew onboard as they await permission to dock. 

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 5,315

New South Wales: 2,389

Victoria: 1,085

Queensland: 873

Western Australia: 400 

South Australia: 385  

Australian Capital Territory: 87

Tasmania: 74

Northern Territory: 22

TOTAL CASES:  5,315 

DEAD: 26

Cruise ships have been a large source of coronavirus infections around the world, including Australia, where at least five passengers who contracted the disease on board a vessel have died.  

The national death toll climbed to 26 on Friday, with nine deaths among people who had been on cruises. 

In NSW, an investigation is underway over the Ruby Princess fiasco, in which infected passengers were allowed ti disembark in Sydney before their test results were known. 

Six passengers have since died after contracting the illness on the ship.

Staff from Aspen Medical and NSW Health boarded the Ruby Princess cruise ship on Thursday afternoon to test and treat sick crew members.

Mr Fuller says police are now waiting to hear how many of the 1,100 crew on-board need to be evacuated into NSW hospitals.

‘If there is a couple of hundred people infected and they can’t handle anymore then we will have to deal with that,’ he told reporters on Friday.

Authorities are concerned infected crew could overwhelm NSW hospitals if even a small proportion contract the virus.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in NSW has reached 2389, with 91 new cases in the past 24 hours.

The Ruby Princess has become a major source of COVID-19 spread in Australia, with six passengers dying since the cruise ship docked in Sydney on March 19 (pictured)

The Ruby Princess has become a major source of COVID-19 spread in Australia, with six passengers dying since the cruise ship docked in Sydney on March 19 (pictured)

The Ruby Princess has become a major source of COVID-19 spread in Australia, with six passengers dying since the cruise ship docked in Sydney on March 19 (pictured)

The state’s coronavirus death toll is 10 and the national death toll is 25.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Mr Fuller will lead an investigation into the Ruby Princess fiasco.

‘I’ll let the police commissioner get to the bottom of it. I don’t think it helps anybody to point fingers and play the blame game,’ she told reporters on Friday.

‘Let him do his investigations and let him tell us who is responsible.’

Mr Fuller has in recent days urged cruise ships floating off the coast of NSW to go home rather than risk flooding the state with new infections.

Two Carnival ships are currently on their way out of NSW and five Royal Caribbean ships will refuel in Sydney before leaving on Sunday.

The Ruby Princess will remain off Sydney for the time being while crew are assessed by doctors.

More than 450 cases of coronavirus in NSW have been linked to cruise ships, including 337 from the Ruby Princess. 

LYRICS TO I WILL SURVIVE (COVID-19 EDITION) 

At first I was afraid I’d be quarantined. Never expected to be sitting here on Deck 16.

And so I spent all of my time with my hands stuck in the sink

I sanitised and I learnt how to stay alive so now I’m back

I’m in the pool.

I’m here on board not stuck at home like every other fool

You would’ve washed your filthy hands

You could’ve coughed into your sleeve

If you’d have known for just one second you’d be catching this disease

Now you can’t go out the door

Don’t you dare now, oh unless it’s to the store

Weren’t you the one who tried to empty all the shelves

Do you think I’m bothered, you should have care more for yourself

Oh no, not I. Living the dream

I’m still on here with food and beer and I’ve got pizza and ice cream

I’ve got burgers in my hand; movies on demand

A balcony, a balcony

Hey, hey 

It took all the strength I had not to hug a friend

And now I’m sitting here just waiting for this mess to end

While you spend oh so many nights just feeling sorry for yourself.

I’m flying high and when I look up to the sky

I see sunsets and I forget

Oh you’re isolated I’m chilling here with DJ sets

So if you feel like dropping in and just expect me to you

Just remember I’m not interested in catching this new flu

So you can’t go out of the door

Don’t you dare now, who unless it’s too the store

Weren’t you the one who tried to empty all the shelves

Do you think i’m bothered, you should have care more yourself, yeah

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Coronavirus update: COVID-19 could be controlled by end of April, respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan says

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The global COVID-19 pandemic could be under control by the end of the month.

That’s what Zhong Nanshan, China’s top respiratory disease expert and government advisor, has said.

“With every country taking aggressive and effective measures, I believe the pandemic can be brought under control,” Zhong told Shenzhen Television broadcast on Wednesday.

“My estimate is around late April.”

Zhong is no stranger to the pandemic as he leads a Chinese team of experts that advise the government on managing the outbreak.

File image of Nanshan Zhong at a press conference in China.
File image of Nanshan Zhong at a press conference in China. Credit: TPG/Getty Images

He also isn’t the only one forecasting imminent relief as the US Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said hospitals were likely to face its peak around April 20, reported the South China Morning Post.

Zhong says the best thing everyone can do is stay home, to avoid a second wave of coronavirus next spring.

File image of a courier riding down a deserted Market Street in the CBD in Sydney.
File image of a courier riding down a deserted Market Street in the CBD in Sydney. Credit: DEAN LEWINS/AAPIMAGE

“Countries, including the US, have adopted aggressive and effective measures … [and] the most primitive and effective measure is making people stay at home,” he said.

“After late April, no one can say for sure if there will be another virus outbreak next spring or if it will disappear with warmer weather … though the virus’ activity will certainly diminish in higher temperatures.”

While Zhong’s theory relies heavily on the warmer weather, Australia’s health system is bracing for cooler weather and the associated flu season.

Australian concerns

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that life as we know it will not return for at least six months as global leaders race to find a coronavirus vaccine.

“We are one of the few, if only, countries that have been talking about the coronavirus pandemic as being one that we are going to have to live with for at least the next six months,” he told media on Thursday.

In the video below: Scott Morrison says a vaccine will allow life to go back to normal

Prime Minister speaks about how long he expects Australians to be locked down

Morrison told Seven’s The Latest that while many states have managed to “push the curve down”, ultimately, “there needs to be a vaccine”.

“And there are some promising signs in a number of these, and we’ll continue to work with other countries along those lines.”

“A vaccine ultimately enables everybody to go back to life as it was,” he said.

More on 7NEWS.com.au

“In the meantime, we’d have to be careful that if we are ever to ease restrictions that we just wouldn’t then see a rush on the virus again and our worst fears realised.”

COVID-19 has infected more than 1,000,000 people globally and killed more than 51,400 people.

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