Race to stop coronavirus in Asia's 'biggest slum' in Mumbai

Race to stop coronavirus rampaging through Asia’s ‘biggest slum’ in Mumbai after two deaths from the bug in squalid shantytown where 500,000 live in area the size of Hyde Park as authorities turn India’s trains into hospitals

  • Two deaths and third infection recorded in huge Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India
  • Police barricaded parts of slum after two men in their 50s died with coronavirus
  • Third case is a doctor who lived and worked in the neighbourhood of 500,000
  • Up to 20,000 old train carriages converted into isolation wards for patients 
  • So far India has recorded 4,288 infections and 117 deaths, official figures state

Authorities in India are battling to stop coronavirus ripping though a vast slum in Mumbai with a population of more than half a million people after two fatalities from the virus were recorded.

Indian police barricaded parts of the area, which is one of Asia’s biggest slums, after two coronavirus deaths, including a 56-year-old man who passed away on Wednesday and a 51-year-old 24 hours later.

India so far has largely escaped the pandemic with 4,288 infections and 117 deaths, according to official figures, but the two deaths and a third infection in the Dharavi neighbourhood of Mumbai have set alarm bells ringing.

Authorities set up eight ‘containment zones’ in the area, home to as many as a million people living and working in cramped tin-roofed shanties, flats and small factories – made famous by the Oscar-winning 2008 film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

The Dharavi slum in Mumbai today during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus

Residents sitting on a road adjacent to an open drain inside the Dharavi slum today. The neighbourhood has a population of more than 500,000

In response under-pressure Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to dispel ‘darkness and uncertainty’ with a national light show that saw many light candles and stand on their balconies last night.

As part of the country’s response to the crisis, Modi took the unprecedented move of suspending passenger trains across the country until April 14.

The suspension was designed to halt the spread of the virus, but now authorities have converted as many as 20,000 old train carriages into isolation wards for patients.

It was the first time in 167 years that Asia’s oldest rail network had been suspended.

The network, which is the world’s fourth-largest rail operator and India’s biggest employer, already operates 125 hospitals across the nation, so has the expertise to expand into mobile beds. 

Dharavi has a population larger than Manchester living in an area smaller than Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

Police on Friday were not letting anyone in or out of the cordoned areas.

Authorities in India turned trains into temporary coronavirus hospitals (left and right) as suspended the country’s rail network for the first time in 167 years 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted an image of him in New Delhi lighting an oil lamp to mark the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

The first death from coronavirus in Dharavi, on Wednesday, was a 56-year-old man with no travel history or contact with anyone known to be infected, although he previously had a renal complaint, officials said.

The second fatality – a 51-year-old sanitation worker living in a different area of Mumbai, but who worked in Dharavi – died in hospital on Thursday.

The third case is a doctor who lived and worked in the neighbourhood, who on Friday was receiving treatment.

Experts say the coronavirus could spread like wildfire in slums where social distancing and self-isolation are all but impossible. 

Today Modi and other top government figures announced they will take a 30 per cent salary cut this year.  

Modi has imposed a three-week lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, but it has left millions without jobs and many of the more vulnerable sections of society struggling for food and shelter. 

People standing on their balconies and lighting candles after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to Indians to turn out their lights for nine minutes at 9pm last night

To mark the coronavirus fight, many residents lit candles and lamps on their balconies as a show of unity, seen (above) in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi

The federal cabinet has approved a decree under which Modi, along with President Ram Nath Kovind, state governors and members of parliament, will take the salary cut as part of their social responsibility, cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.  

The nationwide lockdown on India’s 1.3 billion people has been far from smooth.

Tens of millions of migrant workers were suddenly left jobless when the economy ground to a halt. 

Around half a million are thought to have attempted to travel back to their home villages, many on foot.

Some have been crammed onto government buses and relief camps with little regard to infection risks.

Police have been criticised for using heavy-handed tactics to enforce the lockdown, including by the UN rights office.

Residents queuing up to collect milk in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai today during the government-imposed nationwide lockdown

Footage shared online of a group of migrants being hosed down with chemicals provoked outrage.

Dharavi’s population density is thought to be 270,000 per square kilometre, according to the World Economic Forum.

The slum’s population density is 60 times greater than London. 

Resident Mobinuddin Shaikh, 51, whose home is opposite from where one of the patients lived, said people had been largely ignoring India’s 21-day lockdown imposed on March 25, but they were now panicking.

He said: ‘We are a family of five. We use communal toilets or have to get water from public taps. Only God can save us.’

Millions responded to Modi’s cal for unity by lighting up the night sky with candles and lamps.

Modi tweeted at the time of the vigil: ‘Salute to the light of the lamp which brings auspiciousness, health and prosperity, which destroys negative feelings.’

Critics have dismissed the event as a stunt, arguing it distracted from the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. 

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Most New Yorkers worried about financial fallout from coronavirus: poll

ALBANY — The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted heavy financial stress and feelings of job insecurity on New Yorkers, a new poll shows.

Siena College found that 77 percent of eligible voters are at least somewhat concerned about the virus and serious financial fallout from it, according to a survey released Monday.

Paying monthly bills was a concern for 51 percent of respondents, compared to 45 percent who weren’t worried.

Younger folks felt the pinch more, with 61 percent of people ages 18 to 34, and 65 percent of the 35-39 set, saying they’re seriously concerned about meeting monthly financial obligations.

Along ethnic lines, that anxiety is highest among Latinos surveyed, 60 percent of whom registered financial concerns. Forty-nine percent of African Americans and 41 percent of whites said they were worried.

That’s as 58 percent of respondents said they are worried their retirement savings or investments will lose their value, compared to 38 percent who were not concerned.

And 37 percent of New Yorkers are also anxious they will be laid off, while 58 percent said they are not worried.

Of those anxious about losing their jobs, 66 percent are very concerned.

Last month’s jobs report showed the US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, but that doesn’t account for almost 10 million additional jobless claims workers filed within the last two weeks of that month.

Plus, millions of unemployed New Yorkers trying to apply for unemployment with the state Labor Department have been met with difficulties like dropped calls and the website’s constant crashing.

Now, 41 percent of New Yorkers even said they are concerned about being able to afford food.

Meanwhile, 95 percent of New Yorkers are either under mandatory or self quarantine, or cutting back on social interactions.

“The coronavirus crisis has turned life upside down for nearly all New Yorkers,” Siena Poll Director Don Levy said.

“With so many quarantining or keeping their distance from others, 53 percent of New Yorkers, over 60 percent of younger residents, say that ‘not being with other people is making them lonely’ and 60 percent of all New Yorkers, 66 percent of NYC residents, say that ‘if it wasn’t for the ability to see and talk to others via the internet, they think they’d be going crazy,” he added.

The pandemic is also negatively impacting individual mental health, as 68 percent said their anxiety level has risen.

However, 75 percent admitted they appreciate extra time to spend with loved ones and 76 percent said they are finding enjoyment in the small things more than ever before.

The survey polled 400 people from March 30 to April 2, with a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

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Hope for UK as Italy unveils plan to end one-month lockdown after daily deaths fall to lowest in two weeks – The Sun

ITALY has unveiled a plan to end its month-long lockdown after daily deaths fell to their lowest in two weeks.

The country has been the hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe, with nearly 129,000 confirmed cases and 15,887 deaths.

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But yesterday saw Italy report its lowest daily Covid-19 death toll since March 19, at 525, after dipping below Britain’s for the first time the day before.

The number of patients in badly stretched intensive care units also fell for a second day running, while new cases saw their smallest rise in five days, increasing by 4,316.

And in a sign of hope for the UK, Italian health chiefs are now discussing how to go about lifting lockdown restrictions under “phase two” of the country’s coronavirus strategy.

Silvio Brusaferro, head of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s top health institute, said: “The curve has reached a plateau and begun to descend.

“It is a result that we have to achieve day after day.

“If this is confirmed, we need to start thinking about the second phase and keep down the spread of this disease.”

There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions to live with the virus.”

Health Minister Roberto Speranza outlined a series of measures, including more testing and a beefed up local health system, intended to allow a gradual easing of restrictions.

“There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions to live with the virus,” at least until a vaccine is developed, he told La Repubblica.

The national lockdown, strictly limiting people’s movements and freezing all non-essential economic activity, will officially last until at least April 13.

But it is widely expected to be extended, and Speranza said it was too early to say when it could be lifted.

The minister said he had issued a note outlining five principles around which the government planned to manage the so-called “phase two” of the emergency – when lockdown restrictions begin to be eased but before a full return to normal conditions.

He said social distancing would have to remain, with wider use of individual protection devices such as face masks.

And local health systems would be strengthened, to allow a faster and more efficient treatment of suspected Covid-19 cases, he added.

Testing and “contact tracing” would also be extended, including with the use of smartphone apps and other technology, while a network of hospitals dedicated solely to treating corona patients would be set up, he said.

But despite the light at the end of the tunnel, officials were keen for Italians not to get complacent.


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Angelo Borelli, head of the Civil Protection department, told a daily briefing yesterday: “Don’t lower our guard, stay at home.”

There were also positive signs elsewhere in Europe over the weekend.

France reported a slowing daily death toll over the last 24 hours, and Germany its fourth straight day with a drop in new confirmed cases.

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New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer axes Jeremy Corbyn’s hard left Shadow Cabinet allies and replaces them with moderates – The Sun

NEW Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer axed Jeremy Corbyn’s hard left allies and replaced them with moderates.

Diane Abbott lost her post as Shadow Home Secretary and Mr Corbyn’s closest ally John McDonnell was replaced as Shadow Chancellor by Anneliese Dodds.

Sir Keir handed a top job to one of his leadership rivals, Lisa Nandy — who was appointed Shadow Foreign Secretary, replacing Emily Thornberry.

But Rebecca Long Bailey, who Sir Keir beat into second place in the leadership election, was left sweating after not bagging one of the top jobs.

Sources close to Sir Keir insisted Ms Long Bailey would be given a front-bench role.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, another rising star in the party, was given the coveted Shadow Home Secretary job.

Like Ms Dodds, he is seen as from the “soft left” wing of the party.

Moderate Rachel Reeves has been brought back as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, replacing Jon Trickett.

New deputy leader Angela Rayner was also appointed the Labour Party chairman, a key role in co-ordinating election strategy.

Sir Keir said he wanted all factions of the party to serve in his shadow cabinet and stressed that he wanted to bring an end to whether people were Blairites or Corbynistas.

He said: “We are living through a national emergency.

“Under my leadership, the Labour Party will always act in the country’s interest to save lives and protect livelihoods.

“That will be the number one priority of my Shadow Cabinet.”

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Thousands of NY COVID patients are being treated with anti-malarial drug

As many as 4,000 seriously ill coronavirus patients in New York are being treated with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, state health officials say.

President Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential life-saver, although there is no widespread scientific evidence to date showing it helps battle COVID-19.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month said healthcare providers in the state would be using the drug in combination with the antibiotic Zithromax, or azithromycin, for some last-ditch cases, based on potentially promising research.

“Time is of the essence,’’ said Albany University Public Health Dean David Holtgrave, who is on the state’s research team, in a statement.

A state Health Department official said the DOH has shipped doses of hydroxychloroquine to 56 hospitals across New York, distributing enough “to treat 4,000 patients to date.”

Patients have received doses as part of four- or 10-day regimens, officials said.

The University of Albany’s School of Public Health is observing the drug’s impact on the patients, and its preliminary study could come back in weeks instead of the usual months, officials said.

There are also clinical trials being conducted to see whether the drug can help block transmission.

NYU Langone Medical School is conducting a random trial with a $9.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Currently, there is no proven way to prevent COVID-19 after being exposed,” said Anna Bershteyn, an assistant professor with the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and the study’s co-principal investigator.

“If hydroxychloroquine provides protection, then it could be an essential tool for fighting this pandemic. If it doesn’t, then people should avoid unnecessary risks from taking the drug.”

The RX has long been used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Its potential side effects include everything from fatal heart arrhythmia to vision loss, ear-ringing, vomiting, mood changes, skin rashes and hair loss.

Health officials are treading cautiously, saying they don’t anticipate hydroxychloroquine will be a “miracle drug” against the coronavirus — but the studies are worth the gamble.

In terms of the NYU clinical trial regarding prevention, researchers are enrolling 2,000 adult volunteers at six sites.

They are recruiting people who lack any COVID-19 symptoms but have been in close contact with others who have a confirmed or pending diagnosis.

On a random basis, the trial participants will receive either hydroxychloroquine or a placebo pill — vitamin C — every day for two weeks.

Each day during the 14-day period and then again on Day 28, the participants will swab their nasal passages and send the samples to researchers to detect potential COVID-19 infection.

“If everything goes as planned, the eight-week trial could provide answers by summer on whether a preventive dose of the drug is safe and effective,’’ NYU Langone said in a release.

“If so, the strategy could give health officials a much needed boost in slowing person-to-person transmission.”

The federal Food and Drug Administration granted emergency-use authorization to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients amid the pandemic.

There has been anecdotal evidence — including from China — that the drug help patients clear the virus sooner.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, asked recently whether the drug was considered a treatment for the novel coronavirus, said, “The answer is no … The evidence that you’re talking about … is anecdotal evidence.”

Meanwhile, Northwell Health facilities — including Lenox Hill, Long Island Jewish and Staten Island University hospitals — and Maimonides Medical Center are giving moderately to seriously ill coronavirus patients certain antiviral drugs such as Sarilumab, an IL-6 inhibitor, and Remdesivir, a drug that incorporates itself into the genome.

Northwell has recruited 143 patients for a Sarilumab trial.

Mount Sinai’s-Icahn School of Medicine also is one of 34 institutions nationwide participating in the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. The program seeks blood-plasma donations from recovered coronavirus patients that contain antibodies that can be used to fight the virus in seriously ill patients.

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NYC surgeon reveals workers forced to ration care for non-coronavirus patients

A Columbia University surgeon has described in a heart-wrenching letter how he and other doctors are now being forced to choose which non-coronavirus patients, including infants, deserve medical procedures.

“We have had to make decisions that I personally have never had to contemplate before,” Manhattan Dr. Emile Bacha wrote to friends and coworkers, according to CNN. “We have had to ration care and make decisions about who is considered an urgent or emergent case.”

Bacha — director of pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Washington Heights — said his pediatric-heart-surgery program is down to one operating team, and “only truly life-threatening problems are allowed.”

“We have to decide what to do about endless other cases, such as shunt-dependent infants, children with ventricular septal defects in heart failure, teenagers with bad valves, and so on — all families in need, looking for our help,” Bacha wrote.

The hospital recently gave new guidelines to its workers saying that nurses must focus on coronavirus care, leaving countless other procedures and surgeries to be postponed or canceled.

Across the country, states, have ordered the delay of non-urgent procedures, according to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, in an effort to combat the outbreak.

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Fauci warns Americans to brace for ‘bad week’ as he admits the US is ‘struggling to get coronavirus under control’ – The Sun

WHITE House doctor Anthony Fauci urged Americans to "buckle down" Sunday as he revealed the US is "struggling to get coronavirus under control."

Fauci's comments came as COVID-19 infections topped 325,000 by April 5 with the death toll veering rapidly towards the 10,000 mark.

"I will not say we have it under control, that would be a false statement," he said on CBS' Face The Nation. "We are struggling to get it under control and that's the issue that's at hand right now.

"The thing that's important is that what you see is increases in new cases which then start to flatten out."

Fauci said the real extent of the COVID-related deaths would not be seen straight away.

"The end result of that you don't see for days or weeks down the pipe because, as the cases go down, then you get less hospitalizations, less intensive care, and less death," Fauci said.

"So even though you're getting really an improvement in that the number of new cases are starting to flatten, the deaths will lag by one or two weeks or more.

"We need to be prepared that even though it's clear that mitigation is working, we're still going to see that tail-off of deaths."

Later, President Donald Trump said his administration are "learning much about the Invisible Enemy."

"It is tough and smart, but we are tougher and smarter," he said ahead of his meeting with the Coronavirus Task Force.

"May or may not do a News Conference after the meeting, depending on new information," the president said. "Talks & meetings today are proving promising, but a rough two weeks are coming up!"

Likewise, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week "is going to be our Pearl Harbor on NBC Sunday.

"It’s going to be our 9/11 moment," Adam's said. "It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives."

Urban hubs like New York City and Detroit have been battered by the disease, but clusters have also emerged in rural areas and small towns in Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi.

During his daily White House briefing Saturday, Trump confirmed the country would be entering a "very deadly period" over the next fortnight.

The president said that when coronavirus cases "spring up they hit you like you got hit by a club" as the virus ravages even rural parts of the country.

The US rapidly eclipsed ravaged areas of Europe and China after the killer bug first emerged in Wuhan.

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Prince William ‘gravely concerned’ at lack of support for NHS workers battling coronavirus as his charities offer help – The Sun

PRINCE William has answered an SOS from NHS workers battling Covid-19 after being left “gravely concerned” by the lack of support some are receiving.

William last week ordered aides from his Royal Foundation to hold meetings with a number of charities representing frontline staff.

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His dramatic intervention comes amid growing criticism of the Government’s handling of the crisis.

And we can reveal that the future King has ordered his own charity-arm to come to the rescue by “urgently intensifying” the support they offer.

The Sun understands Wills, 37, is particularly worried about the mental strain many of those working for the NHS are currently suffering.

And both he and wife Kate, 38, are fearful many will need support in the future which is not currently on offer.

Yesterday a Royal source said: “There is a huge amount of work currently going on behind the scenes to support emergency workers which William and Kate are throwing their weight behind.

“Through their Royal Foundation, the Duke and Duchess had always planned to roll out additional support this year to 999 workers.

“But the current crisis has led to William and Kate telling their team to urgently intensify this work.

“Ideas being discussed include awarding grants to charities to enable them to roll out extra services. But William wants to go further. He is keen to try and connect the many different groups working in the field and pull them together under one umbrella through his Foundation.

“The Foundation has held urgent meetings with different organisations and William and Kate are asking to see a plan in place within weeks.”

Details of William’s move to support NHS workers comes after many spoke out during the past seven days about their lack of protective personal equipment.

Nursing unions and charities say the shortage has left the lives of staff at risk.

There has also been widespread criticism over the pace at which testing has been rolled out.

The delays have left hundreds of thousands of NHS workers unable to return to work which has placed greater strain on those in the service.

Healthcare charities have warned about the toll this is having on doctors and nurses battling the virus.

William and Kate have been front and centre in the Royal’s official response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge launched a £5million scheme to help Britain's mental health charities during the coronavirus lockdown.

The couple are urging people to follow Public Health England's latest advice to stay in touch with loved ones via video calls and to start a new hobby.


They have also visited 111 workers, supported a Public Health England initiative and were last week seen offering words of comfort to the colleagues of Amged El-Hawrani – an NHS doctor who died from the virus.

And the Sun exclusively revealed last week Wills is eyeing a potential return to his role as an air ambulance pilot to further help in the fight against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, The Queen has thanked Brits and the NHS for their tireless efforts fighting the virus and promised better times are ahead.

Millions gathered around their TV sets today to hear Her Majesty deliver a stirring address to the nation in the face of the worsening coronavirus crisis.

The 93-year-old monarch, who is in isolation, directly thanked families for obeying stay-at-home guidance and hailed the incredible life-saving NHS heroes.

The Queen echoed WWII forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn as she promised those coping with forced separation from loved-ones "we will meet again".


THE Royal Foundation was established in September 2009 to help Prince William and Prince Harry support their charitable ambitions.

It was intended that the Foundation would be used as the main channel of supporting their charitable grants.

Kate Middleton joined in 2011 and Meghan Markle followed suit when she married Harry in May 2019.

The First Royal Foundation Forum was held in Feburary 2018 with William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan Markle in attendance.

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BRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.

But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?

The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers.

The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.

We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.

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Defense Sec. backs firing of Navy commander who warned about virus outbreak as he had ‘lost faith’ in him – The Sun

SECRETARY of Defense Mark Esper backed the firing of Navy Chief Brett Crozier, who warned about the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly "lost faith" in the commander last week after he sounded the alarm about the deadly virus on the ship.

Esper said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning: “Secretary Modly made a tough decision – a tough call.

"I have full faith and confidence in him, in the Navy leadership and I support their decision."

When asked if military leaders agreed with Modly's decision, Esper said: "I'm not going to comment on our private conversations. You can talk to them separately.

"This is a chain of command issue. It's an issue of trust and confidence in the captain of the ship."

Crozier urged Navy leaders, in a letter sent out last week, for help on the alleged coronavirus plagued ship.

He is now facing disciplinary action and will be "reassigned" according to his superiors, despite the Navy facing a huge backlash over the dismissal.

Also speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Esper said Modly's decision was "based on his view that he lost faith and confidence in the captain based on his action.

“I think it's just another example of how we hold leaders accountable for their actions."

He told CNN's Jaker Tapper an investigation is ongoing.

Esper also explained the Navy's culture "of swiftly and decisively removing captains if they lose confidence in them.”

More than half of the sailors on the ship have been tested and a total of 155 sailors were confirmed to have COVID-19, Esper added.

The news of Crozier's firing came as a video emerged of hundreds of sailors cheering the Captain as he walked off the aircraft carrier on Thursday after being relieved of duties.

Modly told reporters on Thursday that he "lost confidence in [Crozier's] ability to lead that warship."

He said Crozier "was absolutely correct in raising" concerns about Covid-19 but "it was the way in which he did it" that "undermined" the Navy's efforts and "created a little bit of panic on the ship.

But he said the letter was sent outside the chain of command while the Navy was already "fully responding."

He added that Crozier copying as many people as he did on the letter demonstrated "extremely poor judgment," and said: "He did not take care to ensure that it couldn't be leaked."

On Saturday, Donald Trump blasted the much respected and loved commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he was fired for sounding the alarm about coronavirus aboard the vessel in a last-ditch attempt to save his crew.

In a vicious condemnation, the president called the venerated Capt. Crozier's letter "terrible", "all over the place" and "not appropriate", saying he agreed "100 percent" with the ousting.

Trump, who is under heavy fire for his poor response to the coronavirus crisis, said during his COVID-19 press conference: “He wrote a letter. A five-page letter from a captain.

"And the letter was all over the place. That’s not appropriate, I don’t think that’s appropriate.

“It looked terrible what he did. To write a letter. I mean this isn’t a class on literature. This is the captain of a massive ship… he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.”

Crozier, in his letter to Navy leaders, said: “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die," he said. "If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors."

He said that removing all but 10 percent of the ship's 5,000-person crew was a “necessary risk” in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The captain told bosses in Washington that action had to be taken immediately, and that as many crew should be taken off as possible to save lives — so they could be tested, isolated and treated if necessary.

“It will enable the carrier and air wing to get back underway as quickly as possible while ensuring the health and safety of our sailors,” Crozier wrote, adding that finding appropriate isolation for the crew “will require a political solution, but it is the right thing to do.”

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is, like other Navy ships, vulnerable to infectious diseases spreading given its close quarters.

Enlisted sailors and officers are based in separate living quarters — however, they normally grab their food from crowded buffet lines and eat at tables joined end-to-end.

It's not a practical environment to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak on the carrier may be the Navy’s most dramatic, but it tracks an accelerating upward trend across the military.

The Pentagon has since ordered military leaders to stop publicly announcing coronavirus cases among military members in an effort to protect operational security at the U.S.'s global military installations.

More than 120,000 people have since signed a petition calling on the U.S. Navy to reinstate Crozier.

"His actions possibly saved many lives," said the Change.org petition said.

"Although he was fired, his plan to safely remove crew members was still implemented. He is a hero who should be rewarded."

At least 8,503 Americans have died from the illness as of April 5 with hard-hit NYC accounting for more than a quarter of the country's COVID-19 related deaths.

There are now at least 312,245 confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States.

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Wealthy footballers should donate part of their wages to struggling hospices, Health Secretary suggests

WEALTHY footballers should donate a chunk of their wages to struggling hospices, the Health Secretary suggested today.

Matt Hancock said that people should stop rowing and "come together" in this time of crisis.

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He told ITV News this lunchtime that the public would support such a move. And he backed footie stars giving their cash to charities too.

Mr Hancock said: "I've seen that some, for instance footballers, are now making significant donations to charities and I really welcome that, that's exactly what we need to see.

“But instead of having a row about this I think that people should come together and make a contribution.

“The hospices of this country have traditionally been largely funded by charity and charity shops. Those shops have had to close so I'm putting more money – taxpayer's money – into hospices to support them but why don't our footballers?

“I think that is the sort of thing that would go down really well and help bring the country together.”

Mr Hancock has previously warned football clubs that everyone needs to do their bit in the battle against the virus, which has claimed thousands of lives across the coutry so far.

Hospices have warned that they are rapidly losing cash thanks to the coronavirus outbreak hitting their funding.

Charity shops have had to close and donations are drying up as Brits who have lost their jobs tighten their purse strings.

Some hospices have even warned they are running out of basic medical and cleaning supplies.

Ministers have said charities can claim for Government loans, but beyond that hasn't set out any help specifically for them.

Manchester United stars have already donated a huge chunk to their local NHS – paid for by a 30 per cent cut to their wages.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also organising a crisis fund that is set to raise millions for the the NHS – enlisting the help of the Premier League's other skippers.

Players and owners are trapped in a stand-off for how to deal with their finances at the moment.

Footie stars say they want to help the NHS, but owners are said to want them to take the cut to help prop up their own clubs, who face losing millions as the League has been put on hold.

Player wages account for about 60 per cent of total Prem income.

One star is understood to have told a crunch meeting last week: "All the clubs are owned by rich people — why do we have to do anything for them?"

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Clubs including Tottenham have said they will put some non-playing staff on furlough leave – despite being millions of pounds in profit.

Famous faces all around the world are already  contributing to the fight against coronavirus with some football stars already pledging millions of pounds.

Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola, who have both made donations of over £900,000 to hospitals in Spain and Argentina while Cristiano Ronaldo has made provisions for medical equipment and intensive care units.

Brazilian ace Neymar has been revealed as the man behind a £770,000 donation to Unicef and a local charity, while a mystery Liverpool player has given £25,000 to a children's hospital on Merseyside.

And both Brighton boss Graham Potter and Bournemouth's Eddie Howe taking voluntary pay cuts.

Today Cardiff City winger Joshua Murphy and his brother Jacob (on loan to Sheffield Wednesday) have been delivering food packages to the elderly in their community in Wales.


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