Depth: 24 km
Distances:883 km NW of Los Angeles, United States / pop: 3,793,000 / local time: 15:08:20.3 2020-03-18
315 km NW of Sacramento, United States / pop: 467,000 / local time: 15:08:20.3 2020-03-18
58 km S of Eureka, United States / pop: 27,200 / local time: 15:08:20.3 2020-03-18
32 km S of Ferndale, United States / pop: 1,400 / local time: 15:08:20.3 2020-03-18
Coronavirus: British Army puts 20,000 troops on standby to deal with pandemic crisis #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Army #Military #pandemic #quarantine
As many as 150 troops are learning to drive oxygen tankers to supply hospitals treating coronavirus patients. They will form part of the new “Covid Support Force”
The Ministry of Defence has put 20,000 troops on standby to deal with the coronavirus crisis, it has been reported this evening.
As many as 150 troops are learning to drive oxygen tankers to supply hospitals, according to The Times.
The troops will form part of the new “Covid Support Force”.
Today the death toll in the UK reached 104 with that figure expected to rise in the coming days and weeks.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our Armed Forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including Covid-19.
“The unique flexibility and dedication of the services means that we are able to provide assistance across the whole of society in this time of need.
“From me downwards the entirety of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are dedicated to getting the nation through this global pandemic.”
Major General Charlie Stickland Assistance Chief of the Defence Staff Operations and Commitments said: “Putting more personnel at a higher state of readiness and having our Reserves on standby gives us greater flexibility to support public services as and when they require our assistance.
“The COVID Support Force, potentially drawing upon our highly skilled scientists at Dstl or oxygen tanker drivers, will form part of a whole force effort to support the country during its time of need.
“Our servicemen and women are committed to maintain our operational output and delivering any support the Government requires.”
The news comes hours after it is said that government officials are braced for coronavirus “lockdown” measures to be ramped up in London within days.
Boris Johnson tonight did not rule out putting London on lockdown – and said “further and faster measures” may be needed.
Whitehall sources today told the Mirror lockdown-style measures in London – which Boris Johnson admitted is “a few weeks ahead” of the rest of the country – are “imminent”.
A senior Downing Street source vehemently denied anything had been decided.
Britain’s government set out emergency legislation on Tuesday to tackle the growing outbreak, with measures including giving powers to police andimmigration officers to detain people and put them in isolation to protect public health.
“The new measures we will be introducing in the Emergency Coronavirus Bill this week will only be used when it is absolutely necessary and must be timed to maximise their effectiveness,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement.
The legislation, which also includes measures to allow recently retired National Health Service staff and social workers to return to work, will be brought before parliament tomorrow.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk
Depth: 10 km
Distances:494 km SE of Surabaya, Indonesia / pop: 2,375,000 / local time: 00:45:38.0 2020-03-19
265 km S of Denpasar, Indonesia / pop: 406,000 / local time: 01:45:38.0 2020-03-19
249 km S of Jimbaran, Indonesia / pop: 1,800 / local time: 01:45:38.0 2020-03-19
Coronavirus: Italy has highest daily deaths with 475 fatalities #COVID19 #coronavirus #Italy #pandemic #quarantine #emergency
Italy has had its highest number of deaths from coronavirus in a day with 475 more fatalities.
The deaths in the last 24 hours brings the country’s total to 2,978.
The hardest hit nation outside China also had a large rise in coronavirus cases, with 4,207 confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total to 35,713.
Courtesy of Sky News
Coronavirus: UK schools to close from Friday until further notice #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic #quarantine
Schools across the UK will close from Friday until further notice, the education secretary has announced.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Gavin Williamson said: “I want to provide parents, students and staff with the certainty they need.
“After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice.
“This will be for all children, except for those of key workers and children who are most vulnerable.”
Earlier, it was announced that Scotland and Wales would be closing all schools by Friday because of coronavirus.
The Welsh government said all schools will close for an early Easter break by Friday at the latest, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scottish schools will also close by the end of the week.
Mr Johnson’s government had resisted calls to close schools, because NHS workers would be among those who may need to stay home and look after their children.
But teachers, head teachers and unions have warned that many schools are so short-staffed that they are struggling to remain open.
The NASUWT, which represents teachers and headteachers, has warned of a “rising sense” of panic in the education sector over COVID-19 and said on Tuesday a lack of advice was creating “chaos and confusion”.
Chris Edwards, headteacher of Brighton Hill Community School in Basingstoke, told Sky News earlier: “I feel like occasionally I am putting staff in harm’s way asking them to teach in crowded classrooms.
“Equally for the students, they’ve got to be our number one priority – at the end of the day we are here for the students and we always will be and if we are told that it stays open, we will continue to stay open, if we feel that’s what’s best for the welfare of the children.
“This is where many of them feel safest, and that’s a big responsibility.”
Courtesy of Sky News