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Dr Hilary Jones brands coronavirus pregnancy style test ‘unachievable’

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Dr Hilary Jones has branded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new pregnancy style coronavirus test ‘unachievable’.

Just last night, the PM held a virtual conference where he explained the government are working on a new Covid-19 test which will deliver results in less that 20 minutes.

He told the nation that the government is hoping to increase the testing capacity in the UK to 500,000 a day by the end of October.

However, when appearing on Good Morning Britain today, Dr Hilary opened up on how he is wary about the new plans.

‘What all governments around the world are hoping for is a rapid test that gives you a reliable answer in 20 minutes or less that is the holy grail,’ he stated.

‘We need to know that these tests are as reliable as the ones we are using in the Test and Trace.’

Dr Hilary Jones brands Boris Johnson’s new pregnancy style test ‘unachievable’ (Picture: ITV)

The expert went on: ‘We have got problems with that system already, it would be great if we had a rapid test so people will know if they’re infectious in 20 minutes or not, but the technology is not yet there.

‘We need to know that it can be that reliable otherwise it could be misleading and potentially harmful.

‘If we’re going to be doing 10million tests a day, where are all these people going to come from carrying out these tests and processing them in the labs?

Boris Johnson plans to get out 500,000 tests by October (Picture: PA)

‘It is such a huge ask and I don’t think the experts believe it is achievable even by next spring, it’s a massive undertaking.’

Susanna Reid, who was hosting the show alongside Adil Ray, questioned Dr Hilary on the pregnancy style testing kits and Mr Johnson’s ‘Operation Moonshoot’, which would not need to go through labs.

He said: ‘We haven’t yet got the technology that proves it works and even if we did and had these tests available at sporting events where people are screened before going into the event who is going to…

‘The logistics of that are so immense and so mind-blowing that it would cost an estimated £100 billion to do this a year, the same we spend almost on the NHS, £130 billion.

‘It is actually unachievable.’

Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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MORE: Even Dr Hilary Jones is confused by Boris Johnson’s rule of six as he tries to explain change in restrictions

MORE: Kate Garraway won’t see husband Derek Draper on 15th wedding anniversary: ‘It’s a tough day’

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Allison Hanes: Another pint and a COVID test, please

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Walking down a street in the Plateau this week, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation of the two young men behind me.

They were talking about their COVID-19 test results, which were negative, thankfully, given how quickly they approached and overtook me on the narrow sidewalk as my dog stopped abruptly to sniff a tree. They were also planning their next outing with friends. Whether to a bar or someone’s house, I didn’t quite catch, as they drifted out of earshot.

Since Quebec entered the latter stages of deconfinement, reopening bars and permitting indoor gatherings of up to 50 people in places like cinemas and theatres, people of all ages have been making up for the long months of isolation.

Not surprisingly, young people have been especially eager. Perhaps a little too eager, according to an analysis by my colleague. Health reporter Aaron Derfel recently showed those in the 20- to 29-year-old demographic are fuelling an increase in new COVID-19 cases in Quebec, mainly through community transmission. While the daily overall tally dipped into double digits during late June and early July, it has climbed back to about 100 or so in the last week, with 109 cases reported Tuesday.

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Abu Dhabi permits people with negative COVID-19 test to enter emirate

Abu Dhabi will allow people to enter the emirate if they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the previous 48 hours, the local government media office said on Monday, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, has had a ban on people entering since June 2. It eased some restrictions a week ago to allow movement between its cities for residents.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates will partially reopen mosques across the country starting July 1, with a reduced capacity of 30%, the spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said on Monday.

Saif Al Dhaheri said that mosques will remain closed for Friday prayers, but some will be open at other times while those located in industrial areas, shopping malls and public parks will stay closed for now.

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Test your knowledge by answering the questions three Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? winners aced – without cheating – The Sun

COUGHING Major Charles Ingram cheated his way to the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? jackpot but YOU could win it fair and square – could you not?

ITV’s three-part drama Quiz, recreating Ingram’s con on the ITV gameshow in 2001, and the ensuing court case, closed tonight with Matthew Macfadyen in the lead role and Michael Sheen as host Chris Tarrant.

 Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen starred as Coughing Major Charles Ingram and Chris Tarrant in ITV drama Quiz


Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen starred as Coughing Major Charles Ingram and Chris Tarrant in ITV drama QuizCredit: ITV

Here, we see if you have what it might take to win the £1million payout with your grey matter alone.

Five people have done that, with no foul play, on the show hosted by Tarrant from 1998 until 2014.

Emily Fairbairn reveals the questions three of them aced – Judith Keppel, David Edwards and Pat Gibson – for you to test your skill against.

And no coughing, please.

Judith Keppel

GARDEN designer Judith was the show’s first winner, in 2000, and has starred on BBC quiz Eggheads since 2003.

 Judith Keppel was Who Wants To Be A Millionaire's first winner - but could you answer her questions?


Judith Keppel was Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s first winner – but could you answer her questions?Credit: Rex Features

£100 Complete this phrase. As sick as a . . . 

a) Partridge, b) Puffin, c) Parrot, d) Penguin

£200 Which legal document states a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of their property after death?

a) Would, b) Shall, c) Should, d) Will

£300 Complete the title of the James Bond film The Man With The Golden . . . 

a) Tooth, b) Gun, c) Eagle, d) Delicious

£500 Which of these fruits shares its name with something superior or desirable?

a) Apricot, b) Grapefruit, c) Plum, d) Mango

£1,000 In which sport do two teams pull at the opposite ends of a rope?

a) Tug of war, b) Basketball, c) Ice hockey, d) Polo

£2,000 Where does a cowboy wear chaps?

a) On his head, b) On his arms, c) On his legs, d) On his hands

£4,000 Which of these zodiac signs is not represented by an animal with horns?

a) Taurus, b) Capricorn, c) Aquarius, d) Aries

 Judith has starred on BBC quiz Eggheads since 2003 following her win


Judith has starred on BBC quiz Eggheads since 2003 following her winCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

£8,000 Sherpas and Gurkhas are native to which country?

a) Russia, b) Ecuador, c) Nepal, d) Morocco

£16,000 Prime Minister Tony Blair was born in which country?

a) England, b) Northern Ireland, c) Scotland, d) Wales

£32,000 Whose autobiography has the title A Long Walk To Freedom?

a) Ranulph Fiennes, b) Mother Teresa, c) Nelson Mandela, d) Mikhail Gorbachev

£64,000 Duffle coats are named after a town in which country?

a) Belgium, b) Holland, c) Germany, d) Austria

£125,000 Complete this stage instruction in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “Exit, pursued by a . . . ”:

a) Tiger, b) Clown, c) Bear d) Dog

£250,000 The young of which creature is known as a squab?

a) Salmon, b) Horse, c) Pigeon, d) Octopus

£500,000 Who is the patron saint of Spain?

a) St James, b) St John, c) St Benedict, d) St Peter

£1,000,000 Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?

a) Henry I, b) Henry II, c) Richard I, d) Henry V

 Judith was a garden designer before becoming a millionaire


Judith was a garden designer before becoming a millionaireCredit: PA:Press Association


1. C

2. D

3. B

4. C

5. A

6. C

7. C

8. C

9. C

10. C

11. A

12. C

13. C

14. A

15. B

Pat Gibson

IRISH multiple world champ quizzer Pat triumphed in 2004 and is also an Eggheads TV regular.

 Could you answer Pat Gibson's £250,000 question?


Could you answer Pat Gibson’s £250,000 question?Credit: Men Syndication

£100 In children’s stories, how many wishes are granted by a genie or fairy?

a) One, b) Two, c) Three, d) Four

£200 Which phrase refers to discussion about work outside working hours?

a) Talking factory, b) Talking store, c) Talking shop, d) Talking mill

£300 What is the colour of the front door of 10 Downing Street?

a) Red, b) Blue, c) Yellow, d) Black

£500 Complete David Dickinson’s famous catchphrase: “Cheap as . . . ”?

a) Cheddar, b) Chowder, c) Chips, d) Chilli

£1,000 What is the first word in the phonetic alphabet?

a) Apple, b) Alpha, c) Armadillo, d) Amazon

£2,000 Which girl’s name is the title of a song on The Beatles’ album Rubber Soul?

a) Mandy, b) Michelle, c) Madeleine, d) Marianne

£4,000 In 1581, Sir Francis Drake became mayor of which city?

a) Hull, b) Glasgow, c) Plymouth, d) Bristol

 Irish multiple world champ quizzer Pat triumphed in 2004


Irish multiple world champ quizzer Pat triumphed in 2004Credit: Handout

£8,000 The Walrus And The Carpenter is a well-known verse in which children’s novel?

a) Swallows And Amazons, b) The Hobbit, c) Through The Looking Glass, d) Stig Of The Dump

£16,000 In heraldry, a lion standing on one or two hind legs, with one foreleg raised above the other, is described as what?

a) Dormant, b) Passant, c) Couchant, d) Rampant

£32,000 What is the name of the world’s highest active volcano?

a) Etna, b) St Helens, c) Cotopaxi, d) Krakatoa

£64,000 In Welsh, what does ‘afon’ mean?

a) Fort, b) Meadow, c) Pool, d) River

£125,000 Which king wrote a famous denunciation of smoking?

a) Richard I, b) William I, c) George I, d) James I

£250,000 What is the female equivalent of the Oedipus complex?

a) Electra complex, b) Athena complex, c) Diana complex, d) Pandora complex

£500,000 Which of these creatures are most associated with naturalist and artist John James Audubon?

a) Beetles, b) Butterflies, c) Birds, d) Bats

£1,000,000 Which of these is not one of the American Triple Crown horse races?

a) Arlington Million, b) Belmont Stakes, c) Kentucky Derby, d) Preakness Stakes

 Pat is now an Eggheads TV regular following his Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? victory


Pat is now an Eggheads TV regular following his Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? victoryCredit: Men Syndication


1. C

2. C

3. D

4. C

5. B

6. B

7. C

8. C

9. D

10. C

11. D

12. D

13. A

14. C

15. A

David Edwards

FORMER physics teacher David was the first man to win the show, the year after Judith Keppel.

 Could you ace David's £125,000 question?


Could you ace David’s £125,000 question?Credit: Carlton Television

£100 Which of these is a drink made with fruit juices, spices and often wine or spirits?

a) Knock, b) Thump, c) Punch, d) Whack

£200 A big, portable cassette recorder with speakers is known as a ghetto . . . what?

a) Blaster, b) Blower, c) Blarer, d) Banger

£300 Which of these phrases refers to a brief success?

a) Blaze in the pot, b) Spark in the tub, c) Flare in the jug, d) Flash in the pan

£500 Which of these is a type of hat?

a) Sausage roll, b) Pork pie, c) Scotch egg, d) Potato crisp

£1,000 Which of these is a duty levied on the legal recognition of documents?

a) Off duty, b) Stamp duty, c) Heavy-duty, d) Jury duty

£2,000    Which singer was regularly ridiculed by Morecambe and Wise?

a) Rolf Harris, b) Des O’Connor, c) Gracie Fields, d) Barry Manilow

£4,000 Which of these is a game played by Harry Potter and his friends?

a) Qwerty, b) Quibble, c) Quidditch, d) Quantum

 Former physics teacher David was the first man to win the show


Former physics teacher David was the first man to win the showCredit: PA:Press Association

£8,000   Which city hosted the 2001 FA Cup Final?

a) London, b) Leeds, c) Manchester, d) Cardiff

£16,000 Which of these have to pass a test on ‘The Knowledge’ to get a licence?

a) Taxi drivers, b) Bus drivers, c) Police officers, d) Ambulance drivers

£32,000 In 2001, Donald Campbell’s Bluebird was recovered from which lake?

a) Bala Lake, b) Kleder Water, c) Coniston Water, d) Lake Windermere

£64,000     According to legend, the composer Salieri poisoned which rival?

a) Brahms, b) Haydn, c) Liszt, d) Mozart

£125,000 What is the real first name of former Home Secretary Jack Straw?

a) Justin, b) James, c) John, d) Joseph

£250,000 What creature is a grackle?

a) Lizard, b) Bird, c) Fish, d) Beetle

£500,000    The Newlyn School is associated with which group of people?

a) Method actors, b) Circus entertainers, c) Painters, d) Musicians

£1,000,000 If you planted the seeds of Quercus robur, what would grow?

a) Trees, b) Flowers, c) Vegetables, d) Grain


1. C

2. A

3. D

4. B

5. B

6. B

7. C

8. D

9. A

10. C

11. D

12. C

13. B

14. C

15. A

ITV’s Quiz recreates Charles Ingram’s cheating Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game


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Migrant children in US custody in New York test positive

Three unaccompanied minor children in U.S. custody in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

The children, whose ages and nationalities weren’t released, are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The office is responsible for housing migrant minors.

The agency said it is doing an evaluation of the children and will not release them from New York care provider facilities.

The resettlement office’s medical team “is working with the programs in New York and local health department to collect information and determine next steps,” a statement from the agency said. 

The statement said the office has stopped placements of unaccompanied minor children in the states of California, New York, and Washington, which have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus. With more than 30,000 cases in New York, the state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States. 

“ORR is prioritizing local placements for all new referrals from DHS to limit air travel when possible,” the statement said.   

Border patrol agent Joe Romero escorts four unattended migrant children from Ecuador to another agent for transport Tuesday, Feb. 18, by the east bridge near Staton bride in El Paso. The children were waiting by the border fence on the Mexico side alone until agent Romero approached them and began asking them where they were trying to go. The children told agent Romero they did not have parents with them.

The agency said 18 children have been tested for COVID-19, with three presumptive cases confirmed, 11 negative results, and 4 that are still pending.

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The agency said if a health care provider or public health department recommends testing for a child, that they receive the testing. Any child showing symptoms is medically isolated from other children, pending negative test results, the agency said. 

Five staff members and one staff contractor at three separate care provider facilities in New York recently tested positive for COVID-19, the statement said. One staff member at a facility in Texas, and one foster parent in Washington State have also tested positive.

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Ontario boosting COVID-19 capacity to test almost 20,000 people a day by mid-April

Ontario plans to be able to run 5,000 COVID-19 tests a day by the end of this week and aims to perform almost 20,000 tests a day by April 17, provincial health officials say.

That’s a big step up from the roughly 2,500 tests Ontario has been processing each day. This is all part of a plan to both clear a massive testing backlog and to prepare for the expected strain on the system as the pandemic spreads in the province.

“In Ontario we have taken immediate and important steps to increase our provincial testing capacity,” said Helen Angus, Ontario’s deputy health minister and chair of the COVID-19 Command Table. She said partnerships with hospital and community laboratories will help ramp up capacity. By April 17, Angus said labs across Ontario will be performing 18,900 tests a day.

Instead of the majority of COVID-19 swab samples going to the provincial lab — as they now do — samples will be sent to private and hospital labs that have the capacity, starting immediately. Other geographical areas in the province, particularly the North, will have added capacity under the new plan.

Despite that increased capacity, there are no plans to test everyone who is sick.

“It is not feasible and it is not desirable,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s deputy chief medical officer of health. “I know people are worried and there is a lot of fear and concern out there and somehow getting a test result could make you feel better, but it may give you a false sense of security.”

Ontario is prioritizing health-care workers and others who by the nature of their job or where they live (residents and workers in nursing homes and homeless shelters as an example) are at risk of infection, and also the very sick who are hospitalized with severe respiratory symptoms. Others are encouraged to stay home, self-isolate, and if they develop severe respiratory symptoms, chest pains or extreme lethargy go to a hospital emergency.

And not everyone at the site of an outbreak needs to be tested, officials said. Using long-term-care facilities as an example, health officials who briefed the media Thursday said that if three people on a nursing home floor test positive, and others are sick on that floor, there is no need to test them as they are presumed to have the virus and will be treated as if they do.

As of Thursday morning, Ontario had increased its daily testing capacity to 2,439, although officials overstated that during the briefing, saying Ontario was currently at “3,000 to 4,000 tests a day.” Provincial data showed that as of Thursday morning the testing backlog — number of samples taken but not processed — was 10,965, a number that has been steadily growing but with a slower growth rate in the past few days.

Scientists are learning with each day’s experience. Officials at the briefing said the testing protocol and testing sensitivity has grown as scientists in Canada and around the world learn more and more about the novel coronavirus. “Lab tests are now so sensitive that even the smallest trace of COVID-19 can be detected,” Angus said.

Starting Thursday, Ontario is reallocating COVID-19 tests that would normally have been done at the Public Health Ontario laboratories to hospital and private labs. Angus said Ontario has had strong response from private labs that want to help out.

Officials reiterated Thursday that Ontario continues to prioritize health-care workers, people in long-term-care facilities and homeless shelters, patients hospitalized with severe respiratory symptoms, and people in “remote First Nations reserves,” and returning travellers with symptoms.

“We recognize that not everybody at this point can be tested quickly and not everybody really needs to be tested in terms of the clinical treatment they would get,” said Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health.

“The ones we are prioritizing are where there is an impact on a lot of other vulnerable people and so the result needs to be done quickly,” Yaffe said.

As to how many the province is missing due to this testing protocol, Yaffe said they do not know. “Many, many thousands of people” have used the province’s online assessment tool, she said.

“As we expand the number of tests we will have a better sense of the prevalence in the population,” said deputy health minister Angus.

Officials said doctors still have leeway to determine who will be tested, along with the provincial priorities.

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Matt Andersen, president and CEO of Ontario Health, said the province estimates it can add 4,000 additional completed tests each week, growing to a capacity of close to 20,000 by the middle of April.

A big concern provincial health officials have is Ontario residents returning from winter vacations. “There’s real concern about the snowbirds coming back and make sure we are looking at them and pulling out all the stops to get them to stay home” and self-isolate, said Angus.

Kevin Donovan

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Coronavirus live updates: Trump says he took test; travel ban extended to UK, Ireland

Several hours after President Donald Trump declared the novel coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan aid package to help ease the economic pain of COVID-19.

There are at least 2,174 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 49 coronavirus-related deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and ABC News reporting.

Globally, there are at least 145,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,400 deaths.

Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with resources from the full ABC News team.

Today’s biggest developments:

Trump says he took test

  • US travel ban extended to UK, Ireland
  • House passes COVID-19 stimulus package
  • Apple closing all stores outside of China
  • US death toll rises to 49
  • Here’s the latest on the developing situation. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

    3:38 p.m. Berlin closes restaurants, pubs

    The Berlin Senate decided that all public and non-public events in the city are prohibited for 50 participants or more.

    Restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, places of prostitution and similar places of entertainment will be shut down until further notice.

    There are exceptions: Restaurants that prepare food on site can remain open, but they’ll be required to keep the tables 1.5 meters, about 5 feet, apart.

    For public and non-public events with up to 50 persons, organizers must keep an attendance list with everyone’s name, postal address and telephone number. The list must be kept for at least four weeks and must be handed over in full at the request of the public health department.

    3:35 p.m. Preventive measures announced in Israel

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the closing down of numerous public spaces until further notice.

    Restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms will shutter on Sunday. Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and banks will remain open.

    Netanyahu said that gatherings of 10 people or fewer will still be allowed.

    After announcing on Friday that schools and universities would be closed indefinitely, he said kindergarten classes will now also be closed.

    3:26 p.m. Macy’s employee tests positive

    A part-time employee at Macy’s Herald Square location in New York City has tested positive, the company said in a statement.

    “This colleague has NOT been in the store for the last two weeks and has NOT been in direct contact with colleagues or customers since experiencing symptoms,” the company said.

    Macy’s said it doesn’t believe there’s a risk to colleagues or customers and that all stores “are operating with enhanced cleaning standards.”

    3:18 p.m. Trudeau’s wife ‘doing very well’

    Trump tweeted that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie, is “doing very well” after testing positive.

    3:06 p.m. RNC Chairwoman tested after experiencing flu-like symptoms

    Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is being tested after experiencing a fever and flu-like symptoms, according to an RNC spokesman.

    McDaniel, the niece of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, went to a hospital and was tested for flu and strep. Both tests came back negative, said the spokesman, Michael Ahrens, who added that everyone who’d been in contact with McDaniel is being notified.

    She and her family are quarantining at home.

    2:55 p.m. Restaurants, cafes closed in France

    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced at a press conference the decision to close all places that receive the public and are “not essential to the continuity of the life of the nation”.

    This includes restaurants, cafes and cinemas, all of which will be closed until further notice.

    Places of worship will remain open, but religious gatherings will be postponed. Public transportation will continue, and municipal elections are still scheduled for Sunday.

    1:46 p.m. Archdiocese of New York cancels masses

    The Archdiocese of New York has canceled masses beginning this weekend. No time frame was given for when they’d resume.

    The decision follows Dutchess County announcing that gatherings of more than 20 people are prohibited, according to a statement from the Archdiocese.

    Churches, however, will remain open for private prayer and a private Mass will be livestreamed on the St. Patrick’s Cathedral website.

    “Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers and all those working hard to combat the disease,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York. “We should also remember those whose lives have been otherwise disrupted, especially anyone who has lost income from a loss of work during this difficult time.”

    1:24 p.m. Death toll in Italy rises

    There have been 175 deaths in Italy over the last 24 hours, raising the total to 1,441.

    The number of positive cases has now reached 17,750 and more than 109,000 tests have been issued, according to local authorities.

    1:14 p.m. Pompeo ‘in good health’

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is “is in good health” and following the advice of physicians, a department spokesperson said, after he was potentially exposed to the virus on a recent trip to Ethiopia.

    It’s unclear whether Pompeo took a test for COVID-19. The spokesperson also said that all State Department travel is permitted only if “mission critical,” and senior agency officials must approve all travel.

    State Department personnel in Washington and overseas are also now permitted to telework and use “other workplace flexibilities,” like rotational schedules and virtual meetings, according to the spokesperson — joining other federal agencies in implementing contingency plans for its nearly 76,000 employees.

    12:39 p.m. Trump says he got tested

    Trump said on Saturday that he has taken a COVID-19 test and is awaiting the results.

    Trump, who said on Friday he’d “most likely get tested,” said he’s unsure when his results will come back.

    His temperature was taken, and he said it was “totally normal.”

    On Friday, Trump said he’d “most likely” get tested.

    12:33 p.m. Travel ban extended to UK and Ireland

    The U.S. travel ban currently in place for parts of Europe has been extended to the UK and Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed.

    The president said on Friday he was considering adding the U.K.

    Trump announced last week a ban on some travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The area Trump restricted is known as the Schengen zone and is made up of 26 countries including Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

    12:23 p.m. Press member turned away from White House briefing

    A member of the press was turned away from a White House briefing because his temperature was too high.

    Several photographers and reporters, including an ABC News reporter, saw him turned away outside the briefing room doors. That man, who declined to disclose his name or media outlet, was led away from the premises.

    Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, later tweeted: “According to the White House Medical Unit, the temperature was taken three times over a 15 minute period – all three registered above the @CDCgov 100.4 guidelines.”

    12:15 p.m. Google appears to downplay Trump’s statement on website

    Google said it was in the “early stages” of developing a tool to help testing, contradicting President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday that “it’s going to be very quickly done.”

    Verily, which was previously Google Life Sciences, did not provide details on the tool, only saying there was a plan to test it in the Bay Area “with the hope of expanding more broadly over time.”

    It struck a much different tone than Trump’s address Friday, in which he thanked Google for “helping to develop a website. It’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.”

    11:46 a.m. State of emergency declared in Georgia

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a public health state of emergency.

    The governor said the declaration will help health and emergency management officials across the state by “deploying all available resources for the mitigation and treatment of COVID-19.”

    “Over the past few weeks, our state has been facing an unprecedented public health threat with the spread of novel coronavirus,” Kemp said. “In only a matter of days, communities within the metro-Atlanta area and North Georgia have seen several cases, including hospitalizations, where the source of infection is unknown.”

    There are at least 66 cases in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

    11:34 a.m. CVS announces strategy

    CVS said it is working on conducting tests in the parking lots of selected stores.

    The announcement comes a day after Trump said private sector companies, including CVS, would be involved in addressing the crisis.

    The company said although details are still being worked out, customers inside the store would not be affected by the tests.

    “Individuals being tested will not have to leave their cars,” CVS said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing more details as they become available.”

    11:12 a.m. 2 large grocery store chains to close early

    Publix and Harris Teeter grocery stores announced they will close early, starting this weekend.

    All Publix Super Markets are adjusting store and pharmacy hours, shutting down at 8 p.m. starting Saturday until further notice, according to a company statement. Harris Teeter stores will close at 9 p.m. until further notice, beginning Sunday, according to a statement posted to Twitter.

    Both grocers said closing earlier gives them more time to sanitize stores.

    11:07 a.m. ‘Priority calls’ only for Colorado police

    Police in Aurora, Colorado, will only respond to “priority calls” for service amid the pandemic, the department said in a Facebook post.

    A priority call is defined as “any situation where there is a crime in a progress,” according to the statement.

    “We are taking these measures in an abundance of caution for your safety as well as the safety of our officers,” the department said. “Police Officers frequently are in contact with many citizens, and we want to minimize the potential of our daily interactions from causing an exposure risk to you.”

    Citizens are encouraged to use the department’s online reporting system, which can be found here.

    11:02 a.m. House Republican says Trump should be tested

    Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said it “should go without saying” that Trump should be tested for novel coronavirus.

    10:17 a.m. Cuomo announces 1st death in New York

    An 82-year-old woman has died in a New York City hospital after arriving March 3. She had an underlying respiratory illness, emphysema, for which she was been previously hospitalized. There are now 524 cases of COVID-19 in New York state.

    9:45 a.m. Bolsonaro will isolate for a week, get tested again

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s press office has confirmed that he will self-isolate for a week, after which he will seek another test.

    This comes after four members of his delegation during last weekend’s trip to meet Trump at Mar-a-Lago now have tested positive for COVID-19. Bolsonaro on Friday denied Brazilian press reports that he too, had tested positive, calling it “fake news.” His office still won’t say whether he’s tested positive. His next test is scheduled for Friday.

    9:44 a.m. Obituaries fill Italian newspaper

    The obituary section is making up most of Saturday’s edition of the Bergamo Eco. The section is 10 full pages.

    The tradition in Bergamo, an Italian city northeast of Milan, is to still put death notices in the paper and posters on the street. The population of Bergamo is roughly 120,000.

    9:28 a.m. Iran closes 2 major shrines for pilgrims

    Iran closed the holy shrine of Fatima Masoumeh in Qom and the great mosque of Jamkaran, also close to Qom, after over three weeks of the first coronavirus infection reported. The shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad is also to be closed for three days.

    The shrines closed amid controversy between health officials and religious conservatives over the closings.

    5:41 a.m. Pentagon restricts domestic travel for service members

    New travel restrictions approved Friday by the Department of Defense limit all domestic travel for service members, their families and DoD civilians.

    The new rule, an attempt to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, goes into effect on Monday and will last through May 11.

    Even service members who have orders to move to new assignments or bases in the U.S. will not be allowed to move while the restrictions are in place, according to the DoD.

    The Pentagon also announced, effective midnight Sunday, that it’s restricting who enters the Pentagon. All tours, unofficial visits and all international visits have ended.

    Additionally, any military member or civilian employee who has carried out recent foreign travel will not be allowed into the building until they have completed 14 days back in the U.S.

    3:04 a.m. Apple closing all stores outside China

    Apple CEO Tom Cook announced early Saturday morning that all of his company’s stores outside of greater China would close until March 27.

    “The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting every one of us,” Cook said in a statement. “At Apple, we are people first, and we do what we do with the belief that technology can change lives and the hope that it can be a valuable tool in a moment like this.”

    In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus and treat those who are sick, Cook said Apple has donated $15 million.

    “There is no mistaking the challenge of this moment,” Cook said. “… As President Lincoln said in a time of great adversity: ‘The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.'”

    1:24 a.m. House passes stimulus package

    With a 363 to 40 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.

    The bill, which is an economic aid package designed to help ease the financial pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be considered by the Senate on Monday.

    “Senators will need to carefully review the version just passed by the House,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday. “But I believe the vast majority of Senators in both parties will agree we should act swiftly to secure relief for American workers, families, and small businesses.”

    The cost of the bill is unknown, however, the bill includes $1 billion for National Disaster Medical System to reimburse people without health insurance, $82 million for Defense beneficiaries, $64 million for Indian Health Service and $60 million for veterans.

    “This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers,” Trump tweeted Monday prior to the vote. “I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt.”

    12:21 a.m. Trump physician says quarantine, COVID-19 test ‘not currently indicated’ for president

    Despite coming into contact with multiple people who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, Trump’s physician said late Friday night that a home quarantine or COVID-19 test are “not currently indicated.”

    Last week while hosting the Brazilian delegation at Mar-a-Lago, Trump came in close contact with at least two people who later tested positive for the virus, according to Trump physician Dr. Sean Conley.

    One person only had a brief interaction with the president — a handshake and photograph — and began to show symptoms three days after the interaction. The other shared a table with the president, but Conley said that person was symptom-free until Friday. Both interactions are defined as “low risk” for transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Given the president himself remains without symptoms, testing for COIVD-19 is not currently indicated,” Conley wrote Friday. “I will continue to closely monitor and care for the president.”

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and worldwide: coronavirus map
  • ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, John Santucci, Katherine Faulders, John Parkinson, Luis Martinez, Clayton Sandell, Benjamin Siegel, Phoebe Natanson, Ibtissem Guenfoud, Bruno Nota, Sarah Hucal and Jason Volack contributed to this report.

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    England ties Test cricket series 1-1

    Ben Stokes has time and again proved that he is indispensable for England.

    He was instrumental in leading England to its first World Cup in 2019, and in Cape Town on Tuesday the New Zealand-born all-rounder grabbed the headlines yet again.

    In the last hour of a gripping finish, Stokes produced an inspired spell of fast, hostile bowling to help England to a dramatic 189-run win on the fifth and final day to level the four-Test series at 1-1.

    England needed five wickets in the final two hours of the day, and Stokes got the ball rolling by snagging Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje off successive deliveries and then getting the last wicket of Vernon Philander with just 8.2 overs left.

    Joe Root, who came under fire for his leadership after that first Test defeat, was all smiles on Tuesday and heaped lavish praise on his star performer. Root described Stokes as a “golden nugget” and he was right on in his assessment of his all-rounder, who it appears lives for the big moment.

    “He’s just a fantastic specimen,” Root told AFP.

    Stokes, of course, was named man of the match for his two knocks of 47 and 72 and three wickets for 35 in the second innings.

    England made 269 and 391 for eight in the second innings, thanks to a solid unbeaten knock of 133 by opening batsman Dominic Sibley and Stokes’ 72. South Africa struggled to 223 and 248 and skipper Faf du Plessis will be under the gun as he failed with the bat yet again. Pace-man Jimmy Anderson was England’s hero in the first innings with a haul of five for 40.

    England still needed five wickets after tea. “We knew there would be partnerships but we never stopped believing,” said Root. Quinton de Kock (50) and Rassie van der Dussen (17) stayed together for two hours before ending the resistance.


    Kane Williamson’s New Zealand was expected to give Australia a fight to the bitter end. Instead it returns home today as the only Black Caps team to be blanked 3-0, much to the chagrin of their diehard fans.

    A dominant Australia ended each Test inside four days and, instead of celebrating this first sweep of the home Test summer since that Ashes whitewash of 2013/2014, skipper Tim Paine has set his sights on its next opponent next summer.

    Paine and the rest of the cricket world will have their eyes set on the blockbuster match-up against the world’s No. 1 Test nation, India.

    A year ago India created history on the Australian shores by finally returning home with a Test series victory.

    India does realize this Australian squad under Paine has bounced back following that sandpaper caper in South Africa. Under Paine’s leadership the Aussies retained the Ashes in England last year and showed no mercy to New Zealand thanks to returning superstars David Warner and Steve Smith, who both served a year’s ban for their involvement in the ball-tampering incident.

    The Aussies also discovered a batting gem in Marnus Labuschagne. Since taking guard against Pakistan in Perth in November, runs have flowed from his bat. After scoring 215 in Australia’s 454 in the third Test against New Zealand, the 25-year-old tally has compiled a mind-boggling 896 runs, just nine runs short of Wally Hammond’s mark over five Tests.

    Next comes India. With the addition of Labuschagne, Australia parades the world’s most terrifying pace attack that includes Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Josh Hazelwood, and master-spinner Nathan Lyon.

    It’s going to be an awesome series,’’ Paine said of the clash versus India. “They showed last year they have a pace battery that is every bit as threatening as ours. It’s going to be one to watch.”

    In the final Test versus New Zealand, Australia posted 454 and 217 for two with Warner scoring an unbeaten 111 and the Kiwis managing 251 and 136 (Colin De Grandhomme 52, Lyon five for 50).

    Meanwhile Ross Taylor became New Zealand’s leading Test run scorer by making 22 to move to 7,174 career runs and overhaul Stephen Fleming in this match that the Aussies won by 279 runs.


    The richest cricket board became the laughing stock of the world after a brief spell of rain forced the abandonment of the first T20 between India and Sri Lanka on Sunday at Guwahati. The outfield was bone-dry but some water seeped onto the pitch because of a leak in the covers. It’s almost unbelievable that there was a leak in the covers as this was an international encounter, not a schoolboys encounter.

    But what happened next must have embarrassed the Indian Board no end as twitter went into overdrive. The ground staff brought in steam irons, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners to dry the pitch! Twitter carried pictures of steam irons and hair dryers making the rounds. How embarrassing is that?

    In the second T20 encounter played in Indore on Tuesday, India beat the visitors by seven wickets. Sri Lanka managed 142 for nine and India overhauled this total by posting 144 for three in 17.3 overs with K.L. Rahul making 45.

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    Australia v New Zealand: Boxing Day Test, day four – live! | Sport

    Tea: New Zealand 131-4 (chasing 488)




    WICKET! Nicholls st Paine b Lyon 33 (New Zealand 89-4)


    Thank you very much Adam. My condolences on Peter Siddle robbing you of endless material. If you get nostalgic for the venomous vegan he has a series of instructional videos on YouTube. My favourite is the bouncer edition where he terrorises some patsy on a net wicket that should be roped off with crime scene tape.

    Look at the state of that strip. And Siddle’s wearing dark colours. That is an accident waiting to happen.

    26th over: New Zealand 77-3 (Blundell 35, Nicholls 24) The Australian fielders are talking loudly around the bat. Simon Katich, also on SEN radio, reckons they are discussing their respective Australian Rules football careers. As my OBO colleague Sam Perry rightly says, cricket is just footy in the summer these days. Lyon concedes four singles this time around, the final of those very, very close to a run out. Indeed, had Cummins hit from mid-on, Nicholls was gone by a long way. And after that moment of chaos, drinks are on the field. New Zealand have made it through the third hour without loss, which isn’t for nothing with both of these players trying to make a something of a statement before this Test is over. I’ll take this moment to hand over to JP Howcroft. Thanks for your company. Bye for now!

    LUNCH: New Zealand 38-3

    WICKET! Taylor b Pattinson 2 (New Zealand 35-3)

    WICKET! Williamson lbw b Pattinson 0 (New Zealand 33-2)

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    North Korea conducts new test at rocket site, aims to ‘overpower U.S. nuclear threats’

    SEOUL — North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at “restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.,” state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

    The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea’s Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

    In a later statement carried by KCNA, Chief of the General Staff Pak Jong Chon said the tests were designed to bolster North Korea’s defenses by developing new weapons.

    “The priceless data, experience and new technologies gained in the recent tests of defense science research will be fully applied to the development of another strategic weapon of the DPRK for definitely and reliably restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.,” he said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    It was the second test at the Sohae facility in the space of a week.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a super-large multiple launch rocket system test in this undated picture released by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019.


    KCNA on Sunday said that North Korea had carried out a “very important” test on Dec. 7 at the satellite launch site, a rocket-testing facility that U.S. officials once said North Korea had promised to close.

    That KCNA report called the Dec. 7 event a “successful test of great significance.” South Korea’s defense minister Jeong Keong-doo said it was an engine test.

    The reported tests come ahead of a year-end deadline North Korea has put forth for the United States to drop its insistence on unilateral denuclearisation by Pyongyang.

    U.S. President Donald Trump has invested considerable time trying to persuade North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons program that has grown to threaten the United States, but progress has been scant in spite of his three meetings with Kim Jong Un.


    North Korea would be ready to respond to all political and military provocations by hostile forces while being “familiar with both dialog and confrontation,” Pak said.

    “Genuine peace can be safeguarded and our development and future be guaranteed only when the balance of power is completely ensured,” he said.

    Pak warned that the United States and others should avoid provoking North Korea if they wanted a peaceful end-of-year period.

    “Our army is fully ready to thoroughly carry out any decision of the Supreme Leader with action,” he said.

    Pyongyang has warned it could take a “new path” amid the stalled talks with the United States.

    The top U.S envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, is due in Seoul on Sunday for meetings with South Korean officials.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said the United States would be “tested soon” on bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table.

    “They (North Korea) are still doing training, they do short range ballistic missile tests that we are also concerned about.

    “We watch closely as do South Korea and Japan … the State Department is trying to get them to the table, because the only way forward is through a diplomatic and political agreement,” Esper said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

    The State Department is trying to get them to the table, because the only way forward is through a diplomatic and political agreement


    Analysts said such tests could help North Korea build more reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

    “The point seems to be to remind the United States that North Korea still has space to qualitatively advance its program,” said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Federation of American Scientists.

    “We had a good hint that whatever they were doing at Sohae was military in nature when the Academy of Defence Science took charge of the announcement, as opposed to NADA, their space agency,” Panda added.

    Tension has been rising in recent weeks as Pyongyang has conducted weapons tests and waged a war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump, stoking fears that tensions between the two countries could return.

    “Considering the fact that North Korea said the 7-minute test conducted last night was to bolster the strategic nuclear deterrence, the test would likely be related to ICBMs, which North Korea considers a strategic weapon to defend itself from adversaries including the United States,” Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, told Reuters.

    “North Korea is close to issuing an ultimatum towards the United States to come to the negotiating table with new calculations or to return to developing nuclear weapons,” Koh added.

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