Category Archives: Uncategorized

People left stranded due to lockdown travel restrictions

There are several people who travelled to other countries for vacations, business meetings or for other reasons before the lockdown was implemented. The restrictions were not imposed till March as the outbreak had only reached certain countries.

As the cases increased around the world, countries such as China and the United States of America enforced a ban on travelling. Following it, other countries, such as India and Pakistan had to abruptly close their boarders as well, leaving thousands of people stranded.

Photograph taken by Mujtaba Nadeem

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused issues for entire world. People have been stuck in other countries for over a month. Higher authorities of every country are working towards bringing the stranded nationals of their respective countries back home. Though the process is slow since the flights are limited.

One of the citizens of Pakistan, Mujtaba Nadeem was on a business trip to Malaysia, along with his brother when the lockdown was announced. On their way back to Pakistan, the civil aviation authority informed them about suspension of all the flights for an indefinite period of
time by the government.

Nadeem said: “We were stranded in this foreign country with limited funds and no contact with the Pakistani authority. I had no choice but to contact my old friend, who was kind and generous to offer me and my brother to stay with him until the lockdown eases.”

Photograph taken by Mujtaba Nadeem


Upon asking him more about his time in Malaysia, Nadeem tells us that initially there was a high alert restriction on movement throughout the country, as people were only allowed to step out for emergency and urgent purposes.

Since, past week the government ease down the lockdown and few businesses have reopened, however for a limited working hour. Nadeem and his brother have spent his quarantine time mostly indoors. “I have binge watched several shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime.” Along with several other stranded people, they are waiting for authorities to allow them to take the flight back home.

As Pakistan is allowing other countries to send their nationals back home, Nadeem further talks about how the procedure has not been simple.

By Warshma Chughtai

Image Source: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

NHS Nightingale Hospital to be closed down

Temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital London will be closing in the coming weeks after only treating 54 patients. The hospital will close on May 15th, but remain on standby in the event of a second wave of Covid 19 infections. 

No further patients are being admitted for treatment in the facility and the 12 that remain there will be sent to neighbouring hospitals for the rest of their treatment. 

Photograph by Unsplash | Ahdy Savala

The Nightingale London was not utilised to its full capacity as established hospitals expanded their intensive care facilities coping much better with the influx of critically ill patients than expected. 

The hospital resides in the ExCel exhibition space – usually used for large events such as Crufts and Comic Con – that was transformed into the hospital in just nine days.  The temporary facility can hold as many as 4,000 patients and was staffed by NHS medics and the military.

Photograph by Unsplash | Joe Kibria 

To support the new hospital, less than 5 miles away a temporary morgue was built on the Wanstead flats to accommodate the large increase in the number of deaths in the capital. The new facility is being utilised as a holding place before a burial or cremation can take place and visitors are not permitted inside the site.  The site remains open.  

By Danielle Freeman-Grantham 

5G networks under attack

At a time where mobile connectivity is needed the most, masts around the UK are targeted and destroyed. Unfounded conspiracy theories are spreading like wildfires over the internet linking the Covid-19 pandemic and 5G broadband technology.

EE, the network operator told The Guardian that they are investigating the attacks but it looks like the work of arsonists. 

A quick search on Facebook will reveal plenty of 5G groups. Earliest reports of the dangers of 5G exposure, appeared in a Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws back in January 2020.

It took a week for the rumour to spread and fact checking sites were debunking claims about the validity of those rumours. Social media quickly found a connection between the rise of 5G and the pandemic outbreak.

The infrastructure attacked is vital to health workers and emergency services. As of yesterday 77 cell phone towers have been set on fire due to these theories.

(Featured image: Miguel Á. Padriñán / Pexels)

By Carolina Lupanciuc

When will Disney World reopen?

Although Disney World has yet to announce park reopening dates in the United States or France customers can book tickets for June 1, while Disney Shanghai is set to open May 11.

Disneyland in Shanghai’s opening will set the precedent for how Disney could open in the US and France at a later date. Shanghai’s Disney Town and resort have been open since early March. 

Disney World website allows customers to purchase tickets starting in June through the rest of the year. Photo by: Natalia Jaramillo

Disney Shanghai is opening with limited capacity and all customers must wear approved face masks, purchase tickets prior to the day of opening, show their greenlight health QR code, social distance in queues for rides and restaurants as well as undergo temperature checks upon arrival. Some shows and attractions will not be open, no pictures with cast members will be allowed and there are increased sanitation measures that will take place throughout the day in Disney Shanghai once the park reopens. 

Disney in the United States is likely to follow similar guidelines placed in Shanghai after it determines how well the regulations work and although the Disney executives have yet to announce a specific date, customers can purchase tickets in the US to attend the park beginning in June. 

“An encouraging sign for Disney parks and retail locations all over the world,” said Pamela Hymel, the Disney parks chief medical officer about the Shanghai openings in a press release. 

Hymel stated that the parks are exploring a phased opening option where restaurants and retail, such as Disney Springs, open first before the parks similarly to Shanghai. Virtual queues and efforts to aid social distancing within the park utilising Disney park apps, increased disinfection, use of personal protective equipment and training cast members in health are some of the reopening plans. 

This is ongoing while Disney reported a ($1 billion dollar)  814,435,000 pound impact due to COVID-19 mainly due to lost revenue from park and resort closures. Disney has also decided to forgo the payment of their semi-annual cash dividend to investors, saving the company $1.6 billion US dollars(over 1.3 million pounds), according to a Disney press release. 

The company has had to adapt to the massive loss in park revenue by furloughing 43,000 workers while reducing capital spending and cutting salaries for senior management. 

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has had an appreciable financial impact on a number of our businesses, we are confident in our ability to withstand this disruption and emerge from it in a strong position,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of Disney. “Disney has repeatedly shown that it is exceptionally resilient, which is evident in the extraordinary response to Disney+ since its launch last November.”

In a Florida tourism survey, where the Orlando based Disney World is located and brings in over 75 million domestic and international travelers in 2018 according to the Orlando Business Journal, tourism businesses in Florida had to reduce their staff by 73% due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

This impact on the Florida economy that is largely built around tourism will have negative effects for years to come. Not only will the Central Florida economy suffer due to a loss in tourism, but the families used to hold seasonal passes will likely not experience the full magic of Disney soon. 

“My daughter Emma turns 11 today. She’s been saving her money for a year to go to Disney World for her birthday. Not as a gift for herself, but so that her baby sister could enjoy Disney the way she did as a little kid. COVID had other plans,” Berny Belvedere father and Arc Digital editor in chief said on Twitter. 

(Feature image: Christian Wagner on Unsplash)

by Natalia Jaramillo

Staff nurse: Everyone is worried

In order to protect those who are at a greater risk of developing complications from coronavirus, the NHS has published a shielded patients list identifying vulnerable people who need to remain at home.

According to the risk criteria, people who are at high risk of developing complications from coronavirus include:

  1. People who have had an organ transplant who remain on long term immune suppression therapy.
  2. People with specific cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, people who are undergoing active chemotherapy and those with other targeted cancer treatments.
  3. People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease.

I spoke to Farai, a staff nurse at a care home in West London, who finished chemotherapy last year.

As an individual who is in the high risk category, do you feel that your workplace is maintaining the adequate measures to keep you safe? 

Farai said: “Not entirely; the masks are there and when you’re just dealing with normal patients, a mask is acceptable, but when you are dealing with residents who are positive, you have to have the full gear, which we don’t have access to.”

Some personal protective equipment (PPE) includes gloves, aprons, long sleeved gowns, surgical masks, and eye goggles. [Photo by CDC from Pexels].

How has coronvirus affcted your workplace in terms of staff shortages?

“Quite a lot of staff have gone off sick, and they were given letters to remain at home so there is a shortage. As a result we have had to rely more on agency staff, but the usual standard of work is not being maintained, which isn’t fair to the residents or colleagues – it’s a lot of pressure for the colleagues who are still at work.

“When corona started there was no PPE in place and our manager created an acute unit where residents who showed symptoms would be placed. After a few days residents would return back to their rooms, regardless of whether they had recovered or not.  The unit was not sanitised, which allowed the virus to spread, and we lost a number of residents.”

Are you worried about working and being an at-risk individual?

“Although the virus puts me at a greater risk, there are precautions in place for example washing your hands, and using PPE as per protocol. Everyone is worried and the worry will always be there, as we’re fighting a pandemic.” 

While most high risk individuals are receiving letters from their GP, those at moderate risk are not, but are still advised to ‘stay home at all times’; this includes people aged 70 or over, people who are pregnant, and individuals with heart disease. For further information on whether you are at higher risk of coronavirus, click here

Featured Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Report reveals black people four times more likely to die from Covid-19

Photograph by Unsplash | Dann Stevens

Research released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people from black backgrounds in England and Wales were four times more likely to die from coronavirus than people from white backgrounds. 

The study found that all other ethnic minorities were more likely to die from Covid-19, compared to people from white backgrounds.

Photograph by Unsplash | Askhan Forozani

It discovered that after taking into account age, self reported health and disability, black people were still almost twice as likely as white people to die a Covid-19-related death. 

This chart shows the likelihood of ethic minorities deaths in comparison to people from white backgrounds.

Graph by Danielle Freeman-Grantham

David Lammy the Shadow Lord Chancellor described the news as “Appalling” and stated that he felt that “It is urgent the causes of this disproportionality are investigated.”

by Danielle Freeman Grantham

LONDON’S ETHNIC MINORITIES ‘MORE AT RISK’ FROM COVID-19

Denmark’s second step in reopening the country

The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the next phase of the reopening of Denmark in a press conference on the evening 6 of May.

On Monday the 11 of May, Denmark will be reopening all restaurants, shopping malls, libraries and school from years 5 to 9. However, with this reopening, there will be specific guidelines on how they are allowed to reopen.

Mette Frederiksen said in her press conference that “we are now entering phase two, and I expect it to be bigger then we dared to.”

Denmark has seen over 10,000 cases of individuals with coronavirus and 506 deaths, however, the spread of the virus and the Danish healthcare system is stable. Therefore, Denmark will be one of the first European countries to reopen again.

It is very clear from the Danish government that the main focus will be the specific guidelines the different businesses have to follow in order to have a safe reopening.

Instagram page of Friis

Maria Bøg works for the marketing divesting of the shopping centre Friis in Aalborg, Denmark:

“It is essential we follow the specific precautions when re-opening, and out of respect do not have an aggressive promotion as well”.

Video by Yasmin Sakki

The reopening of restaurants can hopefully help local restaurants as their income lately only relies on takeaway orders.   

I am positive we can re-open in a safe way. It is hard for the small businesses’ economy to be on lockdown. As long as we follow the safety guidelines I am positive this will succeed

Says Maria Bøg.

by Yasmin Sakki

Andy Serkis to give 12- hour live reading of The Hobbit

Andy Serkis, best known as Gollum in the Lord of Rings and Hobbit films, is set to give a continuous live reading of The Hobbit – with no breaks – in aid of charity, lasting about 10 to 12 hours.

Serkis promises to do all the voices of all the great characters, including the trolls and the orcs. He has been practising for about 60 days now, but will not reveal anything until the big day.

All money that is raised will be donated to the NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings, two charities that are working incredibly hard to help the most vulnerable.

Serkis invites all fans who will be watching this marathon reading to donate via a GoFundMe campaign.

The reading will commence at 10am (GMT) on Friday 8th May and the link to the livestream will be posted on the GoFundMe page.

By Grace Staley

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