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Baby Bank Helps Mothers Impacted By Coronavirus

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A Baby Bank has been set up in Birmingham to help mothers impacted by Coronavirus.

The Baby Bank was set up by Birmingham City Councillor Nicky Brennan and Kirsten Kurt Eli in a bid to help families in poverty finding life more difficult following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Volunteers help deliver essential baby items such as nappies, baby food and milk to familes with low incomes or that are in crisis.

Councillor Brenann said that they have helped around 350 families to date, a typical day would be packing orders for volunteers to collect and drive to clients.

Some days, there can be 30-40 deliveries in a single day.

Pregnant women have been placed in a vulnerable category, the NHS says they should be ‘particularly stringent in following social distancing measures’.

Last week, Brum Baby Banked helped a woman who was heavily pregnant and that had recently fled an abusive relationship.

Councillor Brenann says that she “didn’t have anything for her baby as she had to leave things behind.” The volunteers provided her with a ‘newborn essentials pack’.

CHILD POVERTY

Turn2us, a charity that helps people in finacinal hardship called the need for Baby Banks a ‘damning indictment’.

Sara Willcocks, Head of Communications at Turn2us, said;

“There are already 8.3 million adults and 4.6 million children living in poverty in the UK. The need for Baby Banks, and the fact that charity has become the new normal, is another damning indictment on the inequalities that exist within our society.”

In 2016, an independent review commissioned by Birmingham City Council found that 37% of all children in Birmingham live in poverty.

Councillor Brennan said; “Coronavirus is definitely exposing child poverty in the city and also the lack of support networks some families have”

According to research carried out by Turn2Us, 10.5 million children are facing financial crisis due to lost income.

It says an increase in people strugglling will ‘exacerbate the problems that already exist’.

Sara Willcocks said; “We urge the government to work with charities within the sector to produce a complete poverty reduction strategy, so that babies born today can thrive tomorrow.”

If you need help, you can contact BrumBabyBank via email: brumbabybank@gmail.com

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Another 1.5 Million File For Unemployment As States Continue To Reopen Economies, Totaling 44 Million People Unemployed

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(NPR) — The pain in the job market continues as an additional 1.5 million sought jobless benefits for the first time last week, down 355,000 from the prior week. Continued claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million, a sign that more people are returning to work as the economy reopens after pandemic lockdowns.

More than 44 million first-time claims have been filed in the past 12 weeks.

The Federal Reserve is projecting that the unemployment rate will be more than 9% by year end, falling to 6.5% by the end of 2021.

That’s down from last month’s lower-than-expected 13.3% rate but up sharply from a nearly 50-year low of 3.5% earlier this year before the coronavirus crisis shut down much of the economy. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, but they slashed 20.7 million just a month earlier.

“The May employment report, of course, was a welcome surprise,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. “We hope we get many more like it. But I think we have to be honest. It’s a long road.”

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Coronavirus

5G Misinfomation: “I’m unsure what to believe”

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Misinformation linking 5G to COVID-19 has been spreading online for months leading many to believe such claims.

Despite COVID-19 being a novel Coronavirus that affects the respiratory system, online conspiracy theories have falsely claimed that symptoms are caused by radiation emitted by 5G communication masts.

What is 5G ?

5G is the next generation of mobile network technology that is being rolled out across the UK, it will provide a faster and smoother internet connection for mobile users.

5G Masts emit minute amounts of radiation which are less than visible light itself.

The spread of misinformation has led to vandalism of mobile masts, arson and widespread speculation on social media.

Dozens of telephone masts were set ablaze over Easter Weekend leading mobile networks to issue a joint letter asking the public to help it stop

Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol, said that “damaging phone masts is like knocking holes in your lifeboats while your ship sinks.

Several of the masts vandalised had been providing critical infrastructure to the temporary NHS Nightingale hospitals.

Misinformation

In the first week of the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, Ofcom carried out an online survey of 2,000 people.

Nearly half of respondents said they had come across false or misleading information about COVID19 that week.

I spoke with a support worker in Birmingham who has nightmares about COVID-19.

Speaking about the misinformation, she said;

“I heard about Coronavirus possibly being caused by 5G masts on a podcast, I’m unsure what to believe whether it’s on social media or from the government”

The essential worker said that she was “shocked and scared” to hear such claims.

Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said:

“The idea that COVID19 is caused by 5G mobile phone signals is complete rubbish.”

“Electromagnetic waves are one thing, viruses are another, and you can’t get a virus off a phone mast.  Similarly, sensible studies have failed to corroborate the claim that the signals emitted by 5G masts are able to suppress our immune systems.”

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Coronavirus

Labour Leader Starmer says no worker should risk their life because they haven’t got the right PPE

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At 11 am today, a minute’s silence will be held to remember those that have died during the coronavirus outbreak.

A campaign for the national silence was launched last week by the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing which represent more than a million NHS and public service workers.

In a video message released this morning on International Worker’s memorial day, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that as the nation observed a minute’s silence for those that have died, “we must continue to fight for those on the frontline to protect their lives”.

Starmer said that “Nobody should put their lives at risk because they haven’t got the right protective equipment” adding “We owe it to them to make sure they’ve got the right equipment, in the right place, at the right time and we will continue to press on that”.

Last week, a survey by The Royal College of Physicians of 2,129 hospital doctors, found that 26.5% of medics reported being unable to access the protective equipment they need for managing COVID patients.

Today the Trades Union Congress (TUC) , an umbrella group for unions in the UK called upon the government to do more to protect those on the frontline.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said Britain will “forever be in debt” to the workers who have died during this pandemic.

O’Grady criticised ministers for the handling of the crisis and demanded an enquiry, she said;

“The lack of protective equipment for frontline workers during this crisis is a grotesque failure by ministers. We demand a public inquiry into why government allowed workers to keep working without the right equipment to keep them safe”.

Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that families of NHS workers and social carers who die from coronavirus would receive a £60,000 payment.

Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP welcomed the announcement and said;
“It is welcome that the Government has listened to workforce representatives and ensured that death in service benefits are available to everyone working in the NHS and social care sector.”

He added “..the Government must finally get a grip over PPE supplies so that NHS and care staff aren’t putting their lives on the line to do their job and protect the rest of us.”

82 NHS staff are known to have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

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