Topics : Growing backlash Johnson is facing criticism even in normally supportive media outlets after officials revealed that just 2,000 out of about 500,000 NHS staff had been tested.Health minister Matt Hancock said Thursday the government was “determined” to scale up tests across the board in the coming weeks, with a “goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of this month”.Hancock blamed global demand for swabs and reagents for the lack of tests, and said that some they had bought were faulty. In order to meet the demand, the government said it would work with private firms such as Amazon and chemist Boots, and that three new “mega labs” would soon be online.Testing for the general public has also been criticized as not widespread enough and is currently largely limited to hospital admissions of the most serious COVID-19 patients. On Tuesday, 10,000 hospital patients and NHS staff were tested in England, well below the daily target of 25,000 and the 70,000 a day achieved in Germany, which has been used as a comparison.Paul Nurse, chief executive of biomedical research center the Francis Crick Institute, told the BBC Thursday that the government should summon “the Dunkirk spirit” and let “small ship” labs start screening for the killer disease.So far, Public Health England (PHE), the body tasked with testing, has insisted all screening should be carried out centrally.PHE medical director Professor Paul Cosford defended his organization’s work.”At the very outset we identified this, we got the tests in place, we designed the tests in our laboratories. We have played our part,” he told BBC radio.Britain is currently in the second week of a three-week lockdown, with non-essential shops shut and the public asked to stay at home to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.The government has promised an enormous package of support for businesses and employees hit by the measures.New government figures show 950,000 people applied for state welfare support known as universal credit in the last two weeks. It is available to the unemployed and those on low incomes.With economic headwinds gathering pace, national carrier British Airways is also to temporarily lay off 28,000 staff, the union representing its workers announced Thursday.Hancock, meanwhile, demanded that English Premier League footballers take a pay cut amid outrage at top flight clubs using a government furlough scheme for non-playing staff. Johnson has been in self-isolation “with mild symptoms” at his Downing Street official residence since announcing on March 27 that he had caught the virus. Heir to the throne Prince Charles Thursday made his first public comments since coming out of self-quarantine after contracting the disease, telling the PA news agency the experience had been “strange, frustrating and often distressing”.In a video message, he praised the “utter, selfless devotion to duty” of Britain’s health workers.The country took part in another collective round of applause at 8:00 pm (2000 GMT) Thursday, with social media videos capturing cheers across its cities, towns and villages. The UK government said Friday it was rushing to build more emergency field hospitals ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus cases, hours after recording a record 569 deaths from the disease. Two new facilities will be built in Bristol in the west and Harrogate in the north to house up to 1,500 patients, the state-run National Health Service (NHS) said in a statement.The announcement comes as a similar 4,000-bed facility in London — built in less than ten days — prepares to open Friday, and as criticism mounts over the government’s failure to provide screening, particularly for frontline healthcare workers. “Further such hospitals will open next in Birmingham and Manchester, offering up to 3,000 beds between them,” the NHS statement added.The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 1600 GMT on Wednesday — the largest single-day rise yet.It followed 563 deaths over the previous corresponding period.Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Britain will “massively increase testing” for the COVID-19 virus following criticism of his initial light-touch approach to the outbreak.
Meraj, though, lashed out at Minerva Punjab for forfeiting the game. “Minerva Punjab had to play the AFC. We were supposed to play them on the 17th of this month. As a matter of basic courtesy towards another club, we said that we understood about their travel schedule and we decided to play on the 18th instead. Just out of courtesy. I doubt they had booked their tickets to travel. They were just looking for an excuse not to play. At home, we play really well and the crowd supports us. Minerva’s stance is full of double standards. They first said they were willing to play outside at a neutral venue outside Srinagar. They then said we will play at a later date. At least stick to one stand,” Meraj said.In this entire episode, the AIFF has referred the Minerva issue to its League Committee and maintained silence on East Bengal’s concerns. The AIFF has also not declared the match a forfeiture till now and according to the FIFA guidelines, in the event of a forfeiture, full points are awarded to the team turning up for the game. I-League CEO Sunando Dhar had said local security authorities in Srinagar gave the go-ahead to hold the match at the TRC Ground and added that the AIFF was assured of all the necessary security arrangements. When asked about the support the side got from AIFF or the I-League, Meraj urged the authorities to follow the rule-book.“There is no question of supporting us. We never expected extra support. We just want them to follow the rulebook. If the rules say that the team has forfeited, we should get three points. The AIFF commissioners has given the report that everything is fine. They were here three days before to meet the security officers. They met the administration. How can you give a written assurance? This is unheard of,” Meraj said.Tough off the field, unity in diversity on itThe Minerva Punjab fiasco is another addition to Real Kashmir FC’s off the field troubles. Earlier, in 2018, the players were abused by the ground staff as they prepared for their clash against Gokulam Kerala F.C. in Calicut. In addition, they had to face plenty of logistical issues and were reportedly not given adequate practice facilities.Despite all the problems, Real Kashmir F.C have had a miraculous run on the field, having a good chance of winning the title. Meraj said the success was due to the players and in the mantra ‘Unity in Diversity.’ “The Real Kashmir FC story is incomplete without the players. It is a rainbow team. Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists all combine to play football for a team in Kashmir. Players like Surchandra Singh and Abhas Thapa all treat Kashmir as their second home. People to people contact is not that bad. It is a welcoming place. We treat each other as family and we are united. Unity for Real Kashmir is in the diversity and we are proud of it,” Meraj said.Following the Pulwama attack, the message that is being spread by the club and the fans is ‘Lets play to heal.’ The club and the fans have a simple message for East Bengal which was reiterated by Meraj. “Come for the game. We will open our hearts and homes for you,” Meraj said.Indeed, after Pulwama, the message of Lets Play to Heal is apt for Real Kashmir and sporting fans. highlights The Pulwama terror attack resulted in the death of 40 CRPF jawans. Real Kashmir FC are on the cusp of winning their maiden I-League title.The AIFF has also not declared the Minerva Punjab’s refusal to play Real Kashmir FC forfeiture till now. For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Real Kashmir FC are the miracle story of Indian football. After winning the 2017-18 I-League 2nd Division after defeating Hindustan FC, the team are on the cusp of creating history of securing the I-League title for the first time. However, these are tough times for the club. The Pulwama terror attack on February 14, which resulted in the death of 40 CRPF jawans, has cast a pall of gloom among football fans in the valley. Minerva Punjab, the defending I-League champions, has refused to play in Srinagar while Real Kashmir’s game against East Bengal is on shaky grounds. However, the club is united, strong and are still extending an invitation to other clubs with open hands.Speaking exclusively about the existing situation to News Nation, Real Kashmir FC co-owner Shamim Meraj said the nature of football, and sports in general, is of political neutrality and it has not affected the morale of the team or the fans. “Pulwama was tragic. Our heart goes out to the dead. It is not something new in Kashmir. We have seen that football is played in North Korea, Palestine and Syria also. It has not affected the morale of the Kashmir football fans. We were all looking forward to the game yesterday. 2000 people had turned up at the TRC Turf Club stadium but what happened was unfortunate,” Meraj said.On match day, the Real Kashmir FC Twitter handle summed up the disappointment of the fans who had come to the stadium to witness the clash but had to go home empty-handed. Minerva Punjab refused to turn up and the match was forfeited. However, the event has taken an ugly turn with the defending champions filing a writ petition in the Delhi High Court after refusing the offer of a forfeiture by asserting that the home club and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) failed in providing written security assurances.
Head Coach Paul Aigbogun has submitted to the Nigeria Football Federation, his final list of 21 players that he believes will do Nigeria proud at the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic next month.Nigeria battle host nation Niger Republic, South Africa and Burundi in the eight –nation finals, with all four semi finalists guaranteed spots at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland 23rd May – 15th June.The team has put behind it the disappointment of the cancellation of the international friendly with Saudi Arabia’s U20 squad, which was scheduled to hold in Jeddah on Tuesday. Organizers have promised that the confrontation would still happen after the U20 AFCON finals. “The list has been submitted and will be sent to CAF ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the submission of final squads. Our delegation is departing Nigeria for Niger Republic on Tuesday next week,” Flying Eagles’ Team Administrator, Aliyu Ibrahim Lawal, said yesterday.Seven –time African champions Nigeria clash with the Burundi U20 side, Junior Itamba, at the Stade General Seyni Kountche on Saturday next week (starting from 7.30pm) in their first match of the competition. Same day, host nation Niger Republic will battle South Africa’s Amajita at the same venue in the tournament’s opening match, starting from 4.30pm.The Flying Eagles then play the Amajita on Tuesday, 5th February before rounding off the group phase with a battle against the host nation on Friday, 8th February.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Paul Aigbogun