In the midst of the negativity, here are eight positive coronavirus stories you need to read today
Even through times of trouble, the light can shine through.
These unprecedented times we find ourselves in have caused nothing but panic, fear and fake WhatsApp messages. Nevertheless, good stories have made an appearance too. Even if it's just for a little while, we should focus on the positives.
A few minutes of non-negative reading can do wonders for our general health and well-being. Not everything is falling apart and at some point, we too will come out of this.
Until that time, however, we are taking a look at just some of the positive coronavirus stories that filtered through during the week.
Gary Neville opens hotel to NHS
Former England and Manchester United star Gary Neville will open his hotels free of charge to health workers in light of the pandemic. Both hotels are located in Manchester and will be closed to the public so that the beds can be used by the NHS and other medical personnel.
Hotel staff will not be made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave with Neville saying, "Our staff will operate the hotel as normal when health workers are allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever when they need isolation away from family members who might be affected."
'Clearly effective' flu drug in Japan
On Wednesday Japanese media said medical authorities in China claimed a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared effective in patients with Covid-19. The drug favipiravir had produced encouraging results in patients in both Wuhan and Shenzhen in 340 patients.
Patients given the drug returned for a negative for the virus after approximately four days in comparison to 11 days for those not taking the drug. However, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, the company which created the drug has declined to comment on the claims.
Wuhan reports zero new cases
The central Chinese city of Wuhan – which was the epicentre of the virus – has reported no new infections for the first time since the outbreak. China as a whole only reported 34 new local cases. The cases which were confirmed were as a result of people coming to China from elsewhere.
Listowel lights up
Towns and villages across the country are coming together to fight the good fight. One such town is Listowel in Co Kerry where one local estate is shining a light together. Last night, the residents of Ballygologue Park placed Christmas lights in their front windows to show that we are all in this together following a Facebook ask by resident Christy Halpin.
These lights will stay bright until the crisis subsides, showing a small gesture can make the biggest impact.
Irish Distillers to provide alcohol gel
The producer of Jameson and Powers has decided to provide the healthcare system with large-scale quantities of alcohol gel to cope with the demand. Irish Distillers said it has the necessary products and supply chain to produce a large amount. The gel will be created almost immediately and the end product will be delivered to the HSE's supply centre.
Irish medical workers coming home
An amazing revelation in RTE Radio that 24 Irish medical personnel in Perth in Australia have quit their jobs and are coming home to help with #covidireland
— Shane Brophy (@BrophShane) March 17, 2020
In one of the most heartwarming stories of the week, RTÉ Radio confirmed 24 medical personnel in Perth, Australia had quit their jobs to come home and help with the Covid-19 outbreak in Ireland. This number is expected to rise in the coming days. A story that not only brings a tear to the eye but fills mind and body with Irish pride.
Italy and Spain's musical delights
Both Italy and Spain are under lockdown, with both countries struggling to contain the virus. However, this is not dampening the spirit of the Italians and Spanish. Over the past few weeks, the world has been treated to musical extravaganzas which have taken place in the apartment blocks. From operatic mastery to a Titanic inspired piano recital on a balcony, the light will always shine through.
During Italy's quarantine, Italian tenor Maurizio Marchini found a way to spread a little joy amid the Coronavirus lockdown in Florence. So from his balcony he serenaded the city with Nessun Dorma.pic.twitter.com/NAluu01Ms5
— WWFP (@WorldwideFP) March 14, 2020
Lockdown in Spain. ??? pic.twitter.com/bmcve0oIL0
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) March 18, 2020
Rio's Christ the Redeemer lit up in solidarity
Flags of various countries affected by the spread of #COVID19 are projected onto the statue of the Christ Redeemer atop Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro
In a touching move by Brazil, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue was lit up in the colours of the countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak, while messages of support were also displayed.
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