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Coronavirus round-up

Health workers’ masks left ‘unusable’ by thief

A MAN who stole masks, hand gel and paper suits from an ambulance has been jailed. Some of the personal protective equipment is no longer usable due to contamination after Mark Manley ransacked the vehicle near Guy’s Hospital in London last week. When hospital security guards challenged him, the 35-year-old (pictured) assaulted one and racially abused another. Manley, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Croydon magistrates’ court to six months in prison after admitting theft from a motor vehicle, assault, a racially aggravated offence and causing fear of violence.

Loo roll shortage leads to sewer blockage surge

SEWERS are being blocked with wet wipes, kitchen roll and even newspapers amid the loo roll shortage, say water companies. Panic buying of toilet paper has led to people using alternatives, causing 3,000 drain blockages in a fortnight, reports one firm. Workers dealing with the issue can’t follow social distancing guidelines, warned Severn Trent’s Grant Mitchell. ‘Our teams are asked why they’re out, so please be understanding. No one wants to dig out poo, kitchen roll and wipes,’ he said. Thames Water’s Adrian Wallis added: ‘Wipes and kitchen roll can’t go down the loo. As nasty as it sounds, put them in a bin.’

Thug makes kill threat in row over distancing

A THUG threatened to kill a neighbour who accused him of holding a gathering in breach of social distancing rules. Janis Zalitis also kicked the front door of the victim, who had left him a note reading: ‘Everybody has to leave.’ The 29-year-old is said to have screamed in a drink-fuelled tirade: ‘I don’t care about coronavirus.’ Police called to his flat in St Peter Port, Guernsey, found him with one friend who lived in the same building. Zalitis admitted behaving in a disorderly manner. Judge Graeme McKerrell branded him ‘an idiot’ at the island’s magistrates’ court.

Fly-tipping soars after recycling shutdown

FLY-TIPPING has soared by up to 300 per cent following the closure of recycling sites. West Oxfordshire District Council urged residents not to dump waste in public spaces, saying the number of cases has increased ‘threefold’. In Lancashire, Darwen councillor Roy Davies said: ‘People are throwing bags and furniture into back alleys and saying, “Nothing to do with me”. This is appalling.’ Waste is also piling up at Scottish beauty spots, where Fife Council’s Dawn Jamieson said: ‘Because centres have been closed, people think it’s acceptable to dump rubbish.’