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Coronavirus roundup

Mental health woes worsen as lockdown takes toll

CORONAVIRUS and lockdown have significantly damaged mental heath, especially among the most vulnerable, a study shows. A quarter of people questioned by University of Bath experts said the crisis had made them more depressed and anxious. About one in six had suffered clinical levels of anxiety over their health. Dr Hannah Rettie said the results are important ‘as we move to help people psychologically distressed by these challenging times’.

Dog ‘caught virus’ chewing owner’s discarded tissues

A PET dog could be the first in Britain to have contracted coronavirus after it ate its owner’s used tissues. Mandy Hayes, 60, who spent weeks in bed with Covid-like symptoms says Alaskan malamute Mushka also suffered with a cough and breathlessness. Though the ten-year-old pet was never tested for the virus, vets prescribed him with steroids — a Covid treatment, said grandmother Ms Hayes, of Gravesend, Kent. After six weeks of illness, the pair are now on the mend.

■ THE new 90-minute Covid-19 tests could help keep schools open, a minister has claimed. Nadhim Zahawi said the kits could be rolled out to many settings, including classrooms where they could avoid needless disruption once pupils head back to them next term. The junior minister told the BBC the ‘great innovation’ is perfect for schools as you don’t need ‘technical know-how’ to administer them.

■ SEWAGE has been tested for signs of coronavirus in England as part of efforts to get an idea of where outbreaks will happen. Waste water has been sampled at 44 treatment works by the environment department (Defra) as those infected are thought to shed the virus in their faeces. Environment secretary George Eustice said: ‘The aim of this new research is to give us a head start on where new outbreaks are likely to occur.’