Press release: Half a million frontline NHS workers benefit from coronavirus telecoms deal

first_imgClive Selley, CEO of Openreach said: Our NHS staff are the true heroes of this crisis who continue to make huge sacrifices and take risks to battle coronavirus. We are proud to have played our part in helping these incredible individuals get the connectivity and services they needed to support their vital work. Keeping the country connected has been a top priority for Virgin Media since day one and we’ll continue working to ensure we deliver. Allirajah Subaskaran, Founder and Chairman of Lycamobile said: We were delighted to be able to help NHS staff and carers during this difficult period. NHS Organisations have received instructions to triage eligible staff. The triage process ensures the offer reaches those who need it most. Some providers have gone above and beyond the agreement by upgrading both NHS and non-NHS customers who are currently on the lowest packages, to their best available packages free of charge. Providers including EE, Vodafone and O2 have run campaigns to encourage their consumers who are NHS frontline workers to register for better deals. These direct efforts have also contributed to the total number of staff who have already been supported. NHS workers can still collect Lycamobile sim cards from any store that stocks them across the country and opt in at https://www.lycamobile.co.uk/nhs/ to access a free month of unlimited international calls as well as unlimited UK minutes, texts and data, followed by a 20% monthly discount on the bundle. The telecoms providers have agreed that these commitments will be in place throughout the coronavirus response after which they will be reviewed. Application closing dates may vary. NHS staff have been at the frontline of our battle against this disease and I am hugely grateful for their expertise and dedication in caring for patients during this difficult and unprecedented period. This agreement has helped NHS staff stay connected with their colleagues and patients and allowed them to work flexibly from home, ensuring patients continue to get the care they need. Nina Bibby, Chief Marketing Officer O2 (Telefonica UK) said We’re incredibly proud to have been a part of this important Government initiative. It’s heartening to know that nearly half a million NHS frontline staff have been able to access mobile and broadband services without having to worry about bills or hidden charges. They have made tremendous sacrifices to ensure the safety of millions of citizens around the country and this is just one small way in which we can say thank you to them for all of their efforts. Our commitment to providing free services to NHS heroes will remain in place until the crisis comes to a close. Half-a-million NHS frontline staff in England have benefited from mobile and fixed broadband offers to stay connected at work during the coronavirus outbreak.This follows an agreement made in April between the Government, NHS and telecommunications companies with 29 mobile and fixed broadband providers agreeing to prioritise connectivity improvement for NHS frontline staff.Connectivity is more important than ever as many NHS frontline staff find themselves adapting to remote working.Almost 500,000 NHS staff have claimed directly from their provider or through the NHS triaging system.Will Loughborough, Consultant Radiologist from Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust said: KCOM is very happy to be able to help support this valuable initiative. NHS staff have worked tirelessly to protect people in the UK throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and where our fibre technology can make it easier and safer for clinicians to consult with patients and to manage their work remotely then it’s important and right that we play our part. Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK said: Minister for Care Helen Whateley said: Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media said: We recognise and value the incredible work of NHS frontline workers throughout this challenging period. Mobile connectivity remains more important than ever and from providing thousands of connected devices and additional mobile data and voice calls, through to handing over the keys for The O2 to be used as an NHS training facility, we’re proud to support NHS staff and help them stay connected to their colleagues and loved ones.center_img I am a Consultant Radiologist and because of COVID-19 and social distancing I’m spending more time than usual reporting from home and remote participation in MDTs. The triage process was straightforward and within three days I received a new router as part of a temporary free broadband upgrade with my provider. The speed of downloading images has improved greatly meaning I can report a higher volume of studies in a given session. This is particularly relevant for more complex studies such as PET-CT, which is an essential study to help guide the treatment of patients with complex cancer. Dale Raneberg, CEO, KCOM said: Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: The telecoms industry has stepped up throughout this crisis and is proud to have been able to offer such support to the NHS at this time. ISPA has been working with our membership to push through these commitments and we’re delighted that so many clinicians have been able to benefit from the scheme. The ongoing commitments made by UK telecoms providers include prioritised access to mobile data access, voice calls and texts on personal mobiles for work purposes, so that NHS staff can work without fear of extra charges and limitations.There were also broadband improvements where possible for NHS clinicians working from home, so that they can perform tasks such as consultations via video conferencing and review radiology images.Providers involved in the commitment include BT, EE, O2, Vodafone, Three, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media, talktalk, Sky, Openreach, Gigaclear, Cityfibre, Post Office, ID Mobile, Lycamobile, GiffGaff, Plusnet, KCOM,ASK4, Community Fibre, Zzoomm, Voneus, Smarty, Hyperoptic, G.Network, Spectrum and Wightfibre.Other firms have committed to help the NHS stay connected during the outbreak by working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bills as a result of coronavirus, removing data allowances on fixed broadband services and offering generous new mobile and landline packages.Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said: Over a quarter of a million NHS staff have taken us up on our unlimited data offer since April and we hope this support has given them one less thing to worry about. Along with the discount we already provide, this is a thank you from all of us at EE to those in the NHS that are working so hard for us all. We’ve also removed caps on our broadband packages so customers have unlimited data, which helps all those working remotely. We’ve depended on our NHS heroes throughout this crisis and I am glad we’ve been able to provide this package of support from our brilliant telecoms companies to keep them connected. That so many frontline staff during this difficult time are benefitting from the mobile data, calls and texts they need at no extra cost is no less than they deserve. Andrew Glover, Chair of the Internet Service Providers Association, said: Notes to editors: Community Fibre thanks all NHS staff who have made such a massive contribution to saving lives. Our own key workers have been keeping London connected and we are delighted that NHS staff have been able to take advantage of the special discounts available to them. We look forward to welcoming more in the coming months. Everyone at Openreach is proud to be connecting our NHS heroes. The pandemic has shown that digital connectivity is more important than ever for our friends, families and healthcare professionals – so we’re cracking on with our plan to build a new, ultrafast and ultra-reliable broadband network to millions more people all over the UK. Graeme Oxby, Chief Executive Community Fibre said:last_img read more

Virus-free Indonesia more threatened by COVID-19 than Singapore, Malaysia: Survey

first_imgThe report revealed that respondents living in the Asia-Pacific region — where most of the coronavirus cases are recorded — had expressed a higher level of anxiety over the epidemic in general than any other region in the world.In the Middle East, for instance, Saudi Arabia ranks first (66 percent) in terms of viewing the virus as a huge threat, followed by Kuwait (60 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (56 percent).The survey also finds that people in some countries of Europe and the United States are less threatened by the virus than any other people in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For instance, only 27 percent of respondents in the United States, 23 percent in the United Kingdom and 19 percent in Germany think of the COVID-19 as a major threat to their home countries. As of Tuesday, more than a month since the virus has spread globally and infected more than 70,000 people worldwide, Indonesian authorities still claim that the country has zero coronavirus infections on its soil, though at least four Indonesian nationals have been reported to have contracted the virus abroad. Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi confirmed on Tuesday that three Indonesian crew members aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored off the coast of Japan had tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier this month, an Indonesian woman working in Singapore was tested positive of the virus and has been under intensive care at the Singapore General Hospital.At least 102 specimens tested by the Health Ministry in Indonesia have been declared negative of the Wuhan coronavirus so far. Topics : Conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 11, the survey found that 72 percent of respondents in the archipelago considered COVID-19 a “major threat” to public health, despite Indonesia having no confirmed cases of the disease so far.Mainland China — home to the outbreak’s epicenter, Wuhan city in Hubei province — ranks first on the index, with 77 percent of its citizens viewing the virus as a huge threat to their homeland.In terms of viewing the virus as “major threat” at home, Indonesia ranked first among Southeast Asian countries surveyed, including Thailand (71 percent), the Philippines (70 percent), Malaysia (62 percent) and Singapore (58 percent), all of which have recorded coronavirus cases.The study also found that 84 percent of Indonesians believe the virus poses “a major threat to public health anywhere in the world” — more than any other citizens of surveyed countries, including China, where only 69 percent of the people think so.  Indonesians are more anxious about COVID-19 — a disease brought on by the fast-spreading Wuhan coronavirus — than their regional neighbors, according to a recent survey by global public opinion and data company YouGov.The international study, which surveyed some 27,000 people in 23 countries and regions, measures the level of coronavirus concerns across the globe.Indonesia ranked second after China as the country most concerned about the deadly outbreak, which has killed more than 1,800 globally.last_img read more