The University of Manchester has confirmed it has begun the process of weekly testing to allow students to safely return home for Christmas.
The university’s asymptomatic testing programme – which is geared towards enabling students to travel home over the festive break – has been running for almost a week, with thousands of students having signed up for a test and registrations clocking in at over 5,500.
Each student is recommended to take two tests before returning home.
This therefore means that the university is set to administer around 10,000 tests over four sites in the coming weeks.
The team behind the project has turned around the programme from scratch in a little under two weeks, with a project group led by Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Hackett, and Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Professor Nalin Thakkar.
The group also involves PS and academic staff, and representation from the Students’ Union to ensure tests are being delivered safely and efficiently.
As well as testing University of Manchester students, the university has provided free testing to students at other Higher Education institutions in the city – such as the Royal Northern College of Music – and also other further education facilities.
The University is also working closely with the Greater Manchester authorities to share what it has learned through the testing programme, ahead of any mass testing which could be implemented in the city.
Speaking on the ongoing testing programme, Professor Nalin Thakkar said: :This has been an astonishing achievement for our university, with many people working very hard to deliver a testing service with one of the largest capacities, so that any student travelling within the UK can have a test.
“Public Health England and the NHS have told me that they are extremely impressed by the speed we set up an operation of this scale.”
He continued: “Student feedback on the testing process has been extremely positive.
“There are plenty of slots left, so I would encourage any colleagues who are in contact with students to remind them to get a test, to help them get home safely and protect their loved ones.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson first confirmed that university students would be allowed to return home over Christmas in an address to MPs in the House of Commons toward the end of September.
Making the announcement at the time, Mr Williamson said: “I know there has been some anxiety about the impact safety measures will have on the Christmas holidays. Students are important members of the communities that they choose to study in [and] we expect them to follow the same guidance as those same local communities.
“We are going to work with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones if they choose to do so.”
He added: “Students as well as the wider community accept when we are living in a global pandemic we have to operate in a society with restrictions, but I do not believe that we should look to inflict stricter measures on students or expect higher standards of behaviour from them than we would from any other sector of society – there must be a parity.”
Official guidance on students returning home for Christmas can be found here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.