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Coronavirus outbreak sparks acts of generosity all over the world | Global Information

The coronavirus outbreak has brought tragedy to thousands of people – but it has also brought out the best in others looking to help where they can.

Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have opened their doors to the town’s homeless who have nowhere to go as the city remains in lockdown.

The annual event in the French Riviera, which hosts the biggest names in cinema, was due to take place from 12 May to 23 May but was postponed until late June.

The venue for the Cannes Film Festival is being offered to the homeless
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The venue for the Cannes Film Festival is being offered to the homeless

So instead it opened its doors the homeless on Friday.

“We have between 50 and 70 people here every night,” said Dominique Aude-Lasset, an official at Cannes Town Hall.

There are concerns over the impact COVID-19 could have on France’s estimated 12,000 homeless people, with many not having access to sanitation and suffering from underlying health conditions.

At the iconic building, the new occupants have their temperatures checked, have access to an eating area, showers, a communal space with a television, beds, and kennels for their dogs.



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Gary Neville’s hotel opens to NHS workers

In London, Michelin star-winning chef Andrew Wong, who has had to close his restaurant, has been preparing free food boxes for the most vulnerable.

“Whatever we can do in the immediate future – if we can help one person and make them temporarily happy, give them one meal, then that’s enough for the moment,” he said.

The cook-at-home boxes are intended to help those struggling to buy food during the lockdown.

Mr Wong said there were 'things in this world which are more important than profit and money'
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Mr Wong said there were ‘things in this world which are more important than profit and money’

Mr Wong said: “We’re working together with our local church, which has many links with local charities, who have also got volunteers who are going to distribute it to people in isolation, but also to food banks and the homeless.”

He added: “There are things in this world which are more important than profit and money, and if we if we go under, at least try and go under with a good heart.”

Elsewhere in Haiti, boy and girl scouts have been in the streets with portable sinks to allow people to wash their hands on the go, while promoting the importance of hand washing in slowing the spread of the virus.

Scouts in Haiti have been spending time encouraging others to wash their hands
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Scouts in Haiti have been spending time encouraging others to wash their hands

The portable wash basins are connected to the water supply of a local church or school and the youngsters play catchy music with lyrics encouraging hygiene methods to attract people.

Many in the densely populated country are anxious about being hit hard given the lack of sanitation, infrastructure and overwhelmed healthcare services. However, so far there have been just six confirmed cases.

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In Canada, a refugee family from Syria have given back to a woman who sponsored them by bringing her a food parcel while she was self-isolating.

Robin Stevenson had received a phone call from the family she helped in 2016 – and who now run a grocery shop.

“They told me there was food on my porch. They waved from the sidewalk and said that they could bring more food in a few days if needed – though I think there is enough here that even with a teenager in the house, we should be just fine,” she said.

The family left eight bags of food for Ms Stevenson
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The family left eight bags of food for Ms Stevenson

“They are kind and incredibly generous people and we’ve become good friends over the past few years. It’s been lovely seeing the kids grow – the smallest was just a baby when they came here. I am sure we will always be connected.”

Ms Stevenson, an author originally from Leeds, has sponsored several refugees in the past four years.

“One thing that I have seen over and over again is just how much newcomers help others and contribute to the communities they resettle in,” she said.

“Canada is better and stronger because of the refugees who have come here – and while no one should be forced to leave their country, we are lucky to have them.”

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is suing Promobot for using a robot which looks like him
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Schwarzenegger said ‘we should all do our part’

And the former governor of California and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger donated $1m (£848,000) to a frontline responders fund, in an effort to get crucial supplies to doctors and scientists.

He tweeted: “I never believed in sitting on the couch and complaining about how bad things are, I always believed we should all do our part to make things better.

“This is a simple way to protect our real action heroes on the frontlines in our hospitals, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

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