Barometer

Is Bernie Ecclestone the world’s oldest father?

11 April 2020

9:00 AM

11 April 2020

9:00 AM

Game on

A few things which are still going on, in spite of coronavirus:

— Football in Belarus, where the 2020 season recently began. Choice fixture over the weekend is Sunday’s clash between league-leaders FC Minsk and BATE.

— Practice games in Sweden’s 5th and 6th divisions are going ahead as gatherings of fewer than 50 people are still allowed. Fifth division Skabersjo IF, who last week played sixth division Vastra Ingelstad, aren’t allowed their usual supporters, however – last season they had an average gate of 70.

— Bets were still being taken last week for the Setka Cup, a table tennis competition in Moscow, and for Taipei’s Super Basketball.

Father figures

Bernie Ecclestone is to become a father again at the age of 89. There are a number of apparent candidates for the title of the world’s oldest father:

— Ramjit Raghav, an Indian farmer, was claimed to be 96 when his son Ranjeet was born in 2012.


— Les Colley, an Australian aged 92, was reported to have fathered a child in 1992.

— Julio Iglesias — the gynaecologist father of the singer of the same name — was 90 when he fathered a daughter in 2006. He died before she was born.

Last count

We have become used to daily death tolls from Covid-19. To put these in perspective, in the week to 20 March:

— The ONS registered 10,645 deaths in England and Wales — compared with a five-year average for the week of 10,573.

103 deaths were recorded where Covid-19 was a factor (it has risen sharply since).

1,514 deaths were from an underlying respiratory cause.

4,205 were of people aged over 85; 3,066 were 75-84; 1,780 were 65-74; 1,263 were 45-64; 275 were 15-44; 12 were one to 14; 44 were under one.

All in a day’s work

The Prince of Wales opened the 4,000-bed Nightingale Hospital in London’s ExCel building after it had been established and fully equipped in just nine days. But there have been buildings constructed faster:

— A coronavirus hospital in Wuhan in January was reported to have been constructed in 6 days.

— In 2011, a 30-storey block in Hunan Province, China, was put up in 15 days.

— The following year an Indian construction company employed 200 people to put up the Instacon building in Mohali, Punjab, in just 48 hours.

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