tv BBC News at Six BBC News March 12, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT
tonight at 6:00pm — the worst public health crisis for a generation. boris johnson spells out the government's latest plans for tackling the coronavirus pandemic. he was flanked by his public health experts. they say a peak in infections may not happen for months — that's when it will become most dangerous. i must level with you, level with the british public. more families, many more families, are going to lose loved ones before their time. there are now nearly 600 confirmed
cases, but many thousands are probably undetected. the uk's chief medical officer wants the right measures at the right time. if people go too early, they become very fatigued. this is going to be a long haul. it is very important we do not start things in advance of need. the latest advice — if you have a persistent cough orfeverfrom now on, stay at home for seven days. the prime minister said millions of people would need to be mobilised to help and support each other. around the world, governments are ramping up their response to the global pandemic. i will always put the well—being of america first. donald trump's words as he bans flights from most of the eu. air travel from britain is not affected. global stock markets are in free—fall. us trading was suspended for a while, and here the ftse has its biggest fall in over 30 years. in ireland, the government has
closed down all schools, colleges and other public buildings for more than two weeks. throughout the day the bbc has received more than 10,000 questions about coronavirus. we'll be answering the most frequent queries. and coming up in sportsday later in the hour on bbc news... we'll have the latest on the impact of coronavirus on sport, especially football — manchester city's match next week against real madrid is off. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. in the last hour borisjohnson has said britain faces the biggest public health crisis in a generation. the prime minister and his senior public health advisers have just set
out how britain should tackle the growing threat from coronavirus, and it's in stark contrast to what is happening around the world. the uk's chief medical adviser said that there was a danger in moving to more drastic measures too early — it could do harm than good. they are working on the assumption that britain will not see peak infection rates for weeks — maybe as many as three months away. so, for now, there will be no uk—wide ban on large sporting gatherings. and schools will remain open. but as britain moves from the containment phase to trying to delay the spread of the disease there was new advice on what we should be doing. if anyone in your family or workplace has a persistent cough or a fever, they should stay at home for a week. it comes amid anotherjump in confirmed cases — to just short of 600. but health experts believe there could be up 10,000 undetected cases.
the total number of deaths also rose — it's now ten. so far nearly 30,000 people have been tested. 0urfirst report this evening comes from our political editor, laura kuenssberg. four a self employed man stuck at home waiting for test... four a self employed man stuck at home waiting for test. .. there is no statutory sick pay for me and i haven't earned a penny since the start of march and i'm now hoping to get on with life. 0k has been waiting for her symptoms to go before she goes out again. it's my husband's birthday tomorrow so we have cancelled plans and will have an isolation party, just the two of us. an isolation party, just the two of us. johnny has symptoms but can't get a test. in some ways it is understandable because i am young, fit and not likely to die from this thing, but at the same time, the day before i came down with it i spent it sat next to my 90—year—old grandad watching the england against wales rugby game. now there could be many more changes to most of our lives. good afternoon everybody and thank you for coming. the virus is already affecting many of us and
from tomorrow we are in a new phase with some new rules, but not yet the most drastic action. this is the worst public health crisis for a generation. i must level with you, level with the british public. more families, many more families, are going to lose loved ones before their time. from tomorrow, going to lose loved ones before theirtime. from tomorrow, if going to lose loved ones before their time. from tomorrow, if you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild, either a new have coronavirus symptoms, however mild, eithera new and have coronavirus symptoms, however mild, either a new and continuous cough or a high temperature, then you should stay—at—home for at least seven days to protect others and help slow the spread of the disease. we advise all those over 70 with serious medical conditions against going on cruises and we advise against international school trips. how sure are you that the approach you are taking, holding back from some of the more drastic measures, is the right one? asking elderly
people to stay at home, that's one thing you've really got to time. as chris and patrick have been explaining, so that it coincides with the period at which the epidemic is really at its peak. people start off with the best of intentions but enthusiasm at a certain point starts to flag. if you start to early and people's enthusiasm runs out at the peak, which is exactly the time we want people to do these interventions, that's not a productive way to do it. but hang on, in scotland the first minister has pushed further. mass gatherings required to be policed and require emergency ambulance cover. we advise now the cancellation, from the start of next week, of mass gatherings of 500 people or more. that is principally to protect the resilience of front line workers. and listen to this,
the irish leader taking more drastic steps already. schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow. where possible, teaching will be done online and remotely. cultural institutions will close as well. our advice is that all indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled. number ten is well aware, outwardly they are taking a less stringent approach than some countries, even our near neighbours. but that is based on what they say is the best scientific evidence they have. and the genuine belief we are in this for the long haul, perhaps three months from the worst. a more draconian measures will only have an effect if they are taken at the right time. rushing into drastic action might not be the safest route. should schools be shut? above all else, this pandemic means the firstjob is to protect the nation's health. but this is also a test of
the politicaljudgment health. but this is also a test of the political judgment and competence of those in charge. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. so with the government stepping up its response to the virus, how could this affect the public, the patients and the nhs? our health editor hugh pym reports. taking precautions, regular disinfecting on the london underground, part of moves to slow the spread of the coronavirus. we learned today it could be a long haul. the peak of the epidemic possibly three months away. there will be many more cases. a lot of people had fallen ill. andrew tested positive after a skiing holiday in italy and is now self isolating at home until he recovers. what are the symptoms and what does it feel like having the virus? i have had worse flute without a doubt. the most debilitating aspect is the uncontrollable coughing. —— worse flute. that is probably the worst bit. the rest of it, the fever is no
different to a normal flu like symptoms. i would say it's not to be worried about. some employers are getting staff to work from home. 0thers, getting staff to work from home. others, like this car repair centre in suffolk are taking employees' temperatures twice a day. if they are too high they are sent home to self—isolate. but what about nhs staff? medical authorities have written to doctor's warning of extreme pressure and saying they might have to work in unfamiliar areas. many are concerned for patients and their own health. my colleagues, nursing staff colleagues i work with and everyone at intensive care are very much in the front line and are at risk of contracting the illness, which may be mild or severe, from the patients they treat. so it focuses the mind and is of great concern for us at the moment. older people are more vulnerable to the virus. this care home group in the north—east of scotla nd home group in the north—east of
scotland will now only allow essential visits. residents have been given ipads to stay in contact with families. health officials say older people at home might in future the urge to self—isolate. age uk supports the government approach but has called for more detailed guidance. people who are in particularly vulnerable situations, perhaps because they are living with someone perhaps because they are living with someone at risk, maybe they have had a cancer treatment or they are an older person and they are caring for them, people like that need more advice and they are bound to be anxious. there are no plans at present to ban crowds at big sporting events like the racing at cheltenham. 0fficials think right now it would not help slow the spread of the virus but as the peak of the epidemic gets closer nothing has been ruled out. hugh pym, bbc news. the prime minister said the most important task was to protect elderly and vulnerable people when infections peak, although the most dangerous period is some weeks away. so what are the main concerns of those at most risk? our special correspondent lucy manning has been meeting people in essex.
the older generation, the workers, the vulnerable. the delay phase will mean changes for everybody‘s lives. 0lder mean changes for everybody‘s lives. older people are most at risk. the advice today is just to protect themselves. but at chelmsford's age concern lunch club, the worries are, will they be asked to stay in more and should they be staying in more? i don't want to. it would finish me off. lillian is 84. this is what keeps me going, it really does. eating with people, seeing people. mother and daughter tracy and sue waterman have already changed their behaviour. i have basically locked her down so she is not on buses and touching handrails. it's battening down the hatches. it is scary, yeah. it's notjust a cold. to me, that would be a severe flu. to my mum,
that would be a fatal flu. and people are not getting it. there are difficult conversations going on in families across the country. people telling parents and grandparents they need to change their behaviour and follow government advice. soon life at home and that work will look very different for some weeks, even months. for workers, a cough or temperature it means to stay—at—home for a week. at this creative agency in brentwood, business has been affected. the government not yet telling firms everyone should work from home, but they are ready. telling firms everyone should work from home, but they are readylj think from home, but they are ready.” think too much of a situation where we act too soon will have negative impact. so i believe the government is doing the right thing at the moment, but i think big decisions will be made over the next few weeks. and we will have to adapt. and the vulnerable are already
suffering. amy has multiple sclerosis. her treatment weakens her immune system, so it has been delayed. as i am at a higher risk category of contracting the disease, the virus, i don't think i would wa nt to the virus, i don't think i would want to even leave my house at the moment, really, because it is quite scary. a prime minister warning many more families will lose loved ones before their time, perhaps the most sobering message this country will hear. lucy manning, bbc news, essex. our medical correspondent fergus walsh is here. i think at home people will be wondering, why aren't we doing more because other countries are. absolutely. the government says it is being led by the science. let's ta ke is being led by the science. let's take school closures. there is lots of evidence they work in slowing flu pandemics where children spread the disease and get it. but here, it doesn't seem to be the case with this virus. you need to close
schools for months to have an effect. the same with banning mass gatherings. there is a view in the public but it must work, but it doesn't really control the spread. but they could be banned and stopped to relieve pressure on public services. what the government is relying on most of all is altruism from all of us to protect the vulnerable and that means staying at home for seven days if you have a cough orfever. home for seven days if you have a cough or fever. eventually whole families will be asked to stay at home for 14 days where one person is infected. the aim now isn't to stop transmission altogether in this country because there is an acknowledgement we need to build immunity across the population. this really is a marathon now, not a sprint. fergus walsh, thank you very much. well, ireland has become the latest country to bring in restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus closing all schools, colleges and nurseries and banning mass gatherings from this evening. chris page is in dublin this evening. what has been the reaction to the latest measures? what is very
striking is that this capital city is already noticeably very quiet. under normal circumstances this would be a very busy time in dublin. a big weekend of celebration ahead of st patrick's day next week, but now an unprecedented shutdown is under way with schools, colleges and childcare facilities closing, as well as cultural centres like museums. indoor gatherings for more than 100 people and outdoor events for more than 500 are being cancelled and people are being told to work from home wherever possible and also that they should limit socialising. ireland has 43 cases confirmed of covid—19 and one death so far... what health authorities here are hoping... we are having some difficulties with that line but we are getting the gist of what chris page was saying.
president trump has announced severe restrictions on travel between european union countries and the us, to tackle coronavirus. the restrictions — which don't apply to the united kingdom — suspend travel from the 26 countries in the schengen agreement —— the area of the eu where people are allowed to move freely from one country to an other. the eu has strongly criticised president trump's decision. there are now more than 45 us states affected by the virus. 1,364 people have the disease and 39 have died. nick bryant is in new rochelle in new york... this is the hotspot in america's coronavirus outbreak. the military has been deployed to help. donald trump has been downplaying the threat but last night he delivered a rare 0val threat but last night he delivered a rare oval office address in an attempt to allay the concerns of an increasingly anxious nation.
the national guard on the streets of american suburbia. here not to maintain public order, but to safeguard public health. boots on the ground for a mercy mission. how many kids? 0ne kid. providing food to needy families whose children have stopped getting free meals because of the closure of schools. people won't go hungry, but they are getting sick and increasingly fretful. i think people are worried. i think people are nervous. the idea is with the resources that are available, it's about coming together and maybe perhaps it will ease a lot of people's nerves. new rochelle, on the outskirts of new york city, has now become ground zero in america's coronavirus outbreak. it's not yet in lockdown, there is still freedom of movement, but they have created a containment area where schools, colleges, houses of worship, will be shut for the next two weeks. residents here complain the trump administration has not done enough. especially with testing people for the virus. i think they are approaching this situation very slowly and it's not fair to the communities that are infected.
it's not. i think they need to do more, produce more tests as fast as possible. new rochelle is a satellite town for new york city, and the fear is people who commute to manhattan will fuel the contagion. further down the tracks, they are worried the subway system could become a super spreader, so they have been disinfecting turnstiles and trains. but the big apple already has more than 50 cases. the trump white house has been accused of minimising the crisis, of wishing it away. and last night the president tried to project an air of calm. although the shock announcement of a european travel ban only added to the confusion. we made a life—saving move with early action on china. now we must take the same action with europe. we will not delay. i will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health and safety of the american people. at european airports, passengers
rush to beat the travel ban, which comes into effect tomorrow, but doesn't include the uk. it was announced without any consultation with the european union and without even alerting us airlines. at the opening bell on the new york stock exchange, they were bumping elbows, that new coronavirus greeting. but soon it was head in the hands as the markets nosedived in response to donald trump's speech. trading had to be temporarily suspended for the second time this week. so the president who promised to make america great again is struggling with his biggest crisis yet — of trying to keep it healthy. nick bryant, bbc news, new rochelle. well as we heard, the global economy has been left reeling, following further dramatic falls on stock markets across europe, asia and america. 0ur economics editor faisal islam is here. this fall in stocks in britain for example is worse than the financial
crisis of 2008. it is primarily a grave health situation but it has been a torrid time on global stock markets today. i think crashes is a fair description in terms of europe. let's look at what happened today, what transpired in the markets over the day. you can see the ftse100 down nearly 11%, the second worst day in percentage terms on record. worse than the monday of black monday in 1987. you will see the dax down 12%, that is germany. in spain the ibex down 14%. hundreds of billions of pounds of funding was put in for the dow, but it is still a bad performance. yesterday we had the budget where there was support from both the bank of england and the treasury. that is perceived to be effective but what is going on is a reassessment of how much it will
affect economies and corporations in the corporate debt market. there is an assessment, people are starting to think these companies, these airlines, if people are not going on holiday they will not have the cash flow so there are stresses there too. this is worse in a way than the financial crisis in 2008 but it is a different type of thing. then it was a problem with the plumbing in financial markets, that is now 0k, but the risk is very much there and not helped by an occasional speech by the president of the united states. thank you very much. the travel restrictions announced across the world are a major threat to airlines and the tourist industry. thousands of flights have already been cancelled as fewer people choose to travel abroad following the outbreak. 0ur transport correspondent tom burridge has more. the us restrictions will hit british airways. many of its passengers connect from europe. but more broadly, the picture for airlines is catastrophic,
with a raft of travel restrictions kicking in worldwide. the foreign office is currently advising people not to travel to mainland china, and these three cities in south korea. the same is true of italy. so with these countries, you need a really good reason not to follow that advice. india has suspended all visitor visas from tomorrow for a month, and other countries have other types of restrictions. for example, anyone entering israel will have to self—quarantine for two weeks. the travel industry says future bookings for pretty much everywhere are way down. most people would say this is the most significant impact we have seen since probably 9/11. passenger numbers and passenger bookings, forward bookings, are all down across the uk and that's having a really bad knock—on impact on airports. so we are seeing numbers, traffic numbers, down by anything between 25%, 50% and upwards. so what about travel
insurance cover? the government's advice is key, so if the government advises against travelling to your destination, most policies will pay out. but you probably won't get your money back if that is not the case. check with your operator first and your insurance provider, and of course look at your policy. 0n the trains, passenger numbers are down as more people work from home. in london they are using a more powerful disinfectant. what we can do at the moment is try and make it the safest environment possible by more frequent cleaning, especially in high touch areas like train doors or example ticket vending machines. it's emerged that norwegian air will lay off half of its workforce. it employs 1,200 people in the uk. i'm told uk—based airlines are livid that the government gave them no emergency support in the budget. tom burridge, bbc news.
let's look at some coronavirus related developments elsewhere in the world. the czech republic has banned entry to citizens of 15 countries including the uk for 30 days from tomorrow night. under a state of emergency, special measures will be taken inside the country, including the cancellation of all public events of more than 30 people and the implementation of 8pm curfews. manila is to be locked down, with all transport in and out of the capital halted in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. philippine president rodrigo duterte has announced. he also approved a month of school closures and a ban on mass gatherings. justin trudeau and his wife are self—isolating after she began exhibiting mild—flu like symptoms. the canadian prime minister, who is not exhibiting any symptoms, will work from home until his wife's test results come back.
the numbers of coronavirus cases continues to increase across europe. italy is the worst affected country with another big jump in the number of confirmed cases today to 15,113. more than 1,000 people have died. france's cases have increased to more than 2,000. the french president, emmanuel macron, is due to address the country in the next hour to reassure the people. in spain the number of coronavirus cases has soared to over 3,000, with around one third of them in the capital, madrid. 84 people have died with the disease. 0ur correspondent damian grammaticas is in madrid. spain is second only to italy, i wonder what the atmosphere is like there? that is exactly right and they are very conscious of that here, conscious of the fact they appear to be tracking italyjust
perhaps a week or so behind but accelerating fast just as perhaps a week or so behind but accelerating fastjust as happened in italy. so 2000 cases yesterday lea pt to in italy. so 2000 cases yesterday leapt to 3000 today, and the senses that it leapt to 3000 today, and the senses thatitis leapt to 3000 today, and the senses that it is unchecked. today the virus appeared at the heart of government with one minister testing positive. her partner, the deputy prime minister, is in isolation. the entire government has had to be tested today. also the king and queen, the real madrid football team have been exposed and they are in quarantine as well, and there is a sense too that the prime minister, who is conducting things by teleconference today, is sending mixed messages. doctors are concerned and say that spain needs to get ahead, they think it is behind the virus and the peak is some way off. damian, thank you very much. in some of today's other news... a civil servant has alleged that the former first
minister of scotland, alex salmond, started a sexual assault by telling her to get on the bed. she was giving evidence on the fourth day of mr salmond's trial. he's charged with 14 sexual assaults against ten women — all of which he denies. the government has announced measures to make smart motorways safer. under the plans, hard shoulders will no longer be opened for traffic in busy periods. 38 people have been killed on smart motorways in the last five years. the ministry of defence has named 26—year—old lance corporal brodie gillen, described by her squadron laden as respected, an outstanding medic and loyal friend. the impact of the virus on sporting fixtures is growing. manchester city's champions league game at home to real madrid is in doubt, after the spanish club put all their players into quarantine. and the olympic torch has been lit in greece to start its journey to japan,
but only a select few attended due to concerns over the virus... our sports editor dan roan is in manchester outside the ethiad stadium. the etihad stadium. what is the reaction in the sport? tonight the first premier league clu bs to tonight the first premier league clubs to play behind closed doors because of this virus will be in action, both manchester united and wolves playing away in the europa league. at manchester city they had already seen their game last night cancelled and today learned that their match against real madrid in their match against real madrid in the champions league next week have also been called off because of this outbreak. the impact of football doesn't stop there because next week u efa doesn't stop there because next week uefa will meet to discuss whether to postpone euro 2020 no less. the european championships themselves. until next summer, and play it in 2021 instead. this has been a day
like no other, george, for world sport. extensive chaos throughout the sporting calendar. throughout the sporting calendar. throughout the last 24 hours we have seen nba basketball, world tennis, the grand prix in melbourne all called off. in britain meanwhile sport continues, 65,000 at the cheltenham festival again today. but as you have been hearing the british government said it is now considering ending sporting fixtures, not because they say it helps the spread of the outbreak because it is a strain on other public resources and services. this would cause massive financial ramifications of course throughout sport at all levels, and have a major impact on an already crowded diary, but the world of sport is having to face up rapidly to what would be an unprecedented peacetime closure. dan, thank you very much. throughout the day the bbc has received nearly 15,000
questions on coronavirus. you've been asking how to best protect yourself, and how to interpret the government's public health guidelines. our health correspondent, sophie hutchinson, has been taking a look at some of your most common concerns. my dad's got a chronic lung disease, copd, and i would like to know, how dangerous is coronavirus for people like him? for anyone with a lung condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, there is a raised risk from the coronavirus. charities are advising that people take any medication they might need with them at all time, and really manage their conditions. the virus is dangerous because it attacks the tissues and airways deep inside the lungs. i'm wondering if, once i've had the illness and if i thankfully get over it, i will then be safe because i'll be immune? is that the case? well, the truth is we don't know, but it seems highly unlikely that you could get the coronavirus more than once. there have been a small number of reports from china of people