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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 15, 2020 9:00am-9:32am GMT

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this is bbc news.
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i'm ben brown. the headlines at nine. the health secretary warns that measures to combat coronavirus will disrupt the lives of everybody and older people and those with health conditions will be asked to stay at home. president trump and borisjohnson discuss the pandemic by phone. number ten says they agreed on the importance of co—ordinating international action. supermarkets urge shoppers not to buy more than they need, amid growing evidence of panic buying. the foreign office advises against all but essential travel to spain, after a state of emergency was declared there last night. in france, the government orders the closure of most public places, including all cafes, restaurants, cinemas and nonessential shops. and we'll be discussing the impact of coronavirus in our sunday morning edition of the papers coming up at 9.35. this morning's reviewers are dave wooding and sienna rogers.
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hello, good morning. the health secretary matthew hancock has warned that the measures the government will take to combat the coronavirus will disrupt the ordinary lives of almost everybody in the country. he said ministers would ask the nation's manufacturers to switch to the production of ventilators needed to treat people go developed severe symptoms and that more doctors would be trained in their use. he confirmed that older and vulnerable people would be asked to self—isolate, staying at home and cutting down contacts, but that this would not happpen yet. here are the day's other main developments. the foreign office is advising against all but essential travel
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to spain, and the balearic and ca nary islands. easyjet is the latest airline to cancel all flights to spain, beginning tuesday. borisjohnson and president trump discussed the pandemic in a telephone call last night. downing street said they agreed on the importance of co—ordinating international action. the white house doctor says president trump has tested negative for coronavirus after hosting a meeting with the brazilian president, jair bolsonaro, some of whose entourage have tested positive. here, supermarkets are urging customers not to panic buy during the outbreak. the government, local authorities, charities, friends and neighbours will need to be part of a national effort. we've reports from around the world, but first this report on the situation here in the uk from our correspondent sophie hutchinson. as the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus rise sharply, pressure is building
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on the government to do more to tackle the outbreak. the virus attacks the tissue and airways deep inside the lungs and ministers are highlighting plans for more life—saving ventilators to be manufactured as quickly as possible. it's also said the nhs will buy up beds in private hospitals to boost capacity. but there's been strong criticism of the government strategy. hundreds of scientists have written urging ministers to introduce tougher measures to stop the virus spreading and warning of the risks of a lack of action. and other experts agree. it's thought the government may now ban mass gatherings next week and its scientific advisors have said measures to protect the sick and elderly and to isolate whole families will be needed soon. but the government's main message remains for anyone with a cough or fever to stay at home and for everyone to ensure thorough hand washing. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. in the last hour health secretary matt hancock appeared
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on the sophie ridge programme on sky news. he was asked about media reports that elderly people would shortly be told to self—isolate, potentially for a period of months. that is in the action plan, yes, and we will be setting it out with more detail when that's the right time to do so. because we absolutely appreciate that it is a very big ask of the elderly and the vulnerable and it's for their own self protection. are we talking about days, weeks away? how long are we talking? well certainly in the coming weeks, absolutely. that the health secretary matt hancock. our political correspondent nick eardley is here. what is the latest on the government thinking on how to deal with a coronavirus outbreak? the government continues to say everything it's doing is based on a science, the advice it's getting, doesn't want
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to ta ke advice it's getting, doesn't want to take any measures to early. it doesn't want to do anything that might not be effective when it's done, but, clearly, the government's plans for the next few weeks are ramping up. we know there's going to be emergency legislation next week which will give the government new powers to do things when it deems necessary. there is probably going to be an announcement within the next week or so on banning large gatherings in england and wales, scotla nd gatherings in england and wales, scotland has already said it's planning to do so. i think it's likely the same thing will happen here potentially by next weekend and what we have also from the group which advises the government and science when it comes to emergencies, is the next part of their plan, which is isolation of households to make sure that if you oi’ households to make sure that if you ori households to make sure that if you or i have a cough orfever at households to make sure that if you or i have a cough or fever at the moment we are supposed to stay at home for seven days, the next stage if anybody is in our house, family member, flatmate or something like that, if they have symptoms, we are all to stay at home for a period of
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time. we don't know how long yet but we will get that information soon as you heard from matt hancock, perhaps one of the biggest things we will see is vulnerable groups being told they need to seal themselves which potentially means older people and people who are at particular risk staying home for quite a long time. also the government saying they will ask the nations manufacturers to produce more ventilators and switch to the production of ventilators. it's almost like a wartime effort. they are calling it a war to arms and that a blitz spirit has been invoked by matt hancock this morning ina invoked by matt hancock this morning in a piece written for the telegraph saying everyone will be asked to make sacrifices, our generation has never been tested like this. what we are seeing is the prime minister holding talks with some of the big manufacturing groups, saying to them and make ventilators, don't care how many, however many you make we will buy them and the uk has 5000 ventilators just now and there's an a cce pta nce ventilators just now and there's an acceptance in government we will
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need many more and basically they are writing a blank cheque to companies saying if you can make them we will buy them. there is a shortage around the world and there can never be too many. 0n shortage around the world and there can never be too many. on top of that, there is also work under way to prepare the ground to buy hospital beds in private hospitals if it comes to the point where the nhs is seeing so many people coming through its doors it needs to find new beds. they will be in private hospitals. the government is prepared to pay for that. a lot of this will be spelt out in detail in the coming days and there is political pressure to do it sooner. i think we will see the next few days what happening but it's ramping up, the measures to stop the spread of this virus. 0k, thank you very much indeed. across the uk, supermarket shelves are being emptied of essential items such as toilet rolls and pasta. the organisation which represents british retailers has urged people to shop responsibly, to ensure there is enough food and goods to go around.
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matt hancock said he was confident the pandemic would not threaten food supplies. here's our business correspondent katy austin. the coronavirus outbreak has not yet peaked in the uk but seems like these show many shoppers are worried stocking up on essentials like loo roll, hand wash and long life foods, some shops are limiting purchases of in demand products. people at their store in london felt they had been an overreaction. there no nappies, toilet paper, nothing. it's going to bea toilet paper, nothing. it's going to be a struggle. somebody needs to put a cross be a struggle. somebody needs to put a cross on it and so you can only ta ke a cross on it and so you can only take so much rather than one person having so much in their house and someone having so much in their house and someone having little in being hungry, especially the elderly. when i see them coming late at night, they can't get no food. it's a little bit over—the—top, frankly. they can't get no food. it's a little bit over—the—top, frankly! lot of my friends that you got to get tea bags, bog roll, why? i don't know, she had frightened me, so i've come out to get it all. 12 major
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supermarkets and food retailers have now published a letter to their customers saying they are doing everything they can to speed up supplies and keep shelves stocked. pointing out online delivery services are running at full capacity. but customers are asked to be considerate in the way they shop and told bang more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left out. they are being told there is enough for everyone if we work together. the risk is we just buy that little bit more than we actually need and if we all did that then that would cause more of a problem in terms of making sure that we have got the right supplies coming through the system. we have seen coming through the system. we have seen certain products with less availability, where some things are run out for a short period of time. we won't see completely empty supermarkets. that's absolutely not the case. it's much more around making sure we can spread that demand out and if we are all considerate as shoppers, only buying what it is we need and there's going
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to be plenty for everyone and the retailers really want to give reassurance to everyone. the uncertain message of the letter todayis uncertain message of the letter today is think of others before you panic buy. katie austin, bbc news. european countries are continuing to take extraordinary steps to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus. measures on a scale not seen before in peace—time are coming into force. in spain there's a nationwide partial lockdown for the next 15 days while in france — all cafes, restaurants, cinemas and most shops have been ordered to remain shut. this report from rich preston. bells toll. three of europe's biggest economies have imposed national lockdowns. spain is europe's second—worst hit country, with more than 190 deaths and over 6300 infections, and has now declared a state of emergency. public gatherings are banned and most shops and businesses are closed. cafes and restaurants will only be
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able to carry out home deliveries. for the next two weeks, people have been told to stay at home unless they are going to work or to buy food or medicine. begona gomez, the wife of the spanish prime minister, pedro sanchez, and pictured here with her husband last year, has tested positive for the virus. on the streets, cheers of support for health staff going to work and caring for the sick. cheering and applause. at the stroke of midnight, sweeping new restrictions came into force across france. public places described as nonessential forcibly shut, including cinemas, cafes and nightclubs. the traditional french bistro, an integral part of the country's cultural identity, closed. more than 90 people in france have now died of coronavirus and authorities say this is the only way to prevent
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mass fatalities. translation: i am aware of the efforts and sacrifices that are required and i have confidence in the ability of french men and women to understand the seriousness of the moment and to adopt together the civic, responsible and supportive behaviour which will enable us to overcome this crisis. despite the lockdown, local elections are going ahead — the prime minister calling for people to come out and vote, but to do so sensibly and keep a safe distance from others. italy remains europe's worst—hit country, with over moo deaths. its national lockdown has been in place for nearly a week, but the number of cases and fatalities keeps rising. on friday, the world health organisation said europe was now the epicentre of the covid—i9 outbreak, a virus which started in china and, which, in just ten weeks, has spread around the world and killed thousands of people. rich preston, bbc news.
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breaking news on restrictions, very severe restrictions in austria where they are closing all restaurants as of tuesday and banning gatherings of more than five people, so any gathering of more than five people in austria will be banned according to the chancellors office in austria and also visitors from the uk, netherlands, russia, ukraine, will not be admitted to austria without a two—week home quarantine or current health certificate. that's according to the chancellors office in austria, so they are banning in austria, so they are banning in austria all gatherings of more than five people. our reporter guy hedgecoe is in madrid. some pretty extraordinary measures taken there as well. bring
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us up to date. well, i'm in a town just outside the capital city of south and it would normally be very quiet here on a sunday morning, but it's extremely quiet in this particular sunday and it seems as if virtually no one is going outside. they seem to be following these instructions that they shouldn't leave their homes unless they have a specific reason to do so, to buy food, medication or to go to work. or to go and visit loved ones or people they are looking after. it seems as if people across the country are responding to this very tough restriction of movement which has just been introduced, but it's rather early to tell how it's going to affect life here. it's supposed to affect life here. it's supposed to last for two weeks and that could be extended possibly. i think many people are expecting it to last perhaps longer than those initial two weeks. we had the extraordinary scene this weekend of aeroplanes from the uk turning back
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in midday on the way to spain. —— mid air. can you hear us? just bring us up to date. i can hear you know. bring us up date. i can hear you know. bring us up to date on the travel situation. obviously a lot of british holiday—makers particularly concerned about the travel situation and we saw aeroplanes being turned backin and we saw aeroplanes being turned back in mid air, didn't we, yesterday? yes, british low-cost airline jet yesterday? yes, british low-cost airlinejet to yesterday? yes, british low-cost airline jet to yesterday announcing it was cancelling all flights to and from spain. many countries had already restricted travel to spain because they see it as a high—risk country. tourism is an enormous industry in spain and especially going into the easter week celebrations which are coming up, so that's a huge concern for the authorities here. they
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see this just not as a health crisis but a potential economic crisis and tourism is seen as perhaps the sector which is going to suffer the most, above all others. what is the latest death toll they are from a coronavirus? spain is the second worst european country after italy, isn't it, in terms of the number of deaths? yes, that's right, the latest figures we have are just under 200 deaths. just over 6000 cases across the country. i should point out that in each case, more than half of the deaths have been here in madrid, in the capital itself or the regions surrounding it, so there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the health care professionals and services, particularly in the capital itself. 0k, particularly in the capital itself. ok, thank you very much indeed.
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now to paris. hugh schofield is in paris. all the cafe is in restaurants and bars arejust all the cafe is in restaurants and bars are just close down? yes, dramatic change came in at midnight, with all public gatherings effectively stopped and this means that our lifestyles are going to really be turned upside down for the next couple of weeks. we have got school closed from tomorrow and now this draconian measure on bars, cafe, restaurants, cinemas, shopping centres, anywhere where people gather will be shut from now on and there will be essential shops open like food shops, pharmacies and so on, but, other than like food shops, pharmacies and so on, but, otherthan that, it will like food shops, pharmacies and so on, but, other than that, it will be life at a standstill. a very radical change will be given. one senses
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in france that the true scale of the problem had not really hit home probably until this measure came in yesterday and the announcement came, even after president macron on thursday spoke and said the schools will be shut, one sensed still a feeling of it all being not concerning us, and a lackadaisical response, but now, with this, i think it really does hit home. life is going to be turned upside down for the next few weeks. president macron has been appealing for national unity of course, with so many divisions in france with a protest a nd many divisions in france with a protest and so on, but appealing for unity across the country. yes, it is one of those circumstances which is so bizarre and rare and extraordinary it does bring people together, and there has been a certain amount of politicking about it and criticism of the response of
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the government. i mean, the government's response up to now has been gradualist, a bit like the british response, but now we have shifted gears completely and are in this phase of lockdown and radical unforgettable period we are about to enter now and i think in that period, people do feel very much we are all in this kind of together kind of thing. a lot of support for the health service and health workers are extremely highly regarded as a result of all they have done so far. special measures are being put in place for health workers for them they are the only ones allowed to go to work properly with nurseries and so on laid on for their children so they can keep going on. these elections going on today, that's a very controversial question because arguably it's just
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bizarre that they should be going ahead, town hall elections, people gathering in public buildings and town halls and so on to vote, but every other aspect of public life, bringing people together, has been told to stop. thank you from paris. we are going to go back to madrid actually because we were talking to our correspondence there a few minutes ago and this is the scene live now in madrid. you can see a few people out and about this sunday morning, but the death toll there from covid—i9 that so far, 196, and from covid—19 that so far, 196, and some pretty severe measures imposed by the government for the country now ina by the government for the country now in a near total nationwide lockdown. you can see pretty quiet streets there.
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sneha mistri is a choreographer in madrid. she's originally from birmingham, but has been living in spain for the past 15 years. give us a snapshot of what is happening there. we are at home, after yesterday's announcement, so i kind of saw this happening. i've been travelling around a lot, being a dancer, performing, so i saw what was happening in italy so i'd planned this might happen, cancelled events this weekend, a massive event, so we are at home, connecting with friends and family, letting people know we are ok, so we just have to deal with it now. luckily, yesterday i did a class online on facebook. it's going to be tough, it's a tough one, especially for an artist. we have no work. this near lockdown in spain, that could go on for months, potentially, i suppose, could it? yes, if we see what
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happened in china and italy, it was 15 days. i'm a positive person, so obviously we want things to finish quickly, but we have to be realistic as well and these numbers are growing exponentially. the health service is about to collapse. it's quite serious. i'm warning my friends and family in the uk about this, telling them to take this seriously. one week ago we were fine, dancing, partying, out on the streets, and within seven days we are now confined to homes, so this is something very serious to consider and the spanish culture is to be outside, so it's very hard for people to understand and accept what's going on right now. you are staying in your home but what about food and supplies? are you getting out of the shops and what is in the shops? in this country we have seen quite a lot of panic buying and empty them is at the same there? there was panic buying last week. obviously, because people thought
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this was going to happen, and the shops and supermarkets are open officially, so yesterday i did pop down and get a couple more supplies, but i'm even telling my friends is no point buying bulk, because there are people who can't afford to buy in bulk, so we have to be responsible and think about communities, but the supermarkets are open so it's a necessity and so other pharmacies. if you do need to 90, 9° other pharmacies. if you do need to go, go out, but only when it's necessary to go out. what is the spirit of people? is there a collective spirit of solidarity and peeping helping each other and so on? yes, me personally, i believe that this is the way we are going to get through this. last night, i don't know if you saw the images at ten o'clock last night there was a call—out social media, everyone go to your windows and balconies and start cheering for the emergency services and it was quite emotional, beautiful to see. the whole of spain, there's videos all over, it was really beautiful. online, as well, me, as an artist, we are all
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stuck at home so let's do some dancing, so i did a dance class and stu d e nts dancing, so i did a dance class and students all over the world doing a class with me and it was wonderful. we need to bring back humanity to bring us together. so many people are alone at home and i think they need that. that is the spirit. what about the future, when do you think you will be able to get back to work and dancing and choreography and so on? i don't know. i'mjust accepting the situation. dealing with things i possibly can do classes online, even my gymnasium is doing things online, so we are working with technology to try to get things moving where we can but obviously this will affect a lot of people. it is hurting everybody and we have to accept that. hopefully, the government will help but self—employed people, what are we going to do? i don't want to think too much about it. i'm lucky i have a place to stay and i'm safe and sound, and i think that's important for now to think about
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that, the positive side of it. indeed, good luck to you. thank you so much forjoining us, a choreographer in madrid. let's go across the atlantic now. the white house has announced that donald trump has tested negative for coronavirus, hours after the us extended its travel ban to britain and ireland. the ban will come into force early on tuesday morning uk time, as jane o'brien reports. the present decision to spend trouble to the uk and ireland for effective midnight monday night. eastern standard time. there is a new sense of urgency in the us which compared to other countries was slow to respond to the virus. lawmakers have passed legislation making tests
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free for everyone but because of a shortage of kits, it's not known how far the virus has already spread. for donald trump, it's become personal. facing criticism after being exposed to an infected person several days ago, he says he's now been tested. americans are reeling and stockpiling food and medicine and stockpiling food and medicine and confronting social restrictions. there is a growing understanding that things will be very different for weeks, if not months to come. jane o'brien, bbc news, washington. with football matches off, panic—buying taking place, and fears of increased pressure on the nhs, coronavirus is affecting us all. but it's also brought out a great deal of community spirit, as alexandra mackenzie has been finding out. singing. at this london nursery, children are learning that washing their hands is important, but it can also be fun.
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they're filming a music video with a specially composed song about hand washing. they want to encourage families around the world. excellent! i think it's important to wash your hands because then you will get all the germs in your hands and you will get ill all the time. wash your hands to get off the germs. there is germs spreading around because people are sick. so to avoid the germs you have to wash your hands. the message seems to be getting through to these youngsters. washing our hands often helps us slow down the spread of covid—19 and other germs. if i can save the lives of one child, if they are going to see ourcampaign, and the importance of it, then i would be so happy. here in stenhousemuir in falkirk, it is the elderly who are being looked after. shop owners jawad and asiyahjaved
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have spent around £2000 of their own money on hand sanitiser wipes and masks for some of the older people in their community. david, this is for you and your wife. i'm concerned because of my age, but i also think the job they're doing is magnificent. whatever age we are, the next few weeks are likely to bring a great deal of uncertainty, as covid—19 tightens its grip across the uk. for the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak, including what symptoms to look out for, how to reduce your risk of becoming infected, and advice for those with underlying health conditions, just visit our website. or go to the bbc news app. and we'll be taking a look through today's
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papers with our reviewers sienna rodgers and dave wooding — that's coming up after the latest headlines and a full sport update. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear. hello there. expect rain for some sunshine and showers for others for the remainder of the sunday because we are underan the remainder of the sunday because we are under an influence of low pressure at the moment, the rain pushing its way steadily south—east. showers are piling in from the north, so yes, expect wetter weather into east anglia and the london area by the middle of the afternoon but behind it, though, do some sunny spells for some, showers frequent into the far north of scotland accompanied by gale force gusts of wind from a northerly direction here, so a coal drafted in to come, a maximum of 4—5. elsewhere, we should see temperatures ranging from 9-11. should see temperatures ranging from 9—11. through the night, the rain and showers will ease away and windfalls are light and sky is clear, so temperatures likely to fall quite sharply and the
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blue tones denote where they will fall below freezing, so do expect a frost first thing on monday morning, with a shock to the system but monday will be predominantly dry, settled in sunny and a little bit milder from tuesday onwards.
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