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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 29, 2020 1:00pm-1:31pm BST

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good afternoon. the uk is facing a "significant period" of strict measures to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. the cabinet office minister michael gove told the bbc there wasn't "a date in the calendar" for when the measures would be lifted — but the peak of cases would depend on how people behaved. the prime minister has written to all 30 million uk households, saying the crisis "will get worse before it gets better". borisjohnson‘s letter also warned that stricter restrictions
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could be put in place if necessary. our correspondent angus crawford reports. empty streets, empty parks. what a difference seven days can make. last sunday, social distancing meant little to some — then came the lockdown, an urgent attempt to stop the spread and protect the nhs. despite that, more than 17,000 people have tested positive, including borisjohnson, now chairing cabinet meetings from self—isolation. he's also writing a letter to 30 million homes across the uk, in which he says... i can't make an accurate prediction
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but everyone does have to prepare for a significant period when these measures are still in place, and the response so far from the british people has been fantastic, as i say. i wish i could predict when this will end. but it's vitally important that, at the moment, and four weeks ahead, people maintain the strict social—distancing guidelines that have been laid out. the new nhs nightingale taking shape in east london. a makeshift command centre created in less then 2k hours, this could soon become the biggest hospital in the uk, with 500 beds initially but scaling up to 4000 if necessary to cope with the wave of cases that may come in the weeks ahead. a message of hope and solidarity posted online. thousands have watched it already. we are those three letters that set us we are those three letters that set us apart from the rest.
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paying tribute to all those professionals on the front line of the crisis and those volunteers backing them up like the men and women of stjohn ambulance. all of our people are existing experienced first aid there so we normally do event work and some ambulance work, we are having additional days of training specifically for this and they will be carefully meant old and managed by the nhs nurses in this hospital. —— carefully mentored. warned he may be at the nightingale for at least four weeks, but some medical experts fear the crisis may last three times longer than that. months more of lockdown a real possibility for all of us. angus crawford, bbc news. 0ur political correspondent helen catt is in westminster. helen, it's a significant move for the government to write to all households. it isa it is a big move. it is going to
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cost the government £5.8 million to spend out this letter and accompanying spend out this letter and accom pa nyi ng leaflets. spend out this letter and accompanying leaflets. it shows you how crucial they see good observation of the social—distancing rose to be in slowing the spread of the virus and making sure the nhs is not overwhelmed. in the letter boris johnson concedes that it will be difficult for people to stop that is particularly picked up on by the home secretary today, writing in a sunday paper, she talked about the situation for people who are experiencing domestic abuse, and how for them home is not a safe haven and the government recognises that. she wanted to make it clear that for anyone in this position, despite these rules to stay at home they are able to leave, and to seek refuge. us president donald trump has backed away from imposing a quarantine on new york and two adjoining states, despite saying yesterday that he was considering the move. instead, residents are being "strongly advised" against non—essential travel. freya cole has more.
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new york city. home to more than 8.5 million people. now, a dangerous hotspot for the spread of disease. there are more than 53,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the city alone. across the entire state, more than 700 people have died. president trump told reporters he was considering a two—week quarantine to stop the spread in new york, and to other states. but just hours later, he backed away from the idea, saying, on the recommendation of the white house coronavirus task force, and upon consultation with the governors of new york, new jersey and connecticut, i have asked the cdc to issue a strong travel advisory. effective immediately, the centers for disease control and prevention urged residents in the three states to stop all nonessential domestic travel for 14 days.
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it says the advice does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including trucking, public health, financial services and food supply. the idea of an enforced quarantine had outraged some city leaders, who feared it would paralyse the economy and cause mass confusion. i didn't speak to him about any quarantine. i haven't had those conversations. i don't even know what that means. the united states now has the highest number of cases in the world. some medical workers say they no longer feel safe. they are pleading with residents to do the right thing and stay at home. freya cole, bbc news. the number of coronavirus fatalities in spain rose by 838 overnight — marking the country's highest daily rise in deaths.
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6500 people have now died from the virus in spain, and there are just under 80 thousand confirmed infections. it's one of europe's hardest hit countries, but spanish health officials say the virus there could be near its peak. nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe has had her temporary leave from prison in iran extended by two weeks, according to her husband. the british—iranian charity worker — who was jailed on spying charges in 2016 — was released because of the coronavirus outbreak. she must wear an ankle tag and remain within 300 metres of her parents‘ home in tehran. mrs zaghari—ratcliffe has always denied the charges brought against her. the world's oldest man is celebrating his 112th birthday — although he'll be spending it in isolation. the former teacher and engineer, from hampshire in the south of england, was born in 1908. today also happens to be the birthday of britain's oldest woman. 0ur correspondent duncan kennedy reports. they are britain's oldest man and woman. bob weighton and joan hocquard.
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incredibly, both 112 years old today. bob, from hampshire, is also the world's oldest living man. born on the 29th of march 1908, he's seen everything, but never coronavirus. which means only his family and carers can get close for his birthday. with the coronavirus around, who knows what's going to happen? certainly, there will be no parties. there will be no special visitors. i don't know. joan? joan did have a little party. she is also in quarantine, with her "young" partner, ken, who is a mere 92. but it wasn't always like that. joan's early life was
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in london and africa. speaking last year at her home in poole, she looked back on her school days. i was very naughty. very naughty?! two of us went down to the town, to the shops. and with our green uniform, they recognised us. althouthoan and bob live in neighbouring counties, they have never met. but they do share one enduring philosophy that is so relevant for today. even in adversity, they say, family and friends are at the heart of everything. neither has a secret for longevity, but bob says the secret is to keep things simple. i would say to take
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things simple. i would say to take things come, i guess, and to trust that all will be well, and it usually has been! all well with bob andjoan,112 usually has been! all well with bob and joan, 112 today. duncan kennedy, bbc news. hello, i'm ben brown, welcome to audiences in the uk and around the world. we're covering all the latest coronavirus developments here in britain and globally. the italian deputy health minister, pierpaolo sileri, says he believes italy is currently experiencing the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. more than 10,000 people have died there: the highest death toll anywhere in the world.
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he told the bbc that the country might see a drop in the death rate in a week or ten days' time. 10,000 people with the virus have died in italy — more than any other country. mr sileri was speaking to the bbc‘s andrew marr. i believe lockdown starts to work, we started lockdown in the middle of march, we started the first lockdown between the eighth and the 9th of march so obviously we need to wait at least 14, 17, 18 days after that to see the reduction of numbers of infected people. over the last few days, we had an increase of infection and this was due to the increase of swabs, so we are searching more, and obviously we have more results of positive people, mainly with low or without symptoms. could i ask you to
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explain exactly what has changed do you think? over the last two or three days, we have started to do more swabs, especially to trace... you are testing more? we are testing more, exactly. 0bviously, when you test more, you find more positive people and this will explain the increased number of positive that we found over the last two days, but i believe that we are living in the peak of this epidemic. i believe in one week's time, maximum ten days, we will see a drop, a significant drop of positive cases. here in the uk, the duke and duchess of cambridge have lent their support to a campaign to help maintain mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. the british government is also giving mental health charities £5 million — approximately 6 million dollars —
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to expand their support services. 0ur royal correspondent nicholas witchell has the details. the cambridges have both taken a close interest in mental health issues. they have also been playing their part in supporting the health services dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. just over a week ago, before the lockdown began, they visited an nhs centre in south london to thank staff for their tireless efforts. they have now endorsed the latest initiative by public health england to help people to look after their mental health. in a statement william and catherine said... the simple steps recommended by public health england include maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, and social media; keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern; and focusing on a hobby
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or learning something new. an extra £5 million has been given to leading mental health charities so that they can expand their ability to support people who are struggling with their mental well—being during the coronavirus emergency. nicholas witchell, bbc news. to date, no confirmed treatments for patients with coronavirus have been found. but trials are being conducted into whether drugs used for malaria and hiv could make a difference. one of those trials is starting in britain i've been speaking to professor christopher butler, the chief investigator of that trial. he explained how it works. the niche of this intervention right now is aimed at those who are at higher risk of complications but are in the community and not yet that sick that they need to go to hospital, and we are hoping to find drugs that might prevent that kind of disease progression and help them get better quickly in general
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practice, in the community and take pressure off the secondary care services. so, just to be clear, this is a treatment rather than a vaccine, and how would this particular one work? well, there is some early evidence that this drug, hydroxychloroquine, might prevent viral replication and attachment of the virus to the cells and getting into the cells. so, it might, and it also has anti—inflammatory properties which might play a critical role in the development of severe lung complications. so, it is a well—known drug and it may prevent the virus from getting into the cells and have generalised anti—inflammatory properties which could be beneficial. i think when president trump mentioned it, he called it potentially a game changer, would you agree with that? well, i think we absolutely need much better clinical evidence before
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we start making assertions like that. there is a preliminary laboratory evidence that this drug may be useful in terms of limiting viral replication and there are three studies, all of them controversial, which may or may not show, it would be a huge mistake to provide this drug on a large scale without the proper evidence that it actually helps people, because there is no drug on this planet that doesn't have side effects, including hydroxychloroquine, and we shouldn't be making drugs widely available that are not proven to benefit people more than harm people. do you think that somewhere out there, there is something that can at least alleviate the symptoms of this? there are drugs such as paracetamol, which will help people feel better, particularly if they have a mild illness, and we have noted that most people who get this might have mild
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illness and many will be asymptomatic actually, so paracetamol and supportive measures will be useful for everybody. i am sure that there are specific treatments which will be developed, i am sure we will get a vaccine, these might be some way off now, but a drug like hydroxychloroquine, i think that if it is going to work, most of the trials, most of the interventions have been evaluated in hospitals, in people who are really quite sick, and it might be quite a heavy lift to expect something like hydroxychloroquine to be making a dramatic difference when people are already on ventilators and are already very sick, so getting it early on in the illness, particularly those at high risk, i think that is where these kind of interventions might play an important role in keeping people out of hospital, so this will be one of the first trials done in primary care treatment in earlier stages of
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the disease. south korea says it will quarantine all new arrivals from overseas for a fortnight. officials say half of all new confirmed cases in recent days have been diagnosed in people who have come into the country. 0ur correspondent laura bicker was at incheon airport as a flight arrived from london. this setup is all about protecting south korea from a fresh outbreak of coronavirus. all arrivals from europe will be tested at one of the stations. there are eight of them, all standing by. over the last few days, around half of all south korea's new coronavirus cases have come from overseas. many of them from europe. and that is one of the reasons why everyone is being tested. to wait for the results, you are taken on a bus to a residential centre and get your results in about 12 hours. these testing centres are outside,
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but others within the country, you get this sort of plastic phone booth—type testing service, where you can walk in and be tested in a matter of minutes. before you arrive here into this area, you go through a series of checks. a temperature check, then you have to fill in all your contact details and they verify that. all arrivals have to download this application on their mobile phone and have to fill in their symptoms for 14 days while they are in self isolation. if they fail to do so, the authorities will track them down. when it comes to self isolation, the government has said that anyone who breaks these rules, if south korean, will be fined, and if you are a foreigner you will be deported. the latest measure that they have introduced is that all passengers coming in on flights must pass a temperature check. if they don't, they will not be allowed on the flight.
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now, the south korean authorities are coming under increasing pressure to close their borders. people here feel like their own outbreak has been dealt with. the one thing they are worried about now is people coming from outside the country and reintroducing this virus. a fresh cluster could emerge. sweden has seen more than a hundred deaths from coronavirus. but its cafes and restaurants are still open , and children are still going to school. maddy savage reports. it's just become warm enough to sit outside in the swedish capital and people are making the most of it. it's beautiful weather outside and i think it's important to support the bars and restaurants and be outside for now.
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i think it's nice to be out. i try to isolate myself but it is kind of hard when you see here in sweden people are still running around outside. gatherings of more than 50 people are banned here. but there are a few strict rules. the focus is still on guidelines to limiting travel and working from home. voluntary responsibility is the key to the swedish strategy, trusting the public to make enough changes to slow down the spread of the virus. the approach is controversial. i think we have high trust in the authorities in sweden so i think people are prone to listen to their recommendations. but for this kind of very critical situation, i'm not sure that it is enough. i am hoping that it is. swedes love the outdoors, and keeping people physically and emotionally healthy as one reason there is reluctance to lockdown.
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in general the business community thinks that the swedish government has implemented more rational, sensible policies than in other countries. how much riskier do you think it is for other countries then that have closed a lot more businesses and other parts of society? this will cause great harm. there will be mass unemployment and i'm dead scared to see the effect of that. even without a lockdown, businesses are taking a cut. this barbershop is usually packed. and soon they will have trouble paying the bills. and staff here fear they may be forced to stay at home if sweden follows other countries and changes its style. a cruise ship — which was stranded off the panamanian coast
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when several latin american countries refused to let it dock will now be allowed to continue its journey through the panama canal. four passengers have died on board the ms zaandam, while more than 130 other people have reported flu—like symptoms. reged ahmed reports. stuck on board for two weeks, passengers on the zaandam cruise ship have been in self—isolation as the number of people showing flu—like symptoms has grown. in increasingly difficult circumstances, vacationers have sent desperate messages of help, waiting for news and coronavirus test kits. translation: they have zero contact with the outside world. everyone is confined to their cabins and the only contact they might have is with their lunch tray, which is served to them at different times, but they do not see anyone at all. the ship, which has passengers from several nations, including britain, the us and parts of europe, have been trying to get to florida. the dutch—owned operators came up
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with a plan to transfer hundreds of the healthy passengers to its sister ship, the rotterdam. now, in an about—face, panama is allowing the zaandam passage through the canal, but it still remains unclear what will happen to either ship after that. even if cruise ships manage to reach their destination, some are struggling to find a port that would take any vessel, as the pandemic spreads. the coral princess has no cases on board but is now heading to fort lauderdale after being denied entry several times. princess are looking after us very well, but what it is, when it gets to fort lauderdale, we are uncertain what is going to happen there, and that's what is bothering people most. the crew on board the princess have been fantastic, really looking after us, but, obviously, we just want to get home. the solution that we're told is that fort lauderdale, we just do not know what the solution is,
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and that's where the uncertainty lies, and that's what's bothering people most. as the situation has grown increasingly desperate, some have been allowed to dock because of medical emergencies among sick crew and passengers, including respiratory illnesses. reged ahmad, bbc news. in australia, the prime minister scott morrison has announced more restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus. all gatherings outdoors will now be limited to two people. those over seventy years old have been advised to stay at home. public spaces such as playgrounds and outdoor gyms will shut, and there is already a strict two week quarantine in place for all arrivals. even though the rate of infection increases has slowed, mr morris warned there were ‘no guarantees‘ this trend would continue. the live page on our website is constantly updated
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and you can also find much more information in our special coronavirus section. just log on to either or — depending on where you are in the world. the coronavirus outbreak is changing everyone's lives and, for people still dealing with the fallout of last month's flooding in england and wales, it's proving doubly difficult. many victims say they're struggling to cope with living in temporary accommodation, or in damaged homes, and thousands of businesses — which had onlyjust re—opened — have been forced to close again. 0ur reporter phil mackie has been revisiting some of the areas from which he reported at the height of the floods. it's only a month since ironbridge in shropshire recorded its highest ever flood levels. the force of the water was so strong that barriers buckled and, where there were no defences, homes were inundated. i've no idea what the cost will be. are you insured?
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no. i met vic haddock as he tried to pump the water out of his home. now the river's down but there's a bigger threat to livelihoods because of coronavirus. we've just got to get on with things, haven't we? you know, with this virus going on and what have you. it's not about us in ironbridge or the poor people in yorkshire who got flooded any more, there's a much bigger thing on the horizon now with this coronavirus. we have to beat it. a lot of these businesses had barely reopened after the floods when they had to shut again because of coronavirus. now, ironbridge is a world heritage site and that means there are usually thousands of visitors every year and, in this weather, this place would be packed, so it's a double whammy. all that people can do is keep an eye on their properties and check the post. it's nothing short of biblical. we've had, you know, the floods that shut the place down for weeks on end and then obviously this. we had an opening day when i bought the business on the 14th of march, which was a roaring success but then, suddenly, this —
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and, as you can see, the streets are empty, you've got masks and gloves on now and, obviously, running a barbershop, it's not a good idea, is it? the day after ironbridge flooded, those record levels on the river severn reached bewdley in worcestershire. the flood barriers there weren't high enough and water poured over the top, causing devastation to dozens of homes. is that right? i'm so sorry to hear that. this is irene buxton when she met the prime minister three weeks ago. at the ground floor of her home has been completely destroyed. now she and her husband, who is self isolating, living upstairs. 0h, we've had it all. but you've just got to get on with it. you know? there's people worse off than us. at least i've got my electric and buy gas on and we are warm and feeding. it might be soup and beans on toast a few nights, but you survive.
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2020 has been a miserable year for the flood hit communities across the country. the downturn for them started way before lockdown. phil mackie, bbc news, shropshire. now it's time for a look at the weather with nick miller. good afternoon, a cold wind out there and temperatures below average. a lot of dry weather around and high pressure close to the uk. there are some showers are northern and eastern scotland down the eastern side of england and that isn't it wintry flavour to some of these. these higher wind gusts. it is costing the 50 mph so in some spots it is feeling like it is closer to freezing. while we keep a few showers running into scotland in the eastern side of england, most places will be dry, the clearer skies will be across the west here, it is colder than this in the
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countryside so there will be a frost for many of us going into the morning. the monday, showers towards northern scotland and down the eastern side of england, one or two will break out elsewhere on monday so there is a greater chance of catching a shower and with today. you can see there's a lot of cloud around, limited sunshine and temperatures are a little bit higher and it is not quite as windy tomorrow as well. hello, this is bbc news with ben brown. the headlines... the british prime minister sends a letter to every household in the uk warning that the coronavirus crisis will get worse before it gets better. ministers say the public should prepare for a "significant period" of social distancing. i wish i could predict when this will end but it is vitally important that, at the moment and for weeks ahead, that people maintain the strict social distancing guidelines that have been laid out. 10,000 people in italy have died from the virus — the biggest death toll in the world
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— but its health minister


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