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tv   Outside Source  BBC News  April 28, 2020 8:00pm-8:29pm BST

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this is outside source on bbc news, for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm babita sharma. we're covering all the latest coronavirus developments here in britain and globally. new figures show a third of all coronavirus deaths in england and wales now take place in care homes. the uk's health secretary announces testing will soon be rolled out to all residents and staff. anyone who is working or living in a care home will be able to get access to a test, whether they have symptoms or not. france announces plans to ease its lockdown, but the prime minister says
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the country will have to learn to live with the virus. and in germany, as lockdown restrictions are eased, infection rates rise. we'll have the latest. welcome to this edition of outside source. a rising number of deaths linked to coronavirus in care homes across the uk has pushed the overall numbers dying with the virus to a record high, according to the latest figures. nearly 25,000 deaths from all causes were recorded in the uk in the week of the easter bank holiday — more than twice the expected number for this time of year. during that same week, figures show almost 2,400 deaths linked to covid—19 were registered in uk care homes. that was in mid—april — we're now two weeks on and, as the number of deaths in hospitals has continued to fall, it's now thought that one in every three deaths from coronavirus in england and wales are happening in care homes.
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representatives of the care sector are saying it is now the true front line in the battle against the virus. alison holt reports. at st cecelia's nursing home in scarsborough, like many homes across the country, they believe the fight they've been waging against coronavirus for weeks is only now being reflected in officialfigures. this is the area that we will have for anyone that's been very nursed. they lock down early, have areas set aside for nursing coronavirus patients, and people stick to their rooms. but still, across the three homes in the group, they've had 11 deaths — four confirmed as covid—19. i was called and did see — on the day that she died, they asked me... one of the residents who died was reg kemp's wife, liz. they were married for more than 50 years, and she loved spending time with her grandchildren. he says staff did all they could for her. ijust hope that the ministers do
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recognise the wonderful work that's gone on and goes on up and down the country and nursing homes — just like where liz was. they're doing a job equal to anyone in the national health service. the uk health secretary said deaths in care homes would now be included in the government's daily figures — which have until now only reported hospital deaths. at the news conference earlier matt hancock was repeatedly pressed on whether care homes had been overlooked. i wonder if you will take this opportunity to apologise to those families of loved ones who died in care homes because the government didn't properly protect them. that's. .. the thing is, nick, i think that's... i think that's unreasonable is a question, actually. and i know you care an awful lot about this, but from the start, we know — we knew that there was a very
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significant challenge for care homes, not least because of the frailty of the residents. and the enormous work that's gone on within government, public health england, and local authorities, and the cqc to monitor this from the start — it has been more difficult to get data flowing, and i'm very glad we are able to do that now on a daily basis instead basis instead of a weekly basis, as before. and making sure that care homes have the support they need has been absolutely at front of mind right from the start. the new figures today mean the uk could be on course to have the highest death toll in europe. let me show you this chart. along the bottom is the number of days that's passed. towards the right hand side there's a line showing deaths in uk hospitals, and that's on a similar path to other countries like france and italy. but look at the other line for uk deaths, towards the middle —
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labelled "uk all settings". that is significantly steeper. deaths in care homes get reported more slowly so you can see that information is coming in quite delayed. but with that taken into account, the uk certainly looks like it's doing significantly worse. also at today's press conference, the government announced that more people could apply for a coronavirus test — including those living in care homes, people over 65 and their families, and anyone having to leave their home to go to work in england. those groups are eligible to use a website set up initially for essential workers, to book a test or have a testing kit mailed to them. so from construction workers to emergency plumbers, from research scientists to those in manufacturing. the expansion of access to testing will protect the most vulnerable. let's speak to our political
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correspondent chris mason at westminster. good to see you. care homes rightly so are good to see you. care homes rightly so are getting the right spotlight for this, and causing concern as to the true picture of deaths linked to coronavirus. what is your assessment of what we've heard today? for some time, there's been some real concern of how vulnerable people living in ca re of how vulnerable people living in care homes were to the coronavirus. this was something highlighted by the scientists who appear at the daily news briefing in the uk every afternoon. this was raised by them several weeks ago, and i think added to that would be a sense of anger from some of the families of victims of coronavirus in care homes. they felt like they were being airbrushed out of the story, because we got this delusion of data every day that the government focused on those who died in hospital and those who are recovering in hospital, and there's been a lag in a separate data set coming from the office for national
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statistics related to deaths in the communities, those who die in care homes and those who die in their own homes. that's a significant announcement from matt hancock that we will now get this daily tally that combines those who die in hospital with those whose death happens elsewhere — not least because it will give us a greater, almost real—time sense of how the country is battling with this pandemic, as opposed to just make data sets, one relating to the hospital and one relating to data elsewhere. while we got you here, i wa nted elsewhere. while we got you here, i wanted to ask you about the issue of ppe, and the lack of it for front—line workers. this is been an ongoing conversation since day one of this pandemic, coming to the public for. any change or progress in how the government is tackling this? this is a massive global issue because there is a global market for ppe, particularly for country like
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the uk, which has imported their ppe. so when the government here trying to get a hold of the necessary ppe for people in the hospital settings and also in care settings, and in family doctor practices as well, they are competing nationally to get a hold of it. there's been deep frustration and anger for many health care workers about inadequate supply of it, particularly given that so many people can be infectious with coronavirus whilst being asymptomatic. so you may go into hospitalfor asymptomatic. so you may go into hospital for something entirely unconnected to coronavirus, received treatment from clinicians, but potentially be infectious at that point. and there's been concern from some that whilst there has been ppe making its way to those in the most acute settings and intensive care where they are dealing with people who they know have the virus, perhaps isn't enough provision elsewhere in hospital settings for those who still find themselves
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exposed to it. so it continues to be an issue, promised or returning to work yesterday said he was absolutely focused on addressing first, his return to the governmentalfront first, his return to the governmental front line — first, his return to the governmentalfront line — i think the questions around ppe will continue to swirl and be put to the government, and their crucial, they are one of the big tests that the british government has set around whether or not it will be reasonable, a week on thursday, the next deadline as potentially scaling back the lockdown measures is concerned. adequate supply of ppe to health care settings is one of the things they are keen to ensure they have sorted before any rolling back of the social distance and guidelines are allowed to happen. indeed, thanks very much for the update. chris mason there in westminster. let's just take a look now at the picture in a number of european countries. the french prime minister,
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edouard philippe, has set out a plan for easing the coronavirus lockdown, warning that france is going to have let's just take a look now at the picture in a number to learn to live with the disease. this is mr philippe addressing parliament, where he said that lifting restrictions was to be feared as much as it was desired. he warned that if the virus makes a comeback, easing the lockdown may be delayed beyond 11 may, the target date. here's mr philippe speaking earlier. translation: our entire strategy is based on advice. first, medical. i will use simple language so everyone can understand. while no vaccine is available and no treatment has been shown to be effective, we are a long way from the famous herd immunity. the virus will continue to spread. it's not very cheerful, but it's a fact.
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all food shops and most markets can reopen from 11 may, but not bars, restaurants, cinemas or theatres. here's more from hugh schofield in paris. 11 may will be the turning point, this fulcrum in the french reaction to the coronavirus, after which things should start moving towards a new normality. that will be the date at which the confinement, which will have lasted two months, comes to an end. but it will be gradual and progressive. the key points that he wa nted progressive. the key points that he wanted to make were one, we need to learn to live with the virus, it won't go away, two, any change will be progressive and introduced with a series of checks to make sure that targets have been met, and if they've not been met, then we will go back, and three, that there is room for a certain amount of regional adaptability — in other words, department x in the south of the country does not necessarily have to the same rules as the north or east of the country with a very
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urban environment in a lot of cases. so these are the guiding principles which will allow us to move from 11 may, this new world, in which for example, primary schools initially will be open, shops will be open, businesses will be open, but all within the constraints of a very, very different way of operating, governed by social distancing and wearing masks, and tests, of course, which will be coming in big time in a couple of weeks. in germany, as restrictions on daily life are being eased, the so—called reproduction rate of the virus has actually risen to around a value of one. what that means statistically, is that every person who is infected passes the virus on to one other person. virologists have emphasised the importance of keeping the reproduction rate below one, so that health care systems can cope with the volume of patients. here's more on that from jenny hill in berlin. that reproduction rate is based on data that has been gathered at least three days ago, so it doesn't
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necessarily give you an up—to—date picture of exactly what the scenario is right now. in the germany german authorities look at the value, they also look at hospital capacity, and at the moment they say they are bets to spare, they are not concerned about that. the third important factor is the daily rate of new infections. and that matters of course, because broadly speaking, that number has been falling, but secondly, when you combine that with the production rate, that gives you a bit more of an indication. so even if the r value is one, so for every person who has the virus, they are infecting statistically speaking one other person, it makes a big difference how many current infections you have. so at the moment, germany is getting around 1100 new infections confirmed every day. that's a very different picture when you've got a r rate of one. so you can see the big sums that the
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scientists are having to do. but the point is still that they are being very cautious here, angela merkel and her experts say germany is not out of the woods, and as the ease these restrictions, they're watching all of those figures very, very carefully indeed. stay with us on 0ustide source. still to come: we find out how cuba is helping some countries manage their health care systems under the pandemic. scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon has advised the scottish public to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets or when using public transport. she said it would not be mandatory or enforced at this stage, but would be kept under review. why make this what she had to say earlier. the guidance also makes clear that the evidence on the use of face coverings is still limited. however, it recognises that there may be some benefits in wearing a face covering if you leave the house
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and into an enclosed space where you will come in contact with multiple people, and safe social distancing is difficult — for example, on public transport or in shops. of course, most shops are closed, so right now this would apply in particular to food shops. now to be clear, the benefit comes mainly in cases where someone might have the virus but isn't aware of that because they're not experiencing any symptoms, and therefore not isolating completely in line with the rules. this is 0utside source, live from the bbc newsroom. covid—19 related deaths in care homes in england and wales have trebled in the space of three weeks. across the globe, countries whose health care systems are buckling under the coronavirus pandemic are turning to cuba for help.
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since the start of the crisis, cuba has sent more than 1,200 doctors and nurses to the front lines in 22 countries. most have arrived into vulnerable african and carribean allies of cuba, including venezuela, jamaica and nicaragua. but also richer nations — including italy, and china. south africa is the latest country to receive cuba's help. these pictures were sent from an airbase in pretoria on sunday. the cuban doctors are being welcomed by the government and members of the cuban community. around 200 medical staff are helping south africa's health system. for decades, cuba has sent its doctors abroad — winning friends in remote countries but also filling a desperate need. state media tells us more than 400,000 health care workers have been sent abroad since 1963, often seen as icons of cuba's socialist solidarity. while some are sent on humanitarian grounds,
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many are paying for their service. the economist says medical exports make up 46% to put that into context more cuba earned $6.3 billion from medical services in 2018 — that's twice as much as it earned on tourism. while it is a major source of income, it offers an even bigger prize — diplomatic prestige. we found these pictures from italy last month. clapping. cuban doctors receive a heroes welcome in lombardy. these pictres were posted by a pro—cuban revolution group in italy. while many hail them heroes, critics believe cuba's real interests are economic and diplomatic. the us is a staunch critic. in a statement to the washington post, the us state department said...
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havana denies the allegations. will grant is our central america correspondent, and joins me from his home in the uk. conversation really turning to whether or not the doctors and nurses are political ponds in this pandemic? yes, you set out nicely there that there are two ends to the scale. you have the cuban government saying that they are heroes and doing their revolutionary duty, than on the other side, the critics in miami and washington announcing that what they are —— this is really about is what the funds it generates for the cuban governments, and the doctors and sells only get a fraction of that. but what is bearing in mind as of the doctors signa bearing in mind as of the doctors sign a contract willingly because they will make more money by going on these courses rather than
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remaining on the island. there's no doubt they've been doing this for decades, they were particularly important in the ebola outbreak in west africa, and they are a cornerstone of the revolutionary. so putting aside the politics, on a humanitarian and human level, the men and women involved, the many hundreds of them, or doing extraordinary work under very, very testing circumstances around the world. absolutely, but the politics to come into play when we consider that the countries that previously shifted their allegiances from cuba are now finding themselves in a very vulnerable position in need of urgent care. can you talk us through those countries and what their situation is at the moment? the most obvious ones are in the region. brazil had a very big programme, which has obviously been cancelled sincejair which has obviously been cancelled since jair bolsonaro, the polar opposite on terms of the political spectrum, came to power. bolivia and
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ecuador have close ties to cuba, and morale is, when he was forced out of power from the military and interim government doesn't want any relation with the cu ban government doesn't want any relation with the cuban government in terms of cu ban doctors with the cuban government in terms of cuban doctors and nurses on the ground, so that programme ended there. all these countries now have issues with their own covid—19 pandemic, particularly ecuador. and i'm sure that there are plenty of left—wing party individuals who would very much like to see cuban doctors and nurses helping with the situation in ecuador, which is very, very bad at present. will, thank you very bad at present. will, thank you very much. the availability of personal protective equipment has been one of the biggest issues during the coronavirus outbreak. this graphic is from the cdc — ppe is essentially goggles, gloves, masks and gowns. for many countries, it's been hard to meet demand. there's another aspect to this that's gaining attention in the uk — and it's to do with the fact that
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ppe tends to be designed for male bodies. ros atkins has been looking at this. hi, ros. thanks, babita. here in the uk, around three quarters of nhs staff are women. last week, the bma — which is the professional body for doctors in the uk — highlighted that ppe tends to be designed for men, which in turn it says may put women at risk. a spokesperson for the department of health and social care responded to these concerns. telling the bbc‘s woman's hour programme... dr helen fidler who is a consultant gastroenterologist and deputy chair of the bma uk consultants committee.
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thanks very much for your time. can we say definitively that the fact ppe is unisex is putting women at risk? we don't have enough data on this, and that's one of the problems. we've just ignored the fa ct problems. we've just ignored the fact that 70% of health care workers are female, and assumed that masks designed for mail template will fit them. it is disingenuous to talk about this being unisex, unless you mean that male sex is unisex. and in terms of ppe, is there an issue with all types of this equipment, or are there particular times we should be focused on? yes, so it is inconvenient and uncomfortable to wear gowns too long, and i've been a co nsulta nt wear gowns too long, and i've been a consultant for 30 years and, like many of my female colleagues, have put up with ill fitting ppe previously. but now in a global pandemic, having correct fit for the
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facemasks can be a matter of life and death. so ppe isjust one weapon in the battle of covid—19, but when it is used it should be used appropriately and fit properly, and it should be available each and every time it's needed. presumably given the lack of data you described, you'd accept that the solutions to this issue are long—term, not something that can be resolved in the short term during this outbreak? well, it is very impressive how quickly the department of health has turned around the nightingale hospital in two weeks. they produced hospitals that can accommodate 4000 patients. soi that can accommodate 4000 patients. so i would've thought that if they knew 70% of female workers —— medical workers are female, they could find masks that could fit them equally quickly. thank you very much for your time, doctor. liz truss, uk trade secretary, said last week that health workers required "the same protection, regardless of what gender they are."
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the writer caroline criado perez was among those who criticised her. liz truss responded with this tweet... the book in question is invisible women, which details the many aspects of our world that are designed to the specifications of the male body. we talked to caroline criado perez earlier. this is actually a hugely widespread problem that goes far beyond personal protective equipment, and it basically comes down to the sort of societal bias that we have where we think of the male body as kind of a unisex body, and the female body is just — well, just the female body, as slightly weird and different. and if we are trying to design something that works for everyone, we will base it off men. but of course, that means that the issues like stab vests
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or respiratory equipment where you do have to have a very close, tight fit — the differences in male and female bodies mean that the personal protective equipment that women have just doesn't work for them. and the issue that i found when i was researching invisible women was that this for worst for those working in the emergency services, where only 5% of female workers said that the personal protective equipment, which lets bear in mind is there to help them do the job, protect them while they do theirjob — only 5% of them ever said it never hampered their work. and babita, there is much more on the broader efforts to get more ppe into the national health service on the bbc website. thank you, good to see you come up more from you later. now if you needed any encouragement to remain at home — this is what one family faced whilst in lockdown at their home in south carolina. this alligator in their garden was a great reason to stay indoors. you'll want to know of course, that the alligator —
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nicknamed "big george" by locals — was safely captured and then released into nearby lake. stay with us, more coming up, the headlines are next. hello again. it's been the sunniest april on record, and up until today, it was also unusually warm and unusually dry. but all that changed across england and wales today. this was yesterday, and although the heat was more limited, still up to 19 degrees. a significant drop in the cloud and rain today, and in coventry it was only seven degrees this afternoon. still some wet weather around at the moment. 0vernight, the worst of that rain pushes away eastwards. but it stays cloudy and misty, some hill fog and some drizzle around as well. where we have the clearing skies across northern and eastern scotland as the showers reduce, so there could be a touch of frost, but elsewhere departure to remain at six or seven degrees. and while it's turning a bit drier overnight, there's more rain to come tomorrow.
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