tv BBC News at Ten BBC News April 15, 2020 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at 10: the latest government promises to residents and staff of care homes in their fight against coronavirus. there's a pledge to do far more testing. anyone going from hospital into social care in england should be tested for the virus. but the government's target for nhs testing is still way off, so ministers are asked how realistic their new promises are. as we build capacity further over this month and then beyond to that 100,000 a day target by the end of this month, we'll expand further those who are eligible for tests. we'll have more on the latest pledges and we'll be reporting on the picture in scotland, where a quarter of all coronavirus deaths are happening in care homes.
also tonight... one of the latest nhs staff victims was a pregnant nurse from luton, but her baby was delivered and is doing well. a new device — an alternative to a ventilator — designed by clinicians, engineers and formula one, is now being delivered to the nhs. it's back to school already in denmark, where schools have reopened for children up to the age of 11. and he says he won't stop. triumphant captain tom, who's now raised nearly £10 million for the nhs. and in sport on bbc news: the end of the scottish football season below the premiership and a new date for the tour de france, postponed for two months till the end of august.
good evening. as the coronavirus pandemic claims hundreds more victims, ministers have sought to address the deep concerns around the situation in care homes in england. they've now promised a new testing regime, for both residents and staff, and for anyone being discharged from hospital to a care home. but the announcement has prompted a series of questions about how realistic the plans are, given the slow progress on testing in the nhs, which is still nowehere near the government's official target of 100,000 tests per day. the latest official figures for the uk show there were 761 were 761 deaths reported in the last 24—hour period. it means that so far, the official number of deaths in the uk linked to coronavirus is 12,868, but that number doesn't include deaths in care homes or in the community in england and northern ireland. but nhs managers have struck
a more optimistic note — they say it's increasingly likely the nhs will be able to cope with the peak in cases — expected soon — because of good planning and lower than expected demand on intensive care. 0ur health editor hugh pym has the latest. it was his lifetime ambition, and graham achieved it last november. co—piloting a plane, a gift from his family. at 77, he was still very active. he recently went to hospital with cancer. the family assumed graham would come back home, but he never returned, having contracted covid—19. his grandson's wife, emma, who herself now has coronavirus, spoke of their sadness and frustration. no one was there to hold his hand, and it's not a way you want to go. 0nly ten people can go to the funeral, and we have a big family, so we can't go.
and he can't get the sendoff he truly deserves. finding a way out of the coronavirus crisis will depend largely on a big increase in testing. ministers have called on academic and business laboratories to join a national effort to boost capacity. some big companies have said they will help out, but one business manager with laboratories told us how he felt that his offer hadn't been taken up. understandably frustrated, a little unhappy. i mean, it would be very easy to sit and enjoy the sunshine and wait until things open up again, but i feel like i have a duty to the country, and my team, to keep them busy, to do something worthwhile. the number of tests carried out each day hasn't gone up a lot, although there has been a bank holiday weekend. it stands atjust under 16,000. but that still a long way short of the 100,000 a day target set by the government by the end of this month, just two weeks away. nhs workers have been told they have
access to testing if they need it, including drive—through centres like this, allowing them to return to work quickly if they test negative. that's now been extended to social care staff. part of a new package of measures for england, it includes testing of more care home residents and those returning from hospitals. we will now ensure that everybody who has symptoms gets tested, and the critical other change is that those leaving hospital will now be tested, and they will be put to isolation until those test results come through. how are you actually going to cover this large number of social care staff and nhs staff and hospital patients? how is it going to be achieved? so now we have testing available right across the nhs and social care for all those who need it. and i'm very pleased we've been able to expand capacity so that can happen. and as we build capacity further, over this month and then beyond to that 100,000 a day target by the end of this month, we'll expand further. he also said that relatives should
be allowed to visit loved ones who are seriously ill with coronavirus for final farewells. the peak of pressure on the nhs was expected about now, with a surge in covid—19 patients. health leaders say there are still critical care beds to spare and most hospitals appear to be coping, but the peak could last some time. we think we can say with increasing confidence that the nhs should be able to cope with this initial peak. the interesting thing, though, is there is now a load of new challenges the nhs faces, of which the very obvious one is if we are going to have this demand spread over a long period of time, how are we going to support our staff? and there was uplifting news when connie aged 106 left hospital in birmingham. she said she felt very lucky to have shaken off the virus. hugh pym, bbc news. as we've heard, there's
a new government promise that all residents and workers with symptoms in english care homes will now be tested, along with anyone returning to a care home from hospital. although care home providers welcome these plans, many say their calls for greater support in terms of staffing, training and specialist kit continue to be ignored. 0ur social affairs correspondent alison holt has been to hear firsthand how one care home in essex is coping. singing. today, at the st ives lodge care home in chingford in essex they said goodbye to six of their elderly residents. five of the deaths were linked to covid—19 — the signs of its presence in the home marked out by the masked and gowned staff. he had a brilliant like of music and a great zest for life. each life lost, a member of this family. a simple service to provide a few moments of reflection at a deeply distressing time for staff, residents and families listening online.
the home cares for 35 people, many with dementia. a resident returned from hospital with the virus. had the testing announced today been available, it might have helped. but the manager says despite all their precautions, the virus spread quickly. for the last three weeks we've been like a little mini—hospital, where we've dealing with end—of—life patients, relatives, people seeing their relatives at end—of—life, having to dress them all up in ppe before they can say goodbye. it's been so awful. i mean, it's awful, it'sjust surreal, it really is. it is an experience that residential nursing homes up and down the uk are now facing. in video diaries, staff here told us of the toll it's taking on them. recently over the past few weeks it's been very hard, watching your residents get ill and die. not being able to give your residents a hug or a kiss when they really need it.
we've lost a number of dear people to us, they become our family. it's probably the hardest thing i've ever had to do, to come to work and look after people in this ppe, but, unfortunately, this is the situation at the moment and this is what we have to do. care homes like this welcome the government's strategy as some recognition for what they're dealing with, but for many it's been too slow in coming and they want rapid action. like many care homes, they say so far they've felt left on their own to deal with this crisis, struggling to get enough protective equipment, and even now, not all their staff can be tested at drive—through centres. there's still 18 staff that haven't had any testing and can't have testing because they don't drive. and our residents haven't been tested and i think we need that as soon as possible because i think it would help massively in how we manage and quarantine different parts of the home.
the staff here say they need to know that the promises made will lead to actual support. this protective suit i'm wearing cannot shield humanity. today i held their hand, so they won't be alone. alison holt, bbc news. in scotland, a quarter of deaths linked to coronavirus have happened occurred in care homes, according to the latest officialfigures. the national records of scotland said 962 deaths had now been registered where the virus was mentioned on the death certificate. the vast majority of the deaths occurred in hospital, but 25% were in care homes. 0ur scotland correspondent lorna gordon reports. he was really unwell, but he took my hand. and my dad had a way of letting me know, even through the dementia, how much he loved me. and he... he held my hand to his face and started kissing it.
linda's father bill passed away on sunday after showing symptoms of coronavirus. his daughter, wearing protective clothing, was by his side. she says she's grateful for the care the staff at his care home gave him, especially in his final few days. they knew he loved to look out the window, so they moved him there so that he could see out into the gardens. and they just sat with him in his final week, looking through old photographs, making sure that he was happy and well taken care of. and i can't thank them enough. pulling together, doing extra shifts, all working as part of a team. staff in the home bill was in have been doing all they can to protect those they care for. problems with ppe are being ironed out, but there have also been concerns about testing. testing is... and still is a problem for us. so as it stands right now, we're not getting any our residents tested. so we are barrier nursing
on the suspicion that some of them may or may not have covid—19, we are using ppe that we might not need to use. scotland's first minister said there will be more testing for care home residents. those in care homes, she said, matter every bit as much as everyone else. we already test the first residents in any care home who become symptomatic of coronavirus, in order to establish the presence of the virus in that home and then assure that all appropriate measures are taken to protect all residents. however, we are moving 110w to test all symptomatic patients in care homes. these latest figures confirm what has long been suspected — while most of all coronavirus deaths here in scotland occurred in hospital, a quarter have been in care homes. around 40% of scottish care homes have all have had the virus at some stage. just this afternoon it was confirmed 16 residents of this prestwick care home had died with covid symptoms. behind every number,
a family left mourning. anne duncan died last night after she caught covid in her edinburgh care home. her daughter and grandson have loving memories of anne, but tell of how frightening it was for her towards the end. very, very strong. a wicked sense of humour. very sensitive and very supportive, particularly of anton. and she would just say, "will we all be together again?" and we would reassure her that we would. lorna gordon, bbc news. one of the latest victims of the pandemic was a pregnant nurse, working at the luton and dunstable university hospital. mary agyapong, who was 28, was said to be a "highly—valued and loved" nurse, who'd been admitted to hospital last week. doctors say her child was delivered successfully and is doing very well. among other nhs staff who've died is dr peter tun, a specialist at the royal berkshire
hospital. the total number of nhs staff who've died so far is a5, as our correspondent andy moore reports. a hospital, like many across the country, dealing with a surge of coronavirus patients. luton and dunstable university hospital has seen dozens of deaths from covid—19. on sunday they lost one of their own. mary agyeiwaa agyapong, also known as mary mo, was 28. she'd been a nurse for several years after completing her training in the uk. it understood she'd been working during the latter stages of her pregnancy, but her nhs trust said she was not treating coronavirus patients. she tested positive on the 5th of april and she was admitted to hospital two days later. her daughter was delivered by caesarean section when her condition worsened. david carter, the chief executive of bedfordshire hospitals nhs foundation trust said...
a fundraising page has been set up online for mary's family. it describes her as a blessing to everyone she came across. it adds that her love, care and sincerity will be irreplaceable. one person who gave money said mary's memory would live on in her beautiful baby girl. andy moore, bbc news. 0ur health editor hugh pym joins me now. cani can i ask you about the official briefing today, about the figures? did you detect any suggestion or hint from the government's experts that we might be heading towards some kind of improvement? quite a lot of interest has been taken in a
remark by the chief medical advisor, chris witty, at the briefing, when he said we are probably reaching the peak overall, he was talking about a flattening of the curve. 0ne peak overall, he was talking about a flattening of the curve. one of the child's showed the hospital patient numbers in different parts of the uk, in london they have condemned a bit -- uk, in london they have condemned a bit —— one of the child's showed. —— in london, they have come down a bit. no data was available for northern ireland. we are not yet at the point where we could confidently and safely say this has gone past the peak, he went on to say, and we can the peak, he went on to say, and we ca n start the peak, he went on to say, and we can start thinking about the next phase. he warned death numbers may come up in the next few days, he talked about it bouncing back, possibly even tomorrow, because of a delay in registering deaths over the bank holiday weekend. i think the tone from him under the government officials as they really do not want people thinking there was light at the end of the tunnel, they want them to realise that the peak might
last for a little while and there was no suggestion based on this that any current guidelines should be relaxed. thank you, hugh pym, our health editor. a partnership between clinicians, university researchers and industry which we reported on a few weeks ago has now resulted in the production of 10,000 breathing aids for coronavirus patients who are seriously ill. this afternoon, mercedes formula one completed manufacture of the continuous positive airway pressure — or cpap — devices, which were designed in partnership with engineers at university college london. initial trials suggest they may be able to save more patients from needing ventilators, as our medical correspondent fergus walsh reports. beeping. this is the stark reality of intensive care in this time of coronavirus. royal surrey county hospital in guildford has many critically ill patients on ventilators.
ijust remember it being really, really difficult to breathe, and it would hurt to breathe. it's horrible. it literally scared me. i thought that was it, when they were taking me away. tim hall is over the worst. the 37—year—old spent four days on an alternative breathing device known as cpap, which pushes oxygen under pressure into the lungs. it meant he didn't need to go on a ventilator, which requires sedation. there you go, nice deep breaths for me. good man. just being able to know what's going on and who's around you, and that, again, i think makes a big difference, so being awake was a massive thing. the cpap devices have been manufactured by mercedes formula one in northamptonshire — quite a contrast to their usualjob of designing engines for motor racing.
they've just finished an order of 10,000 of them for the nhs. it was done in partnership with engineers at university college london, who modified and improved an existing design. the manufacturing process has been made freely available. as a consortium, we're really dedicated to supporting the global efforts around covid, and in response to that, we released all the designs and manufacturing processes for the device at zero cost. since then, we've approved over 1300 downloads of these designs, and that's across 25 countries. the more of these devices that are made available, the less pressure there'll be on ventilators — a limited resource, which are needed for the most severely ill patients. all the medical staff on intensive care at royal surrey must wear full protective clothing because of the danger of infection. they know all too well the threat posed by coronavirus.
so, you can see clearly the difference between the normal ct scan here and this ct scan with covid pneumonia. in the sickest patients, coronavirus causes severe pneumonia. what it tells us is that the lung tissue is damaged, and the damage is associated with leakage of fluid and the cells into the lung, so it stops the little blooms of the lung, the alveoli, working properly. and you can see this is really quite significant, all this is abnormal tissue here. national data shows that of more than 1600 coronavirus patients in intensive care who've finished treatment, around half have died. but an even higher number remain in critical care, their outcomes still uncertain. doctors trialling the cpap device hope it will mean more patients will survive — like tim, who has this message on social distancing.
anything you think that is worth going outside for, it's not, not when you could, as i say, potentially see your kids for that even a week or so without them is ha rd even a week or so without them is hard enough. that pint of milk or whatever it is, it's not worth it. the machine was approved by regulators and just a few days. that's in stark contrast to several new models of ventilator, including one by dyson, none of which have received the go—ahead for use in the nhs. fergus walsh, bbc news. business leaders have told ministers there needs to be a big improvement in the way government loans are approved for struggling firms. just over 6,000 loans have so far been approved under the business interruption loans scheme, but more than 28,000 have applied. many businesses have told the bbc they've been rejected or told they're not eligible.
labour says the scheme simply isn't working and must change urgently. police say they have given out more than 3,200 fines to people for breaching lockdown restrictions in the space ofjust over two weeks. figures from the national police chiefs‘ council also show that reports of anti—social behaviour in england and wales have increased by almost 60% during the coronavirus outbreak, but overall levels of crime have fallen significantly. our home affairs correspondent tom symonds is here. what is your reading of those figures? police are quite pleased with the way in which we are sticking to lockdown rules. 3200 fines is 0.01% of the population. yes, there have been a big increase in calls about anti—social behaviour and that is being driven by people
saying they are concerned about somebody breaking the rules. i said —— i spoke to a senior police officer this afternoon, she said we would rather the police did not have to get involved in that sort of thing but will if needed. crime is down 20%, shoplifting is down by half, rate is down by a third, drug dealers are finding it hard to move jugs dealers are finding it hard to move jugs around because there is no traffic and no crowds to hide in. —— rape is down by a third. the big concern is about domestic violence, the idea is that crime will come from the street and entered the home. dave vera baird, the victims commissionerfor home. dave vera baird, the victims commissioner for england and wales, told mps we normally have about two killings a week related to domestic violence and that is about five a week at the moment. it could be a statistical blip but it is the type of thing the police want to keep an ion. our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds, thank you. in the united states, the governor of new york state andrew cuomo has
said the health care situation there has stabilised. officials have recorded another 752 deaths related to coronavirus, but there's been another fall in the number of hospital and intensive care admissions. 0ur correspondent in new york nick bryant sent this report. to a city known for its energy and life, the coronavirus has brought an overriding sense of fear. new york's number of dead has soared past 10,000. more victims than all but a few countries and three times as many people as were killed in the attacks of september 11th. sirens. still we wake to the sound of sirens, still new yorkers worry that the ambulances outside their windows might soon end up outside their doors. but hospital admissions are down and after one of the most awful months in the city's history, the spread of the virus has slowed. almost everybody is on oxygen and almost everybody is a covid patient. at a hospital in brooklyn,
dr melanie malloy has been keeping a video diary of life and of death. the wards are crowded still with patients dependent on ventilators. medics and nurses are physically and emotionally exhausted, but they're witnessing signs of hope. today we have 43 people in the department. that's pretty much full, but i have to say, it's doing a lot better than a couple of weeks ago when we had 86 to 96 in the department, a0 people boarding. it was really tough, it was really a bad, bad week. but things are getting a lot better. this is still very much a city at half mast. more than 750 new yorkers have lost their lives in the past 2a hours. but fears that the health care system here would be overwhelmed have not been realised and the governor of new york believes the worst is over. the coronavirus hasn't managed to crush the charismatic personality of this city.
here outside a hospital in manhattan, the heroes of 9/11 were saluting the new superheroes of covid—19. applause. and in new york, every night at 7, the same wave of gratitude for medical workers that's swept across the planet. an active civic communion, maybe even a global coming together... ..in this season of social and national isolation. at times square, we thought these people were tourists, something we haven't seen here for weeks. but they're medics who travelled here from all over america to help new york at its time of maximum peril. hopefully, that moment has passed. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. germany has announced the first
easing of the measures imposed to contain the spread of covid—19. chancellor merkel said that some schools would re—open from may 4th. the eu has been discussing how to co—ordinate strategy among member states for relaxing restrictions, as our europe editor katya adler reports from brussels. three days into spain's partial lifting of its coronavirus lockdown and there's still a lot of confusion. police say people are unsure if they're allowed back to work or not. in fact, spain has only lifted restrictions for factory and construction workers — an attempt to kick—start this covid—19 battered economy. many are scared. translation: i feel bad, like i'm in danger, but what are you going to do? i need to provide for my family, i need to go back to work. spain's prime minister hit back
at his critics today. he only made decisions after taking scientific advice, he said. applause. juggling economic, social and health risks is daunting for every government in this pandemic. it's a big challenge for the eu too. remember its messy initial response to the crisis? today, brussels called for a coordinated exit strategy from lockdown measures, but only if... there is a significant decrease in the spread of the virus over a sustained period of time. sufficient health system capacity is needed. there needs to be a reserve and you need sufficient surveillance and monitoring capacity in the form of large—scale testing. with 27 different health care systems and 27 different economic priorities, the european commission admits that, in the end, each eu country will decide for itself when to lift restrictions. but it's worth noting that no one here or in eu capitals is talking
about getting back to normal — lifting lockdown altogether. this is a targeted, gradual lifting of the restrictions, which would be reintroduced again if there is another big second wave of infection. today, the eu's biggest economy said shops in germany would start opening as of monday. schools as of the 11th of may. but angela merkel insisted... translation: this isn't a race, however well—intentioned. we have to understand we'll be living with this virus until we have the medication or a vaccine to deal with it. delighted to see friends, unaware of their parents' nervousness, danish children streamed back to primary and nursery school today. these are nail—biting moments for the eu as well. the lid is lifting on europe's lockdown, but no one knows for how long. katya adler, bbc news, brussels.
as the outbreak continues to affect all parts of the uk, we've been hearing from front line health workers about the challenges they face. our health correspondent catherine burns is keeping in touch with a range of staff, and has asked them to keep video diaries. tonight we catch up with dr sarah edwards. she works in accident and emergency at leicester royal infirmary — this was her shift yesterday. she's been a doctor for nine years now, most of that time in emergency medicine, but sarah edwards says she never imagined working in a global pandemic. it's, at times, been very scary, because the amount of patients we've been seeing and the increasing number of patients we've been seeing, and some of them are of the same sort of age as i am, in my 30s, who are coming in very, very poorly. i'm finding myself getting ever more anxious going into work, because ijust don't know what the day ahead is going to involve.