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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 18, 2020 4:00am-4:30am BST

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this is bbc news — welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm rich preston. our top stories: the worldwide death toll from coronavirus passes 150,000. with the uk death toll atjust over "4,500, health authorities are warning some hospitals in england will run out of key protective equipment this weekend. slowing the spread, there are warnings that after europe and the us, africa will be next to suffer infection. as people stay indoors, we look at how nature has been taking back the world's empty parks and streets.
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hello, and welcome to audiences in the uk and around the world. we're covering all the latest coronavirus developments here in britain and globally. the number of people known to have died from the coronavirus pandemic around the world is now more than 150,000, according to latest figures collated byjohns hopkins university in the united states. almost one quarter of those deaths have occurred in the us itself, the number there is now 37,000. four european countries, italy, spain, france and the uk, make up half of the worldwide toll. as efforts continue to develop effective antibody tests, experts at the world health organisation have cast doubt on the idea. they say there's no evidence that having had the virus would guarantee immunity to future infection. a lot of the preliminary information that's coming to us right now would suggest that quite a low proportion
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of the population have actually serial converted. so it may not solve the problem. there's been an expectation that maybe herd immunity may have been achieved, and that the majority of people in society may have already developed antibodies. i think the general evidence is pointing against that and pointing towards a much lower serial prevalence. so it may not solve the problem that governments are trying to solve. president trump has told a white house briefing that the us death toll is likely to land between 60-65,000. earlier mr trump appeared to increase pressure on state governors to reopen their economies, following the publication of federal guidelines to phase out lockdown measures. in a series of tweets he called for minnesota, michigan and virginia to be, in his words, liberated. all three have democrat governors, and are considered swing states at federal elections. some governors,
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including in michigan and minnesota, have announced plans to partially re—open their economies, at the start of may. but others, including andrew cuomo, the governor of new york state, accuse president trump of failing to provide states with enough support. speaking at the daily white house briefing, president trump defended his online remarks, but didn't outline specific lockdown measures he thought should be withdrawn. i think some things are too tough. and if you look at some of the state you just mentioned, it is too tough. not only relative to this but what they have done in virginia with respect to the second amendment isjust a horrible thing. they did a horrible thing, the governor. and he is a governor under a cloud to start off with. so when you see what he said about the second amendment, when you see what other states have done, you know, ithink, i feel very comfortable. our north america correspondent david willis has been examining the political fallout of president trump's comments. those tweets caused some consternation, particularly for the governor of washington state, jay inslee, who accused the president
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of "fomenting rebellion" by urging those protesters who are largely influenced by conservative groups, to carry on doing so. the president of course tweeting to "liberate" those three states, and there are people there who believe that the lockdowns have been too stringent if you like, and it is costing them money and jobs. the president was asked whether he would distance himself from those comments, he said he wouldn't, and he was asked whether, by promoting those views, he was effectively condoning social, lack of social distance, because the protesters are gathering in large groups. the president said simply "these are people expressing their views". the other headline to come out of the press briefing was a substantial aid package for american farmers.
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that's right, yes. the president making clear that this is a large part of his constituency, these other sort of people that will be pressed to vote for him when the election comes around in november. they are a key part of his constituency, and he is clearly bending over backwards to service them. he also talked about more loans to small businesses, that fund has currently run dry, the president is seeking more funding for that, but he has been stymied by the democrats, and he had a go at them today, among them of course their leader, the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. and how much are announcements like displaying into the hands of trump supporters, especially with an election due in november? very much so i think, and the president is very mindful of that day, 200 days from today, in fact, before america goes to the polls. he is of course running
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for re—election. the president has seen what was a flyaway economy decimated — we have 22 million americans now out of work, and he is itching, he has been for several weeks, to get the economy reopened, and start rebuilding it in time for the election. knowing all too well the state of the economy will be key to his re—election chances. latest figures show that 847 people who'd tested positive for the virus have died in british hospitals in the past day. it brings the total number of dead in the country tojust over 1a,500. the british government is setting up a new task force
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to back the development of a vaccine, but it'll be many months before one is available. our medical correspondent fergus walsh reports. more than 70 scientific teams across the world are trying to do in months what would normally take many years — develop a coronavirus vaccine. one of the leading groups, at oxford university, says manufacturers in europe, china and india are set to produce their vaccine so it's ready to roll out in september, if by then it's shown to be effective. it's pretty clear the world is going to need hundreds of millions of doses, ideally by the end of this year, to end this pandemic, to let us out of lockdown and ensure we can do that safely. a vaccine is the exit strategy for this pandemic. the government has announced a coronavirus vaccine task force to help scale up manufacturing and support teams like this one at imperial college london. at the number 10 briefing, the scale of the challenge and its importance
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was all too clear. producing a vaccine is a colossal undertaking, a complex process which will take many months. there are no guarantees, but the government is backing our scientists, betting big to maximise the chance of success. when we do have a vaccine, how will you prioritise who gets it first? well, first of all, i think we have got to get a vaccine. that isn't two days away, it's not two months away. making a vaccine is a difficult, complicated process. it doesn't only have to work, it has to be safe. i think it is going to be important that we vaccinate in the way that you normally do for these diseases, which is to make sure the most vulnerable are protected and then to roll out to wider vaccination. but that's some way off. until then, community testing of all those with symptoms will be vital to help rein in the epidemic, but the capacity simply
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isn't there yet. today, the government announced testing will be extended to frontline police, fire and prison staff. but many nhs workers are still not getting checked. welcome to this session of the house of commons... a committee of mps led by the former health secretary was told britain should expect further waves of infection and must learn from its mistakes. where were the system errors that led us to have probably the highest death rates in europe? and we have to face the reality of that — we were too slow with a number of things. but we can make sure that in the second wave we're not too slow. we could see 40,000 deaths by the time it's over. it is a sobering thought, and a reminder that social distancing is the crucial measure that will ensure the epidemic here is brought under control. fergus walsh, bbc news.
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is europe and the us evaluate the measures, there are warnings that africa will be the next area to be severely affect by covid—i9. and there are fears that, with weaker health systems and much higher rates of poverty, the continent will face great difficulty in dealing with an outbreak. bill hayton reports. coronavirus is spreading in africa. in the north of the continent, algeria is the worst affected country so far, with more than 350 deaths. its neighbour morocco has put troops on standby to deal with an expected surgeon cases. and it is building two temporary hospitals. egypt has the most confirmed cases of covid—i9, nearly 3000. lagos in nigeria is africa's most densely populated city. a lockdown has been in force here for several weeks, as well as in several other nigerian cities. as a result the country's only had around a dozen confirmed
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deaths from covid—i9. but with more than 21 million inhabitants, many living in tightly packed spaces, doctors fear the potential damage the virus could do and how quickly it could spread. in east africa, kenya is facing a similar situation. in the kibera slum in the capital nairobi, volunteers are teaching people how to properly wash their hands at donated cleaning points, and murals share information about the virus. but here, fears of the virus are balanced by fear of the consequences of a lockdown. translation: if they impose a lockdown, how are we going to get food? if that's the case, we will decide it is better to go out and die of corona rather than die of hunger in our houses. they can't take the risk, especially with kibera which touches on probably seven different neighbourhoods outside the slum itself, they
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can't risk the people of the slum, in this slum particularly, going hungry and then violence ensuing in the surrounding neighbourhoods, and then on top of that you go to, that will spark violence and the rest of the slums and it will be, you know, a cataclysmic event. that is a fear echoed in another east african country, malawi. but the high court has temporarily blocked the government from introducing a lockdown, after protests by people saying they would starve if restrictions were imposed for three weeks. malawi has only had two confirmed coronavirus deaths so far, but officials estimate that 40,000 people could die if lockdown measures are not introduced. in other countries, security is the concern, where ongoing violence makes getting help to those in need even more dangerous. in the democratic republic of congo there are more than 5 million internally displaced people uprooted by conflict, now living in united nations camps. but these people are no stranger to living with the threat of deadly disease.
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ebola! the drc was the epicentre of the 2018 ebola outbreak. the silver lining to that may be that the years living under the threat of disease, and the social conditioning that came with it, could have given them the tools they need to avoid this deadly outbreak. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: running out of graveyards in latin america, as the pandemic takes an increasingly heavy toll. the two main symptoms of coronavirus to look out for are a continuous dry cough and/or a fever. some people say they have lost their senses of smell and taste because of covid—i9,
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but the research on this is still at an early stage. also other viruses can make this happen too, like the common cold, so it doesn't necessarily mean you have this new coronavirus. so how high a fever is a coronavirus one? and what exactly is a continuous dry cough? it is when you cough and there is no mucus or phlegm, basically no gooey substance in your tissue. and this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in a single day. this dry cough can also then lead to breathing problems. but how high a fever is a coronavirus fever? if you have one of these, you will know about it. technically it is a body temperature of more than 37.8 degrees celsius or 100 degrees fahrenheit. but if you've not got a thermometer, basically you will feel hot and your chest and back would be hot if someone touched you. this is bbc world news.
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very good to have you with us. the latest headlines: the coronavirus death toll passes 150,000 people around the world. with the uk death toll atjust over 14,500, health authorities are warning some hospitals in england will run out of key protective equipment this weekend. in latin america the pandemic is taking an increasingly heavy toll. many of these countries have healthcare systems that struggle at the best of times. the authorities are trying to combat coronavirus, but the sheer scale of what's happening is becoming overwhelming, as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. in ecuador, they are running out of space to bury the dead. this is the city where the graveyards are full and bodies have to be taken to nearby towns. officially, the death toll is around 400, but one local official says in the first two weeks of april,
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nearly 6000 more deaths have been registered than the average for this time of year. it's not just average for this time of year. it's notjust the virus, it's the knock—on effect. this medical centre treat patients with kidney failure. not much longer. translation: care and dialysis centres a re translation: care and dialysis centres are about to be suspended because kidney patients and medical staff are unprotected due to a lack of resources from the ministry of health and finance. we have not been able to acquire basic biosecurity equipment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. in venezuela, there are claims that a quarter of a million people have been tested for covid-19, and people have been tested for covid—19, and another 25,000 in tested each day. according to the government, that combined with tough lockdown measures means the country has avoided the worst. but not everyone sounds convinced. translation: you know that
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everything here is a mystery. this is the mystery country. it a lwa ys this is the mystery country. it always happens the same way. they give you a number, and after the real numbers appear, one can tell what is true and what is a lie. -- cannot sell. mass transit is an ideal environment to spread the virus. so in mexico city, face masks are now required on the underground rail system. if containment measures like this don't work, the consequences could be catastrophic. tim allman, bbc news. the british government says it's reviewing the evidence around the wearing of face masks to help stop the spread of the virus. the practice has been made compulsory in new york, with similar schemes also being operated in austria, the czech republic and slovakia. here's our science editor, david shukman. popular in asia before the pandemic, masks are now appearing in more and more countries around the world. the government here is weighing up the options, and the mayor
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of london believes we should cover our faces anywhere crowded. think about when you're using public transport, if you really, really have to, or you're in a shop and you can't keep two metres apart. wearing a non—medical facial covering makes it less likely you may inadvertently give somebody else covid—19. one reason is that coughs and sneezes can travel much further than previously thought. another is that people can spread the virus before they have any symptoms. but the government has a serious worry — that the best masks, which are vital on the medical front line, will get snapped up by the public. here is how you can make your own face covering in a few easy steps. that's why in the united states, the authorities are urging people to make their own masks. america's top medic showing how. then you fold either side to the middle, and you have yourself a cloth face covering. an old t—shirt is not going to do a greatjob of protecting you from the virus, but think of it the other way round.
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covering your face with something like this might actually protect others from you. that's because you might be infected with the virus and be passing it on without even realising. if you're wearing, say, a double layer of cotton mask, and you cough, and someone is eight to ten inches away, there is a very dramatic reduction in the percentage of virus that is getting to the other person. they still get some, but it is a small fraction of what they would have got if you hadn't been wearing a face covering. i protect you, you protect me. the czech republic was one of the first european countries to insist on masks, and now many others are following. it could help with the process of reopening factories and offices whenever the lockdown is relaxed. but that'll be a big step, and so far the government has held back from taking it. david shukman, bbc news.
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the death toll in britain from coronavirus is fast approaching 15,000 people. behind every number is a family grieving. allan little looks at some of those who have lost their lives in the pandemic. each face represents an immense private grief. together, they are the faces of a shared national sorrow. none of us is immune, but some are more vulnerable than others. healthcare workers, like dr fayez ayache, knowingly placed themselves in harm's way. he was 76, a retired gp in suffolk, but returned to work because, he said, he felt it was his duty to help. isobel and arty vallely had been married for 53 years. they died within hours of each other in hospital in belfast. their daughter said it hadn't sunk in that she'd lost both parents so close together. margaret orman, a fit 76—year—old, ran the whitmore arms in grays, in essex. a mother, grandmother and great—grandmother. her family said she was
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a much—loved figure at the heart of community life. she was the queen of the whitmore arms, in orsett, ourfamily business. she'd been together with my dad for 62 years. she was a friend to everyone. she loved to sit and talk to people. she loved to help as much as she possibly could. nhs staff are mourning their own. donna campbell, who was 54, was a support worker at velindre hospital in whitchurch. her colleagues said they were heartbroken. areema nasreen, who was 36, was also on the front line of the pandemic. she was a nurse and had three children. her sister said she was an amazing person who put herself last. giuseppe casciello was enjoying life in his care home and loved joining the shared activities there. # que sera, sera...# he died two days after his 95th birthday. he'd had a career as a head chef at some of london's most prestigious restaurants. friends said he was proud,
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private and charming. a cherished father, a wonderful husband and a really funny great—grandad and great—grandad. he won't ever be forgotten in our hearts — ever. love you, dad. it is not only the elderly. danny sharma, a dj from london, was 38. he didn't expect to die. he'd been documenting his time in hospital on facebook. hilda churchill was 108 and died of covid—19 in her nursing home. she lost a younger sister to the spanish flu pandemic more than a century ago and lived through two world wars. she remembered seeing the soldiers off to the first world war, which very few came back. she'd only be a young girl then. she was tremendous. she remembered all of those things, and didn't half tell us about them as well!
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we weren't even able to say goodbye to her, which is very upsetting. dave roland was 65 and planning to retire this year. three decades ago, he survived the hillsborough disaster. this photograph of him was taken that day. he'd tried to help a 17—year—old caught in the crush. he later rang the boy's family to tell them that their son had not been alone when he died. his family said he was a proud scouser, youthful, unique, kind—hearted and fun. elsie sazuze, who was 44, was originally from malawi. she came here to work in the care sector. her death reminds us of the power of the virus to reach well beyond our hospital wards. individually, each represents a great private anguish. together, a national sorrow, still accumulating. allan little, bbc news. the pandemic has had far reaching consequences for many
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parts of the world, but the natural world has had a much—needed boost from the lockdown, as reged ahmad reports. a silver lining for the animal world in the covid—19 crisis. lebanon is one of the most important migratory routes for birds. and with the country under strict lockdown, the natural world has been thriving. avid bird watchers say they're documenting more species than usual in less remote areas. translation: in our garden, we are seeing species of small birds that i'm seeing for the first time. i don't know why. maybe they're more relaxed because there's no shooting, no noise from the people or cars, no flights. even a tree frog makes an unexpected appearance. you will not see the frogs that we saw on the walkway that we walked today. there's too much human traffic. so now, we're the only ones here. so we saw the frogs over there.
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across the ocean in the united states, yosemite national park — famed for its epic scenes — is experiencing somewhat of a revival too. more bears are being spotted in the park as they strike out with greater confidence, taking the opportunity to hang around a little bit more. i think nature is obviously welcoming the change. the wildlife in yosemite certainly are. there's more bears around right now too, the bears are coming out from their normal hibernation at this time. there's usually 3 million visitors a year at yosemite. but, for the moment, animals are enjoying the peace and quiet, and getting a little bolder as they roam. as difficult as the coronavirus lockdown has been for humans, nature at least has been getting a much—needed break. reged ahmad, bbc news.
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a much—needed silver lining there, of course. much more on our website. you can reach me on twitter, i'm @richpreston. hello once again. friday was an absolute sparkler of a day. this was the scene late in the day across mallaig in the western side of scotland. and there was 13 hours of sunshine or so to be had in stornoway, just a wee bit further to the north and west. come a good dealfurther to the south, though, and it really was wet at times thanks to an area of low pressure in biscay throwing these with weather fronts up and across the southern half of the british isles. and it will continue to do that during the course of saturday. there's no great rush to really change things, so a lot of cloud across the greater part of england and wales and some really quite heavy bursts of rain as well. a little bit of organisation about it.
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there's a band of weather trying to move a little bit further north into the north of england. and then come the afternoon, the remnants of something just pushing those showers over towards wales. all the while, the very far north of england, scotland, northern ireland, variable amounts of cloud, but a deal of sunshine. but an onshore breeze just pegging those temperatures back along the north sea—facing coasts. eight, nine or ten degrees yet again. this is sunday. starts off pretty cloudy again for the greater part of england and wales. but just hopeful through the day that some of that cloud willjust drift a little bit further away towards the west, allowing better chances of sunshine to break out across many of those eastern counties. and again, scotland doing very well. temperatures in a range of 11 to about 19, so feeling just that tad warmer right out across the piece. and we stay with the theme of a lot of dry weather with some decent spells of sunshine, although it will be really rather windy, as we get on through the forthcoming week. as i take you from sunday on into monday, we've got a big
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area of high pressure just to the north—east of the british isles. very disturbed weather across the southern parts of france and into eastern parts of spain. and it's the squeeze between those features that give us the easterly wind, and the wind will be quite a noticeable feature of the day. could be quite a chilly start for the northern glens of scotland. and the wind will be a feature wherever you happen to be stepping out of the door for that brief spell of exercise. i'm showing you the mean speeds. on top of that, we've got the gusts. could be around 30mph or so. temperatures, though, not too bad. 13 to about 18 or 19, particularly where you can tuck yourself away from that wind over towards the west. and it's that same combination of high and low pressure that will keep us going with the dry weather into the middle of the week.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: the number of people known to have died from the coronavirus global pandemic is now more than 150,000, according to the latest figures collated byjohns hopkins university in the united states. 37,000 have died in the us itself. italy, spain, france and the uk make up half of the worldwide toll. the world health organization has cast doubt on the usefulness of antibody tests for covid—19 — which many countries had hoped to use to determine if people have developed immunity to the virus. who officials in geneva said there was no evidence that having had the virus would guarantee immunity. 847 people have died in british hospitals in the past 24 hours. it brings the total number of deaths tojust over 14,500. the uk government is setting up a new task force to back the development of a vaccine, but it'll be many months before one is available.

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