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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 27, 2020 2:00pm-3:45pm GMT

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coronavirus. he positive for the coronavirus. he says he is self isolating in downing street. this is bbc news. on the advice of the chief medical the headlines at two. officer, i have taken a test. the prime minister tests that has come out positive so i am working from home, positive for coronavirus — i am self—isolating. he says he is self isolating in downing street. i have developed mild symptoms the health secretary, matt hancock, of the coronavirus, that is to say a also tests positive for the virus. he too has mild symptoms temperature and a persistent cough and is self—isolating. and on the advice of the chief medical officer, i have taken a test 181 more people have died in the uk after being infected, that has come out positive. taking the total to 759. so, i am working from home, i am self it comes as fears grow that certain isolating. hospitals may soon be overwhelmed, the health secretary matt hancock also tests positive for the virus — he too has mild symptoms and is self—isolating. it comes as fears grow that certain hospitals may soon be overwhelmed — health officials say some intensive care units face a tsunami of demand.
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work continues to turn the excel conference centre in east london into a 4,000 bed hospital. we are facing the greatest health emergency that we have seen ever in my career and indeed the history of the nhs. the us now has more confirmed cases than anywhere else — though president trump says the country will be back to work ‘pretty quickly‘. here, police have already issued some fines to people not following the rules about social distancing. and, how to keep yourself occupied in lockdown — boxerjoseph parker tries out his hugh grant/love actually impression.
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good afternoon. it's been announced that the prime minister has tested positive for coronavirus. boris johnson says he has mild symptoms and will self—isolate in downing street — but will still lead the government response to the crisis. matt hancock is also working from home after he too tested positive. the prime minister's diagnosis comes as there is growing concern that nhs hospitals may be overwhelmed by coronavirus patients as early as this weekend. there's particular pressure on hospitals on the outskirts of london, where some health bosses have warned that intensive care units face a tsunami of demand in the coming days. globally, the us has overtaken china as the country with the most confirmed cases — its risen to over 85,000.
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here, police have started issuing fines to people breaching the lockdown rules, less than 2a hours after they came into force, and the metropolitan police is calling on any officers who've retired in the last 5 years to consider returning to work. and the government is urging people not to move house, to try to limit the spread of the virus — they say buyers and renters should delay moving while these emergency measures are in place. we'll bring you the latest on those developments injust a moment — but first let's get the details of that announcement about the prime minister this morning. here's our political correspondent leila nathoo. something urgent for the prime minister's top adviser this morning, his boss has contracted coronavirus. i've developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus, that is to say a
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temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer, i have taken a test, that has come out positive, so i am working from home, i am self—isolating, and that is entirely the right thing to do. but be in no doubt that i can continue, thanks to the miracles of modern technology, to communicate with all of my top team to lead a national fightback against coronavirus. last night the prime minister joined people across the country and paying tribute to nhs staff. he received a positive test result not long after, at midnight. his neighbour, chancellor rishi sunak, has not displayed any symptoms so as not been tested. but the health secretary matt hancock has. i have been tested and it is positive so i will be self isolating till thursday. the symptoms have been very mild so i have been able to carry on with the
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work, driving forward the uk response. mps have been following social distancing rules in parliament, but the prime minister has been in close contact with others leading the response to the outbreak. ministers and number ten staff have been told they don't have to self—isolate unless they start displaying symptoms. borisjohnson will be self—isolating in a flat in number 11 downing street for seven days. he is still leading the government's response to the coronas outbreak. should his condition worsened, foreign secretary dominic raab will take charge. last time borisjohnson saw the queen in person was the 11th of march. earlier this week, they spoke by phone. the prime minister will be relying more heavily on technology to carry out government business in the coming days. let's speak to our political correspondent nick eardley who's in westminster now. the prime minister, a very senior cabinet minister, these are
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extraordinary times. absolutely, two of the people who are at the heart of the people who are at the heart of the people who are at the heart of the uk's response to this crisis are now staying at home for the next seven days after contracting coronavirus. it is important to say that they both have mild symptoms and both of them are still working, the prime ministerfor and both of them are still working, the prime minister for example still chaired the morning meeting of those involved in the response, this morning at 9am by video conference, we know that he says he is going to keep doing that, he still very much sees himself as able to work and still very much in charge of the government's efforts. it is worth pointing out that there have been some social distancing measures taken in government like the ones that we are all taking in our daily lives, for example, the cabinet earlier this week, the meeting was done by video conference, there were only four people actually there, two of them were borisjohnson and matt hancock, the others with a cabinet
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secretary and the chief medical 0fficer. borisjohnson was in parliament on wednesday and although there were some distancing going on in the commons, there were a number of mps around and matt hancock has beenin of mps around and matt hancock has been in parliament as well and so i suspect there will be some mps who will want to watch their own health over the next few days to see if they develop any symptoms. the message from governments is that although these two very senior ministers, as i say, two people absolutely involved in the top tier of the government's response, although they have contracted the virus, they can still work, their symptoms are mild and there is no reason to panic yet. thank you very much. let's speak to the conservative mp andrew murrison, who's also a doctor, hejoins me now on the line.
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we are particularly interested in your take of the development of the last few hours. this shows that we are all susceptible to this virus, i am very sorry that borisjohnson and members of his top team have succumbed to this but all credit to them to continuing to work, it shows that this disease can range from the very severe indeed down to people not having symptoms at all and lots of things in between, so it is an extraordinary virus that we are learning about all the time. they have been many comments in the last week or two, we have got used to the 5pm press briefings, there have been a lot of observations, a lot of public activities have been carried out with senior cabinet ministers not standing are required two metres apart. does this reinforce to the public that this is what we should all be doing? 0r public that this is what we should
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all be doing? or we should be doing social distancing i think there has been some confusion on this point over the last two days. itjust shows that this is completely new and we are learning how this virus behaves and how to respond to it. social distancing, that is to stay at least two metres from your neighbour is vitally important to contain the spread of this virus. we need to be at home, if we are going out, we need to maintain social distancing and we should only be going out if it is absolutely essential. it brings the issue of testing back to the fore, we know that health workers are calling out for this, we need to know more about who does and doesn't have it and it just reminds us, doesn't it? haven't we been on the back foot as a nation? i don't accept that, compared to other countries, we have been on the front foot, and i am
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confident that the antibody test will be rolled out over the next few days and this has all been done at pace and i think most people would appreciate that this has all changed so dramatically over such a short period of time and i think once we start getting those tests out, it will ease the situation considerably, but we are not there yet which is why we do need to maintain that social distancing, we do need discipline if we are to get on top of this and get on top of it fast and so many people at last night were showing their appreciation of the nhs, the best way you can do that is to the rules so that our nhs continues to be resilient and robust and capable of dealing with what i think is going to bea dealing with what i think is going to be a real problem over the next few days and weeks. you have worked asa gp, few days and weeks. you have worked as a gp, do you feel we are doing right by our health workers when so many of them say, look we still need more protective equipment?” many of them say, look we still need more protective equipment? i have raised this in the house of commons
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earlier this week and again, this is all happening so fast and at pace andi all happening so fast and at pace and i know there are people up and down the country both within the public service and in private enterprises trying to generate what we need in order to get protective equipment out there, get those ventilators in place and do the very best we can, very very fast and i think we all can give them great credit for doing that, we do need to make sure that those on the front line of this are protected as best as possible and that means getting the right sort of protective personal equipment out there and when i questioned ministers on that they tell me that it will be in place this week, i hope that is the case because we owe these people so much, it is all very well applauding people, we should do that and show our appreciation in every way we can, but unless we can get that equipment to them so that they are protected on the front line, i am afraid we will have failed. so, i am looking this week for that ppe to be
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in place so that everyone in every ca re in place so that everyone in every care setting will be protected. so you will ask questions if it isn't there? yes, me and 650 other members of parliament will want to know what is going on but i am confident that matt hancock is doing everything he can to make sure that people on the front line are properly protected, that means proper ppe, face masks of the right specification, that must be in place, i know he is doing everything he can to ensure that we are up to the challenge logistically and that that kit is in place as soon as possible. thank you very much. some details coming through from public health wales, more numbers that have just been sent through to tell is that a further six people have died in wales after testing positive for the virus. the
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total number of deaths in wales now stands at 34. that has just come in in the last few moments. in other matters we have also heard that trooping the colour will not go ahead in its traditionalform. we are told this is in line with government advice that the queen's birthday parade will not be going ahead as it usually does. a number of other options are being considered in line with relevant guidance, is what we are being told, they are looking at what else could be done but trooping the colour will not go ahead with the parade and the usual festivities. we were just bringing you those figures from public health wales, i can now give you a uk wide figure so the death toll in this country, across the uk now stands at 759. that is the latest figure and, to put it in
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context, it is an increase of 181 on the last time we had figures, so 759 is where the figure currently stands. we will be talking to our health correspondence very much over the course of the afternoon as well so we will have much more context on all of that. as preparations continue to build massive temporary hospitals in major cities, there are growing fears about the pressure on the nhs from coronavirus. 0ur correspondent richard galpin reports. in the hospitals around london, they are now bracing for the worst. the recent surge in the number of patients needing treatment as the epidemic moves towards its peak may mean some hospitals running out of intensive care beds this weekend. the whole hospital is removing those barriers
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between specialties, and we are working as one massive team together. we have worked to a permanent on—call system, so we will only be doing predominantly 12 hour shifts for the coming months. we have made drastic changes to the way we work, and we will continue to do so, because that is what we are here to do. and in central london, an nhs official has warned of a tsunami of cases in the coming days and weeks. anna veith as nhs staff are themselves falling sick. so there is now a race to build up to 13 field hospitals across the country to create more capacity. this one in east london is being built with help from the army. it is due to open next week, initially with 500 beds, eventually increasing to 4000. many retired nurses are being brought back into work in places like this. 5000 in england alone, they have
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come back and said they are willing tojoin our profession once more. i am extremely grateful to them all, because we are facing the greatest health emergency that we have seen ever, in my career and indeed the history of the nhs. the nhs is now also calling for nurses from other parts of england to work in the london area. meanwhile, manufacturers like this one here in scotland are working at full speed to provide more protective equipment for doctors and nurses around the country. there are still shortages. it has been confirmed that a gp in essex has died. it is suspected but not confirmed that the 76—year—old died from coronavirus. his family say he sacrificed his life for his job. nhs staff say it is a very frightening time for them. people are really, really scared for themselves,
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for their teams, and for patients, because they just don't know when they go into see a patient, whether or not, even though they are not displaying symptoms, they may still have the virus. another gp is also in isolation with coronavirus symptoms thought to have been picked up from seeing patients. we can't use what some would deem inadequate personal protection to see all our patients still, because we haven't got enough. and we don't have eye protection in general practice. we just have a surgical mask. a plastic apron and gloves. but amidst all this, there is at least some positive news from the experts who say the trajectory of the outbreak in this country is now showing that the social distancing measures may be having an impact.
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richard galpin, bbc news. just in the last few minutes, we told you about the figures that came through. our health correspondent anna collinson is with me now. in the last few minutes, the death toll has been announced and it is an increase of 181 so the death toll for the uk is now at 759. yesterday, it was 578 and yesterday, when that figure was announced it had increased by 100 and because there had been a change in how the government recorded the data, that seem to explain the big increase but again today, we have seen an increase of 121. what we had heard in the pm's press briefing from the deputy chief medical officer, she said that the figures they had received, looking at the trend, there was a slight glimmer of hope that the uk's trajectory compared to
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other countries wasn't as steep and they were hoping that things were looking more positive. 0bviously, these figures will need to be looked at but it does appear to be bigger than what people may have been expecting. continually, we have to look at other countries and we will continue to do that of course. this is all coming on the date that we have learnt about the prime minister and the health secretary, there could now be one imagines an awful lot of people in political circles who have to think very carefully about what they do. exactly. boris johnson announced this morning that he had had some symptoms associated with coronavirus, temperature, a cough, he was tested by nhs staff at downing street and that test came back positive. shortly after, matt hancock also revealed he had been tested and was positive and that means they both now needs to go into self isolation and abide by the rules that the government had set them. self isolation in downing street means he is not allowed to go outside unless it is for a short
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period of exercise, he cannot go out shopping forfood or period of exercise, he cannot go out shopping for food or medication, period of exercise, he cannot go out shopping forfood or medication, he can't see his friends or family, he can't see his friends or family, he can't have visitors and again, it will be the same for matt hancock and the type of symptoms that boris johnson can expect is a common symptom is that people have, the majority is a persistent cough, high fever, in some cases pneumonia, there are for the minority, more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, having to rely on a ventilator, but as i say, that tends to bei ventilator, but as i say, that tends to be i minority and for elderly people. thoughts about the coming weekend because we have been reflecting that some health officials are saying that we really have to watch these figures over the weekend, we are very worried about a potential spike, i am trying not to use the words that aren't necessarily helpful, but you appreciate what i mean by that. there is a lot of talk for example about pressure on hospitals on the
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outskirts of the capital, how can we explain that? the next two to three weeks, experts are saying that that will be the peak, we have started a lockdown now but sometimes it takes symptoms up to two weeks to appear so the next two or three weeks will be very hard for hospitals, that is what experts are saying, the entire uk is affected, we have seen hospitals in glasgow and newport warning about it but in london, that is where one third of the cases are and a senior nhs boss has warned that they could be a tsunami of cases this weekend, that critical ca re cases this weekend, that critical care support may not be available and so we have been hearing that nhs staff from other parts of the uk and other parts of england are being drafted into london to help and do their bit and of course, there are problems with what is going on with hospitals at the moment, not enough equipment to go round, the government is trying to get it out onto the front line, but also the fa ct onto the front line, but also the fact that testing, lots of staff are
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having to take time off work because they either have symptoms or something they're living with hazard symptoms. thank you very much. well, preparations are urgently underway to turn the excel london into the nhs nightingale, housing 4,000 patients. angus crawford is there for us. bring us up to date. unfortunately in the circumstances, it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of florence nightingale and this here at the excel centre, normally used for things like crafts and boat shows will now be turned into this extraordinary enormous hospital, potentially the biggest in the uk. they expect to have 500 beds up and
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running, that includes a significant number of intensive care unit beds with ventilators and oxygen available, they expect to have it up and running early in the week, the middle of next week, there is a potential to scale that up to 4000 beds in total if needed. why? well because london is the epicentre of the nation's outbreak of coronavirus. 33% of all cases have occurred here, 4000 or so cases are testing positive, as you heard from the previous correspondence, there is huge pressure on the nhs in london anyway, there are enormous numbers of vacancies before the crisis, now there are sickness rates between 20%, calls are gone out across london for health staff to volunteer, stjohn ambulance is going to give volunteers, people are being asked to come back from retirement to volunteer, and there is military support as well. we have just heard from the bbc‘s defence
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correspondent who has seen an internal mod document that says this is phase one of their operation but phase two is likely to be at the nec in birmingham, where they will help to support the nhs creating a hospital are potentially 5000 beds, even bigger than here, and then phase three, they talk about opening another unit at manchester. we also know that military personnel have visited the accc in glasgow as a potential third site. thank you very much and there's. the united states now has the largest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world, although europe continues to be the epicentre of the outbreak. spain has reported 769 deaths in the last day alone , and nearly 65,000 cases , among the highest daily figures for any single country. italy has suffered the greatest number of deaths, more than 8,000 ,
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and 80,000 cases , with fears that the virus is now taking hold in the south of the country. but america now has more than 85,000 cases of infection although only 1,300 deaths. president trump, though, still says the cris will end quickly. paul adams reports. siren blares. the great global city of new york is now in the eye of the storm. at the elmhurst hospital in queens, a steady stream of desperately ill patients, exhausted staff struggling to cope. the city has fewer than 2,000 intensive care beds — all are expected to be in use by today. adding to the pressure, thousands of worried new yorkers looking to be tested. the city has never seen anything like this before. not even on its darkest day. over 6000 calls a day, which are breaking records. we didn't have this
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many calls on 9/11. and we're not even started yet. so if we're doing 6000 today, it's going to be 8000 tomorrow. more and more people are going to call. america now has the highest number of confirmed cases of covid—19 — the president defending his administration's response. it's a tribute to the amount of testing that we are doing, we're doing tremendous testing, and i'm sure you're not able to tell what china is testing or not testing. after the sniping, a sign that washington and beijing are at least talking about solutions. "we're working closely together," mr trump tweeted, "much respect." across this vast country, america's shutdown is now illustrated in startling ways. in 0klahoma, dozens of passengerjets sit idle. a third of the world's aircraft are now in storage. and for americans, no more iconic or depressing image than this — yesterday was supposed to mark the start of the baseball season. this year, no—one knows
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if there will even be one. the pandemic‘s economic impact is colossal. millions of americans have been laid off — the biggest unemployment spike in the nation's history. they have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and, uh... i think it's gonna happen pretty quickly. but for now, it's all about survival. the us military is racing to prepare — hospital ships, heading for los angeles and new york. and on manhattan, one of the country's largest convention centres is being readied. new york has weathered plenty of storms before, but this is perhaps the city's sternest test yet. paul adams, bbc news. the foreign office has been advising all british nationals travelling abroad to return to the united kingdom as soon as they can. but with huge numbers of flights cancelled, and many countries on lockdown,
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it hasn't been easy for people. on tuesday i spoke to susanne campbell who was stuck in phnom penh in cambodia. she told us she'd had no help from the british embassy there and couldn't get on a plane because she had no way of proving she didn't have coronavirus. here's part of that interview. since we have been here, it has been absolute mayhem, we haven't been able to get any contact with our embassy, there are multiple conflicting advice from hotels, from airlines, from anybody you try and seek support from both in the uk and in cambodia. today we went to the only hospital in phnom penh who said that they would give a coronavirus
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test, we got there at 6:30am, when it opened at 8am, already the queue was already 70 people along and by half past eight, they turned everybody away, saying it was our problem to get a flight home and they would no longer be issuing certificates for the test or informing anybody if they were negative, which doesn't help with our situation. well, i'm really pleased to tell you that despite the odds stacked against her, susanne has actually arrived back in the uk and joins me live now. how did you manage to fly home in the end, tells your story. after i spoke to you, we had a notification that the thai government were relaxing their rules until the 31st of this month, so you no longer had
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to provide a coronavirus test or have medical insurance, so fortu nately we have medical insurance, so fortunately we already had our ticket and i was able to go to the airport and get my flight home. what was the flight like? with a lot of people on board who were in a similar situation to you? yes, mostly europeans desperate to get home, they had more merged four different flights, it was a massive plane but unfortunately, there were about 20 or 30 seats empty, i quite can't quite get my head around that because there are so many people trying to get home. was that to do with social distancing, was that talked about on the plane in terms of where they placed you on the seat numbers they gave out? no, it was like a normal flight, numbers they gave out? no, it was like a normalflight, everybody numbers they gave out? no, it was like a normal flight, everybody was next to each other. and what now, what contact are you having with people, how did you even get home
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from heathrow? i was very lucky, my friend came to pick me up with a full suit and mask on, i live alone, so my next challenge is to get my head around how i have my day—to—day routine alone because i could be doing that for quite some time. you have come home to the uk in very different circumstances to when you left it, are you still getting your head around it, how have you been feeling generally? when we spoke earlier in the week, you seem to pretty stressed and unhappy and everybody watching completely understood why. i am extremely tired and worn out, which i'm sure is normal, i've been doing a lot of sleeping and making contact with my family and friends. i have managed to speak to my work so i know that i can go back to work on monday which
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hopefully will keep me occupied, i am just trying to watch the news, find out what is going on and make sure that i stay at home for seven days at least to check that i don't have symptoms. susanne, thank you very much. covert a very busy afternoon, a lot more coming up in the next half—an—hour. now it's time for a look at the weather with alina jenkins. a good deal of sunshine around recently apostle parts of scotland and northern ireland. more cloud and patchy rain. sliding south this evening and overnight. by this stage, a band of cloud. to the north and south of this, clearer skies and wintry showers over scotland which may lead to some icy stretches. most of us staying above freezing. a strengthening wind meaning it won't be as cold or frosty as it has been on recent nights. the strength of
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the wind is a notable feature this weekend, a cold north—easterly wind across the whole of the uk. saturday, sunny spells and variable cloud and also wintry showers. eastern counties, some rain and may be some snow over the higher ground. temperatures for many not much higher than six or nine. just about double figures in the south but if you add on the strength of the wind, feeling even colder and even colder still by sunday. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines. in the last few minutes, it's been revealed that 181 more people have died in the uk after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number to 759,
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the prime minister tests positive for coronavirus — he says he has mild symptoms and is self—isolating and working in downing street. the health secretary matt hancock also tests positive for the virus — he says his symptoms are also mild and he's working from home. it comes as fears grow that certain hospitals may soon be overwhelmed. health officials say some intensive care units face a tsunami of demand. work continues to turn the excel conference centre in east london into a 4,000 bed hospital. the us now has more confirmed cases than anywhere else — though president trump says the country will be back to work "pretty quickly".
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0ne weapon in the fight against coronavirus will be any test that can prove if someone has already contracted the disease. to find out more, let's speak to dr emily adams, who is a senior lecturer in diagnostics for infectious disease at the liverpool school of tropical medicine. she is leading the team of scientists doing quality assurance testing on antibody tests. thanks for your time this afternoon. my thanks for your time this afternoon. my goodness, testing is so much in the public consciousness. we know that nhs workers have said please, we wa nt that nhs workers have said please, we want to be tested, we need to be tested. where are we in this as a nation with testing, from your expertise? good afternoon. we know we have very good tests at the entry point into hospitals but these tests require a lot of laboratory
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consumables and time and delay. at the moment we are not able to rapidly identify covid—19 patients or those who have recovered so we are trying to rapidly evaluate some of the new diagnostic tests coming through, lateral flow tests, of the new diagnostic tests coming through, lateralflow tests, more pregnancy through, lateralflow tests, more preg na ncy style test, through, lateralflow tests, more pregnancy style test, which can be done at the bedside of a patient and just take ten minutes to identify if someone is positive or negative and they also have the capacity to detect antibodies, if our immune system has responded to infection. we can then say that someone is recovering from infection or has been exposed and recovering. these tests will be a complete game changer if they prove to be as accurate as we hope. and what is your timeline? speed really is of the essence, isn't it? yes, exactly. we're working with manufacturers and
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nationally. some are in the prototype stage and they're developing good diagnostic tests which we hope will come online in the next few weeks. internationally, the next few weeks. internationally, the chinese for example have produced a lot of antibody tests but we must be rigorous in the evaluation of all of these. we must understand what it means to be antibody positive. we must understand the dynamics of when someone becomes antibody positive and what that means in the long—term. so there's a lot of research to undergo. certainly in liverpool we're going to start enrolling patients who are suspected of having covid—19 in the next week and we're going to follow them over time so that we can establish how reliable these antibody tests are. i should also say that we are working with a national consortium who are collecting clinical samples from nona collecting clinical samples from n o na cove rt collecting clinical samples from nona covert patients —— known
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covid—19 patients. nona covert patients —— known covid-19 patients. correct me if i'm wrong, one reason the tests are so important within people who work for the nhs is because, i think i'm right in saying that so many people are off work already and in many places is not because the individual is unwell. they might be in a house share with other medics. if one of them thinks they may have something, it mightjust them thinks they may have something, it might just be them thinks they may have something, it mightjust be the common cold but you have to be careful, the entire houseis you have to be careful, the entire house is suddenly isolating and the nhs has lost those workers who could be out there carrying on quite normally, if only they knew. yes, absolutely. i have a one—year—old with a cough, so i know the feeling. everyone is desperate for an antibody test to see if they've been exposed and are recovering. they fall under the mild or asymptomatic cases. especially health care workers. we need them to be working on these patients and many are start at home in the same situation.
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they're desperately at home in the same situation. they‘ re desperately important. at home in the same situation. they're desperately important. but we mustn't get ahead of ourselves. we must ensure they are accurate. chris whitty himself said this week that no test is better than a bad test. we don't want to be certifying people recovered who haven't. we need to make sure we get the clinical samples, the good evaluations in before these are rolled out on a wider scale. that's the activity we are currently engaged in. it's frustrating for eve ryo ne engaged in. it's frustrating for everyone but extremely important. engaged in. it's frustrating for everyone but extremely importantm course. interesting to talk to you and all the best to you. now it's time for your questions answered. very important because the bbc has been inundated with questions through the pandemic. earlier my colleague anita mcveigh spoke to dr wing—yiu jason lee who is currently part of a team
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carrying out research on covid—19 and also by laura suter, who is personal finance analyst at aj bell, and they answered some of the many questions you've been sending in. welcome to another your questions answered. again, we will be endeavouring to answer as many of your concerns as possible, as we are constantly doing on the bbc for you. with me is dr wing—yiu jason lee who works at the centre of immunobiology at the blizard institute, which is currently carrying out research on covid—19 together with barts health at queen mary university of london. i am so sorry for stumbling over the name. he joins me from whitechapel in east london. and also i'm joined by laura suter, who is personal finance analyst at aj bell. she is in south—east london. really good to have both
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of you with us today. there are so many people sending us in questions every day, thousands of questions, on a range of subject related to coronavirus. let's get through as many as we can. jason, this is from ian rumgay, who asks, i have read there are two strains of the virus, one mile down the other aggressive. would the mild variety provide immunity for the more aggressive one? first thing, are there two strains? two strains have been found in just one study done in china, at peking university, looking atjust over 100 patients. so we don't have a full picture of whether these strains can be found elsewhere. this is the first thing. so, with limited data, we have no idea if a mild or aggressive strain will provide immunity to each other. that is something a lot of people asking about,
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if they have had the virus, does that give immunity? is there a broad answer to that? so, naturally, our immune response will be able to provide and produce antibodies against infections that we have had. it would go the same with coronavirus. we must be careful in analysing the data, to make sure that these antibodies that we make offer a protective immunity. that means that the antibody can protect us from future infection, or exposure to the virus. so, at the moment, research is still ongoing. ok, let's move to you, laura. 0bviously, huge concerns for everybody about their finances during this outbreak. we have been focusing today on the package of measures for the self—employed announced by the chancellor yesterday. this question from lana walker.
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she asks, why is there nothing for those of us in the first year of self—employment? we don't get any equality with the rest of the uk workforce, employed or self—employed. this is going to be a struggle. yes, the big package of measures announced for the self—employed last night was a massive package, but it doesn't cover everyone. and the chancellor acknowledge that. 95% of self—employed people will be helped by it, but there are 5% that will slip through the net. the difficulty they have had, and why it took longer to come up with this system for self—employed people, it is much harder to prove earnings and how much you are making, versus employed people, who pay tax through their employer each month and through paye. so it means people who have not filed a tax return for 2018—19 will not be eligible for the 80% scheme announced yesterday. a lot of that is because people who have already filed tax returns, hmrc can easily look at how much they would have been earning and work out the support that is available for them,
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whereas people that have not filed tax returns yet because they have recently set up as self employed do not have the ability to prove that, and the system can't be automated as it can with others. for those individuals, there is still help available, but it is not as generous as what was announced last night. here, we are looking at things like benefits, universal credits, employment support allowance, and universal credit has been temporarily increased. for those people, they fall into the 5% where they will not get as much help. lana does not say what she does and if she is able to continue with her self—employment, but she is unfortunately getting the rough end of the stick here, because she has recently become a self—employed person. yes, you could never have predicted that when you set up. even setting up four months ago, you never would have predicted we would be in this situation now,
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that that would be a factor to consider. there are other things, we don't know her personal circumstances, but if you set up as a company there are business interruption loan schemes that can help you access things like interest—free loans or overdrafts. so, there is help out there. the government was also deferring some tax payments. whether that is income tax or vat. so, there are packages out there, and, to be fair, the government websites are very useful in terms of providing guidance and information. so, don't despair. there is help there. maybe some tips for you there, lana — i hope so. jason, rob holt asks when will testing to be more readily available? as far as we know, public health england has already purchased a large amount of test kits. these must be validated by health care workers, as well as scientists, across the country, so that they can reliably and accurately tell
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that the antibodies are present in people who have been exposed to the virus. at the moment, we don't have a timeline on when these tests will be available. but they will be available as soon as all of the tests are validated. you can't say if it is weeks or months at this stage, then? i can't. but we are really working very hard, every single day, hours and hours, to work on this. we know you are and we thank you very much for that. i am sure you were pleased to see that clap for carers last night. let us add our appreciation for you and all of your colleagues in the health care sector for all of the work you're doing. a question to you from sarah boland, who says, what help will there be for the 5% of self employed who will not be eligible for support? "i will be interested to know." maybe you could pick up
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on that advice you were giving to the previous viewer who asked about that? some of the 5% will be people like the previous person who has not been operating long enough to be in the scheme. some will be people who have higher profits. the scheme is only open to those individuals who make profits of up to £50,000 a year. so, if you are above that, you would not be eligible for this scheme. that is another part of that 5%. it's a lot of the same advice, looking at things like deferring vat or other tax payments, it is looking at the loan scheme available from the government, seeing which benefits you might be eligible for. and then there is also a whole host of other personal finance measures you can do outside of explicit government support. so, things you can do to reduce your outgoings during this time, if your income has fallen. so, mortgage holidays, for example, where people can take them,
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there is help with council tax, help for people in difficulty there. speaking to energy providers and deferring payments there. there is lots of other things that you can do. and accessing more credit and overdrafts from your bank as well. jason, james ferris asks if covid—19 can be transmitted through water, for example if an infected person sneezes on a drink and you end up drinking that liquid, does the virus to survive in the liquid? so, there is no scientific studies, unfortunately, to verify that. there are studies suggesting, in a laboratory setting, that the virus can survive on surfaces like metal and plastic for a limited amount of time, ours. but there is no study on if it can't survive in water. of course, also, the hygienic reason, we should not drink any liquid that we suspect or know it has been contaminated.
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it comes back to those basic hygiene precautions, doesn't it? laura, a question from anna sheather, who asks what real and solid support is therefore single person limited companies? in the latest announcements from the chancellor, it appears that sole traders, single person limited companies, are not eligible. so, some people who are self employed set up their own company, as a way of paying themselves. if you are the director of your own company and you are paid through paye, pay as you earn, you would be eligible for the previous package of measures that the government—backed are announced as an employed person. that means you can access the up to 80% of wages, up to £2500 a month. so, for those individuals, they would be eligible for that. the difficulty is where people have paid themselves through dividends, rather than through income. lots of people do that because it is quite a tax efficient
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way of paying yourself. those individuals might find that they now miss out on that, because their income level is not quite so high. so, they would not get that coverage. but there is help available if you are employed by your own company, effectively. thank you for that answer. a question for you, jason, from peter bowell. he asks, plasma from those who have recovered from coronavirus will likely contain antibodies to the virus. might immunoglobulin, i think that is another word from antibodies, made from this plasma, help those currently in the acute phase of the disease? to answer this question, we must know two characteristics of the antibodies. that means for the people who have been exposed to the virus, when do these antibodies start to be produced by the immune system? usually, after a viral infection, our immune system makes these antibodies within 7—14 days, and so we must verify whether the infected people are able
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to make these antibodies, as well as the quality of the antibodies. whether the antibodies can neutralise or stop the virus from infecting the cells, and whether these antibodies lead to the destruction of the virus within our body. so, these two questions, the quality and amount of antibodies, must be validated in these individuals that have been exposed or infected by the virus before we can answer the question if the antibodies or the plasma can be used to help those in an acute phase of the disease. and to prepare the plasma, it requires very stringent procedures that must be carefully validated before we consider this option. 0k, laura, we have time for one more question from robert munns. this is an important one. "there seems to be one area of society that seems to have
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been forgotten about. "what happens to people on zero—hours contracts who are now unable to work?" he says, "i myself am on 12 weeks isolation and i am not getting paid." it is a really tricky one, because those on zero—hours contracts are probably most likely to find that their income drops first, because they are the easiest people for companies to say, "we don't have any available work for you right now. " if you are paid as an employee, on a zero—hours contract, through paye through your company, you would be eligible for the employed scheme, where you get 80% of your wages up to £2500, assuming you have some regular earnings. it will be based on an average of the regular earnings you had recently. so, there might be some help there. if you are self isolating, which i think the viewer mentioned that they were, then you might be eligible for statutory sick pay. otherwise, we are looking at the same benefits that i mentioned before.
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so, esa, universal credit, and we know there are problems with people being able to call upon claim for those and there are long waits at the moment. people need to persevere and do as much online as possible, and go to the government websites, look at their specific circumstances and see what help there is available. dr wing—yiu jason lee who from the blizard institute, and laura suterfrom aj bell, thank you both very much for answering our viewers' questions. good luck with your continuing research on covid—19. thank you both very much. now — how are you keeping busy while at home? apart from watching the news! the former world champion boxer joseph parker has kept himself
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occupied at home in new zealand — by reenacting a famous scene from love actually, in which the prime minister, played by hugh grant, dances around to the song jump. let's take a look. music —jump (for my love) by the pointer sisters. listen, if the boxing didn't work out, i'd have been a dancer. you know, david, the character who is played by, you know, hugh grant. i really liked how hugh played him. he was awesome and cool. he's the original but i think i'm pretty close to it. # and you want more. # more, more. # thenjump. # for my love. #jump in... i was going to throw the challenge out there to see if the likes of dillian orjoshua or even chisora, those uk fighters, if any of them wanted to give it a go. the only person i think will be close will be tyson fury. # i'll take you down. # where no one's ever gone.... hey!
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what are you doing? i'm training. dressed like that? yup. they are not impressed, his family! and ijust say, thank you to those who supported me on twitter who think it is the pointer sisters version. there are younger people in this newsroom who think it is the girls aloud version. i think it is the pointer sisters. something else to talk about! now it's time for a look at the weather with alina jenkins. hello, some changes to the weather this weekend. for many of us it's going to be feeling much colder. through this evening and overnight, we still have a frontal system to deal with. it's been draped across scotland and northern ireland in recent days, bringing more cloud, some patchy rain. this will be moving further south overnight. introducing more cloud into northern england, the midlands and parts of wales.
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behind it, clearer skies but some wintry showers developing across scotland which may lead to some icy stretches in places. further south, holding onto some clearer skies but given the strength of the breeze it shouldn't be as cold or as frosty as it has been on recent nights. so, this is how they weekend shapes up. initially we still have this cold front. by this stage, nothing more than a band of cloud but notice the squeeze in the isobars indicating the strength of the wind. and it's a cold wind, coming from the north—east. it's going to be blowing across the whole of the uk through the weekend. we may be seeing temperatures up to 16 or 17 celsius for many of us by sunday but then back into single figures. saturday is sunny spells, variable, often large amounts of cloud and some wintry showers, especially for eastern scotland and england. may be some rain, sleet, even some snow over the higher ground. for most, single figures. just about scraping 11 or 12 across central and southern england. but add on the strength of the wind and it's going to feel even colder.
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as we go through the early hours of sunday morning, course the clocks are going to go forward, the start of british summertime. but on sunday it's going to feel even colder because the wind will be strengthening. actually sunday is going to be a cloudy day compared to saturday. still some bright or sunny spells, especially for western counties of england, wales, northern ireland. some wintry showers for some eastern counties but the strength of the wind is what we are going to notice on sunday. gusts up to 30, 40 mph, especially for eastern and eternal coasts. temperatures at best eight or nine. add on the strength of the wind and it's going to feel even colder. for some, close to freezing on sunday, so quite a difference to what you've been seeing through the week. as we start next week, little change, really. dry but cold. some sunshine and still a chance of some of those wintry showers. bye, bye.
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this is bbc news. the headlines at three. the prime minister tests positive for coronavirus — he says he is self isolating in downing street. i have developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus, that is to say a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer, i have taken a test that has come out positive. so, i am working from home, i am self isolating. the health secretary matt hancock also tests positive for the virus — he too has mild symptoms and is self—isolating. 181 more people have died in the uk after testing positive for coronavirus — taking the total number to 759.
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it comes as fears grow that certain hospitals may soon be overwhelmed — health officials say some intensive care units face a tsunami of demand. the us now has more confirmed cases than anywhere else — though president trump says the country will be back to work ‘pretty quickly‘. here, police have already issued some fines to people not following the rules about social distancing. good afternoon. it's been announced that the prime minister has tested positive for coronavirus. boris johnson says he has mild symptoms and will self—isolate
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in downing street, but will still lead the government response to the crisis. matt hancock is also working from home after he too tested positive. the prime minister's diagnosis comes as there is growing concern that nhs hospitals may be overwhelmed by coronavirus patients as early as this weekend. in the last hour, it's been announced that a total of 759 people have died in the uk — that's an increase of 181 people in the last 24 hours. it's emerged that there's particular pressure on hospitals on the outskirts of london, where some health bosses have warned that intensive care units face a tsunami of demand in the coming days. globally, the us has overtaken china as the country with the most confirmed cases — its risen to over 85,000. here, police have started issuing fines to people breaching the lockdown rules, less than 24 hours
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after they came into force — and the metropolitan police is calling on any officers who've retired in the last 5 years to consider returning to work. we'll bring you the latest on those developments injust a moment — but first let's get the details of that announcement about the prime minister this morning. here's our political correspondent leila nathoo, her report does contains some flash photography. something urgent for the prime minister's top adviser this morning, his boss has contracted coronavirus. i've developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus, that is to say a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer, i have taken a test, that has come out positive, so i am working from home, i am self—isolating, and that is entirely the right thing to do. but be in no doubt that i can continue, thanks to the miracles
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of modern technology, to communicate with all of my top team to lead a national fightback against coronavirus. last night the prime ministerjoined people across the country and paying tribute to nhs staff. he received a positive test result not long after, at midnight. his neighbour, chancellor rishi sunak, has not displayed any symptoms so has not been tested. but the health secretary matt hancock has. i have been tested and it is positive so i will be self isolating till thursday. the symptoms have been very mild so i have been able to carry on with the work, driving forward the uk response. mps have been following social distancing rules in parliament, but the prime minister has been in close contact with others leading the response to the outbreak. ministers and number ten staff have been told they don't have to self—isolate unless they start displaying symptoms. borisjohnson will be self—isolating
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in a flat in number 11 downing street for seven days. he is still leading the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak. should his condition worsen, foreign secretary dominic raab will take charge. last time boris johnson saw the queen in person was the 11th of march. earlier this week, they spoke by phone. the prime minister will be relying more heavily on technology to carry out government business in the coming days. let's speak to our political correspondent jonathan blake who's in westminster now. this really is significant, notjust the prime minister but a very senior cabinet minister and these are people at the heart of the effort to get the country through this. people at the heart of the effort to get the country through thism people at the heart of the effort to get the country through this. it is extraordinary to have the news within just extraordinary to have the news withinjust a extraordinary to have the news within just a couple of hours that the prime minister tested positive for the virus and then the secretary, mount hancock, finding that he had the virus. as he
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addressed, these are the two key figures in government when it comes to leading a response to the coronavirus crisis but both have been at pains to point out that that that this will not stop them doing their jobs, that this will not stop them doing theirjobs, the prime minister will lead the response of governments remotely from the flat above number 11 downing st via video conferencing and other forms of technology and the health secretary, matt hancock will be working from home, doing his job as far as possible is normal. they will have to adjust, as many others across the uk have, in many different walks of life and professions, to working remotely. it can be done, but it doesn't necessarily make things easier and it isa necessarily make things easier and it is a reminder of how widespread the viruses and how possible it is for anyone to pick it up, both the prime minister and the health secretary have used the fact that
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they have tested positive to remind people to follow the social distancing guidelines and to stick to the restrictions that have been put in place on peoples movements to try and stop the spread of this disease. there will be relief in whitehall that both the health secretary and the prime minister have only mild symptoms at this point, but nevertheless, some concern about how widespread it is and the fact that many others working in government and the civil service may yet have to self—isolate and take themselves away from work where possible if they test positive in the future. absolutely, this can be used as a useful reminder to everybody about the need for the two metre distance that we are also familiar with but surely, people are going to start going back through the news footage, the news conferences we have seen, pictures around the cabinet table, i know they sat further apart in the
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commons but, people will be saying, you told us to do this but did westminster abide by it? yes, parliament is no longer sitting that the government is still running as far as possible as normal, although the advice to work from home where possible obviously stands here at westminster as it does in workplaces across the country but you are right, people will be looking back and seeing who the prime minister and seeing who the prime minister and the health secretary have come into co nta ct and the health secretary have come into contact with in recent days and with the best will in the world, evenif with the best will in the world, even if you follow a social distancing guidelines as strictly as possible, it is not possible to com pletely possible, it is not possible to completely eliminate the chance of catching this virus. so, measures have been put in place in the last week or so, the last cabinet meeting was held remotely with only the prime minister, the permanent secretary to the civil service, the chief medical officer and the health secretary in the room, others joined
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by video link and in the commons, mps have been given guidance to sit two metres apart and to keep their distance but, touching surfaces and coming into contact with the green benches, the dispatch box, all of these things will be perhaps a concern for members of parliament, many of whom were already staying away from westminster and around 20 or so it self isolating having displayed symptoms. thank you very much. we will stay with this. as preparations continue to build massive temporary hospitals in major cities, there are growing fears about the pressure on the nhs from coronavirus. 0ur correspondent richard galpin reports in the hospitals around london, they are now bracing for the worst. the recent surge in the number of patients needing treatment, as the epidemic moves towards its peak, may mean some hospitals running out of intensive care beds this weekend. the whole hospital is removing those
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barriers between specialties, and we are actually working as one massive team together. we have worked to a permanent on—call system, so we will only be doing predominantly 12.5, 12—hour shifts for the coming months. we have made drastic changes to the way we work, and we will continue to do so, because that is what we are here to do. and in central london, an nhs official has warned of a tsunami of cases in the coming days and weeks. and this as nhs staff are themselves falling sick. so there is now a race to build up to 13 field hospitals across the country to create more capacity. this one here in east london is being built with help from the army. it is due to open next week, initially with 500 beds, eventually increasing to 4000. many retired nurses are being brought back into work in places like this.
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the 5000 in england alone, they have come back and said they are willing tojoin our profession once more. i am extremely grateful to them all, because we are facing the greatest health emergency that we have seen ever, in my career and indeed the history of the nhs. the nhs is now also calling for nurses from other parts of england to work in the london area. meanwhile, manufacturers like this one here in scotland are working at full speed to provide more protective equipment for doctors and nurses around the country. there are still shortages. it has been confirmed that a gp in essex has died. it is suspected but not confirmed that dr habib zaidi, who was 76 years old, died from coronavirus. his family say he sacrificed
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his life for his job. nhs staff say it is a very frightening time for them. people are really, really scared for themselves, for their teams, and for patients, because theyjust don't know when they go into see a patient, whether or not, even though they are not displaying symptoms, they may still have the virus. hello. my name is dr claire taylor... another gp is also in isolation with coronavirus symptoms, thought to have been picked up from seeing patients. ...is that we can't use our, what some would deem inadequate, personal protection to see all our patients still, because we haven't got enough. and we don't have eye protection in general practice. we just have a surgical mask. a plastic apron and gloves. but amidst all this, there is at least some positive
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news from the experts, who say the trajectory of the outbreak in this country is now showing that the social distancing measures may be having an impact. richard galpin, bbc news. let's speak now to andy burnham, the mayor of greater manchester and former health secretary. your thoughts first, andy burnham, about the fact that we have positive tests right at the top of government. my first thought is obviously to wish the prime minister well, to wish health secretary well, they have both been working hard and we all need them to lead us through this period of time so my first thought is obviously to wish them both a speedy recovery. i guess what it does raise is this whole question
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of the risk in the workplace and i have certainly been worried this week that the slightly relaxed approach to nonessential work is something that needs to be looked at again because the risks of spreading the disease in the workplace would appear to be very high and i think that has been reinforced by today's news. because you think there hasn't been the two metre distancing in westminster, we have all seen the news footage, perhaps not the last few days but prior to that, and your point is that that is happening in a lot of workplaces? exactly, it is not just westminster, lot of workplaces? exactly, it is notjust westminster, this is warehouses, building sites. i have received in the last 48—hour is 300 complaints from the public relating to over 150 businesses where people are saying it is not being observed and so that hass to be looked at. it is not just and so that hass to be looked at. it is notjust the distancing to be honest, the public health england
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guidance is possibly weak, it is the handrails, the surfaces, the door handles, in these workplaces i think there are many opportunities for this virus to be picked up and i ask the government to look again at this question of workplace, nonessential work and distancing in the workplace. are you talking about construction sites for example? there has been a lot of focus on that, or when people contact you, are they saying i don't think it is right in where ever i work, but i am going on because i have rent to pay, is that the sort of thing you're talking about? certainly, some people do have rent to pay and possibly the announcement yesterday around the self—employed will have helped but others are being told to go in by their bosses, i even heard that one of them reopened a site yesterday on the back of the guidance that was issued by the government. it talks of maintaining
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a two metre distance where possible. i don't think that is good enough, because that is a get out clause for businesses everywhere to say, oh well it is not possible in our location. it needs to be tougher and in fact location. it needs to be tougher and infacti location. it needs to be tougher and in fact i would say we need an end to nonessential work now, the quicker we lock down, the quicker we will deal with this and the quicker the economy can recover. as i say, in wishing the prime minister well and thanking him and the rest of his government for what they are doing, the news today reinforces the fact that this virus can easily spread in workplaces where social distancing is not being fully observed. as a former health secretary, what have you made over the last few weeks of how we have done by our health workers, up and down the country, we still hear calls about personal protective equipment, how do you think we are treating the nhs?|j don't underestimate the challenge. i
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was health secretary a decade ago during swine flu and that was nowhere near as serious as situation we are in now but even then it was tough so i don't underestimate the challenge and i don't sit here saying it is easy, it is not easy, it is tough to be the health secretary right now. that said, there is huge concern within the system about the lack of decent standard personal protective equipment and it hasn't got through to the front line as quickly as perhaps was being suggested. think of social care as well, often the forgotten workforce, but they are working so hard in our care homes, in peoples homes, supporting people who might otherwise end up in hospital and i don't think they are, in any way properly looked after with regards to equipment at the moment. big challenges, i don't underestimate how difficult these things are but we do call on the government to do everything it possibly can to get that equipment out and i am asking my teams in
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greater manchester to do what we can to support the national effort and we are looking to see if we can source more equipment from other suppliers, it has to be a national effort, it is not about pointing the finger, it is about everybody standing together and doing everything we can to support our wonderful nhs colleagues. wasn't it great last night to hear that applause ringing out from around the country? in a tough moment for everybody, that was a real high point and everybody, that was a real high pointand a everybody, that was a real high point and a real emotional coming together which was fantastic to see. thank you to the public who took pa rt thank you to the public who took part in that. andy burnham, thank you very much. guidance for health workers on when personal protective equipment should be worn are being reviewed and are expected to be updated "within 48 hours", the bbc has been told. documents show that nhs supply chain "hasn't been able to manage" the delivery of ppe to front line staff. nhs staff feel they are "at risk" of contracting coronavirus
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unless they wear protective equipment for consultations with all patients, according to the nhs confederation. let's speak now to our news correspondent faye kirkland, who's also a doctor, and joins us from cumbria. i'm sure you have friends and collea g u es i'm sure you have friends and colleagues on the front line. what have people been telling you in the last few days and weeks? there is increasing disquiet from the people i have been speaking to, from doctors and other health care workers because the advice at the moment is that if you are working in the uk, you should wear ppe, aprons and masks, if patients have suspected symptoms of coronavirus or have had it diagnosed. two gps that i have spoken to say they have symptoms of the virus and they believe that they contracted it at work after seeing patients in their
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surgeries. most patients in a gp setting can be cared for on the telephone, but some patients will need to be seen face—to—face. 0ne telephone, but some patients will need to be seen face—to—face. one of the doctors i spoke to works in south london. a week ago, she was well, now she is at home self isolating with a cough and fever. i am currently self isolating at home, with shortness of breath and a cough and a fever, which i've had since sunday, i think we all need to have full protection. we have some protection at the moment for what we deem as high—risk patients, but i saw patients that were not deemed to be high—risk and yet i have picked up the coronavirus and we need all medical professionals to be given proper personal protection when they are face—to—face with any patient. i feel very strongly about this. another gp told me that they were in
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a north london practice and a man who appeared to have been drinking alcohol came to the surgery with a wound to his head but he had no cough orfever. wound to his head but he had no cough or fever. the gp saw the patient and called an ambulance. the man then tested positive for the virus and the gp as well. who is calling for the guidelines to be changed? the last few days, there has been growing calls for clarity about when health care professionals should wear ppe, in hospital settings and in primary care. also, what type of equipment they should be wearing. 0n what type of equipment they should be wearing. on wednesday the chair of the royal college of gps wrote to matt hancock asking for this urgent clarity. he pointed out that some patients may have no symptoms at all and unknowingly infect staff. now another body, nhs confederation, have said that they also want this clarity. it is the single most concerning issue for the moment for our members who are gps and clinical directors, nurses and pharmacists.
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they are concerned that they are putting themselves at risk, their teams at risk and patients at risk by if they are unable to wear equipment for all face—to—face consultations. she is asking for this guidance to be clarified early urgently. how much we know at this stage? the guidelines are under review and we have seen evidence of an update on the guidance or clarification is expected very shortly, with in 48—hour is. the department of health itself hasn't commented on this but i understand what is or isn't going to be announced is still under review. the prime minister said on wednesday that he has been assured that stocks of ppe was on its way to nhs staff. thank you very much. the head of the international
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monetary fund has been speaking in the last few minutes on the economic impact of covid—19 — she says it's clear the global economy has entered a recession as bad or worse than the one felt in 2009. recovery is projected in 2021 but only if we succeed in containing the virus everywhere. we have reassessed the prospects of growth for 2020 and 2021. it is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. we do projects recovery in 2021. in fact, there may be a sizeable rebound but only if we succeed with containing the virus everywhere and prevent liquidity problems from becoming a solvency
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issue. the economic impact of coronavirus around the world there. the united states now has the largest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world, although europe continues to be the epicentre of the outbreak. spain has reported 769 deaths in the last day alone, and nearly 65,000 cases, among the highest daily figures for any single country. italy has suffered the greatest number of deaths, more than 8,000 , and 80,000 cases, with fears that the virus is now taking hold in the south of the country. but america now has more than 85,000 cases of infection although only 1,300 deaths. president trump, though, still says the cris will end quickly. paul adams reports. siren blares. the great global city of new york
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is now in the eye of the storm. at the elmhurst hospital in queens, a steady stream of desperately ill patients, exhausted staff struggling to cope. the city has fewer than 2,000 intensive care beds — all are expected to be in use by today. adding to the pressure, thousands of worried new yorkers looking to be tested. the city has never seen anything like this before. not even on its darkest day. over 6000 calls a day, which are breaking records. we didn't have this many calls on 9/11. and we're not even started yet. so if we're doing 6000 today, it's going to be 8000 tomorrow. more and more people are going to call. america now has the highest number of confirmed cases of covid—19 — the president defending his administration's response. it's a tribute to the amount of testing that we are doing, we're doing tremendous testing, and i'm sure you're not able to tell what china is testing or not testing. after the sniping, a sign that
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washington and beijing are at least talking about solutions. "we're working closely together," mr trump tweeted, "much respect." across this vast country, america's shutdown is now illustrated in startling ways. in 0klahoma, dozens of passengerjets sit idle. a third of the world's aircraft are now in storage. and for americans, no more iconic or depressing image than this — yesterday was supposed to mark the start of the baseball season. this year, no—one knows if there will even be one. the pandemic‘s economic impact is colossal. millions of americans have been laid off — the biggest unemployment spike in the nation's history. they have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and, uh... i think it's gonna happen pretty quickly. but for now, it's all about survival. the us military is racing to prepare — hospital ships, heading for los angeles
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and new york. and on manhattan, one of the country's largest convention centres is being readied. new york has weathered plenty of storms before, but this is perhaps the city's sternest test yet. paul adams, bbc news. just to bring you some news back at home, from the ministry ofjustice we are hearing from the m 0j in relation to the prison population that 27 prisoners have now tested positive for coronavirus. 27 prisoners across 14 prisons, that was the situation as of one o'clock this afternoon, the ministry of justice is telling us. you will be aware, there is a lot of talk about what can be done inside prisons because by definition, a lot of people crammed into a relatively small space, so that is the latest
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figure, 27 prisoners testing positive across 14 different prisons, that is the latest figure they're just through from the government. the scottish first minister, nicola sturgeon, has disclosed that eight more people with coronavirus have died in scotland, bringing the total number... speaking at holyrood she urged people to continue to abide by the restrictions introduced to try to damp down the spread of the infection. i know that these restrictions are tough and they will feel much tougherfor tough and they will feel much tougher for people as we go into the weekend. i'm thinking particularly of children and young people over the next couple of days, a weekend at home may feel especially difficult for you so i hope you stick to the rules and do what you are told by your parents and carers but also remember to have fun and i have seen lots of examples on social media of young people coming up with new and inventive ways to have fun while in the house. i am also
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thinking about grandparents, my own mum and dad who easily look forward toa mum and dad who easily look forward to a visit at the weekend and i would say to young people, make sure you pick up the phone to your grandparents this weekend or fight facetime them —— facetime them. i'm sure they would really appreciate it. i want to just remind people and underline why these rules are in place, it is because they are vital. staying at home more than any other single measure is the way that we can support and protect our nhs and it is ultimately the way in which we can all contribute to saving lives. let us catch up with the weather prospects. there has been some cloud with
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patchy rain, the north and south of this, some clearer skies but also a few wintry showers across parts of scotland, that could lead to some icy stretches. most of us will stay above freezing, a strengthening breeze means that it won't be quite as cold or frosty as it has been on recent nights. it is the strength of the wind that is the notable feature through this weekend, a cold north—easterly wind across the whole of the uk and saturday is a day of sunny spells, varying amounts of cloud, wintry showers for the eastern counties of scotland and england, rain, sleetand eastern counties of scotland and england, rain, sleet and may be snow over higher ground. temperatures are not much higher than six to nine celsius. add on the strength of the wind it will feel even colder and colder still by sunday. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines.
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the prime minister tests positive for coronavirus — he says he has mild symptoms and is self—isolating in downing street. the health secretary matt hancock also tests positive for the virus — he says his symptoms are also mild and he's working from home. 181 more people have died in the uk after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number to 759. it comes as fears grow that certain hospitals may soon be overwhelmed — health officials say some intensive care units face a tsunami of demand. as the death rate here in the uk continues to rise, how does it compare with the worst affected countries? the uk is believed to be several weeks behind italy in the progress the bbc‘s head of statistics robert cuffe has been comparing the numbers.
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well, first, let's take a look at how quickly the deaths have climbed in the uk. to highlight the patterns, we are showing the scale where a straight line means doubling at a constant rate, so that's doubling every three days or even faster, doubling every two days. we see that the uk is in between those two, doubling every two and a half days. so if that pattern carried on with expectancy another 600 deaths by monday and another 1200 again by thursday. that's a lot but how does it compare to other countries? let's add italy, starting both of them from the day when they passed ten deaths. the early growth in both countries looks pretty similar, doubling every 2—3 days. i can draw the early growth in germany or france, and plenty of other countries and they'd look pretty similar. that's because viruses multiply and keep multiplying at a constant rate until they run out of people to infect or until something stops them.
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the latter part of italy's curve gives some cause for hope. before they started the lockdown the death rate was exhilarating and then for a while it doubled roughly every three days and was eventually starting to slow down. still going but at a slower rate. it takes a few weeks to see the effects, as it did in china but eventually distancing can turn the tide. the best news will be falling numbers of new deaths, putting the brakes on the epidemic but rising numbers can still be good news, if they mean that the growth of the epidemic is slowing, taking the foot off the exhilarating. anyone buying or selling a property has been urged by the government to delay completion, even if that's meant to be happening today. our personal finance correspondent simon gompertz explained that delaying sales will be a tall order for sellers. yes, it's a tall order and it's also very worrying for people who are involved in chains of buying and selling houses. in normal times if you sign and exchange contracts, you're committed to paying the money and to move on the designated date.
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but what the government is saying is the two parties, the buyer and the seller, should make an amicable agreement to extend that date to beyond the time when restrictions on human contact are lifted. now, there will be exceptions. in some cases they admit it will be unavoidable and they don't want to change critical house moves. not clear what that is but it could be situations where key workers are moving, for instance, or where elderly people are moving out of a home into somewhere where they can be cared for. and in terms of the wider property market, like so many parts of the economy, slightly on the up in recent times but we can only speculate what this is going to do to it now. a huge impact i think because you have to take this alongside the fact there will be no viewings of properties, estate agents are closed, removals companies are not taking on any new business and the impact is going to be a very sharp fall in transactions and inactivity in the housing market.
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0n the plus side, solicitors are getting together to design these new clauses, that will go into contracts to extend completion until after restrictions have lifted. the downside of course is that anyone trying to move at the moment, it's incredibly worrying and those housing chains made fall through and some people will be looking to pay less money, which is a challenge as well. police have already issued fines to people who've breached the rules around movement and self—isolating, only 24 hours after the rules came into force. our home editor mark easton explained what the police had to say. well, we have had a briefing from the national police chiefs' council and they are saying that the most important thing to know is that the vast, vast majority of people are complying with the rules. they're doing what they should do to protect
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the nhs and to save lives. the police, as you say, do have these new powers. they've what they call 0peration talla. the idea is to base it on what's called the four es approach and the first e is to engage with people who might be out and about and ask why they're there. then to explain to them what the rules are and why those rules are place. then to encourage them to do the right thing, do voluntarily comply and go home. and only if those three es are exhausted will they move on to the fourth e, enforcement. as you say, a number of people have already been fined for not complying. they would have been fined £60 in the first instance, reduced to 30, like a parking ticket, if you pay quickly enough but the police say these are not criminal offences. they don't want to criminalise people. what they do want to do is for people to use their common sense. as the head of the national police chiefs' council put it, this is a national emergency,
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not a national holiday. let's return to the news that the prime minister has tested positive for coronavirus. earlier the former leader of the conservative party sir iain duncan smith spoke to my colleague carrie gracie, and he gave us his reaction. i'm very sorry for him and obviously for his now pregnant girlfriend, because it must be a worry for her, and clearly she needs to be separated from him, and i'm sure she has gone into isolation. so, i'm very sorry, because he has the weight of decision—making on all our behalves that he carries. and that is an important feature to recognise. it's notjust getting isolated, he is also having to make these decisions at the same time and continue to run the government. my thoughts are with him right now, because this is a very difficult position to be in, though i'm not surprised he may have
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come into contact with someone, because he has been doing so much over the last few weeks, trying to keep people's morale up, trying to talk to doctors and nurses and all sorts of people from the emergency services. i think this has been a huge and tremendous effort on his behalf. i suppose what this underlines in a very real way for the public is the importance of the social distancing measures, which of course only fairly recently came into effect in westminster and in downing street. absolutely. to be fair to boris, he has spent all his time trying to urge the people of this country to recognise the threat and what they can do about it, and he has been on endlessly saying, look, please observe the social distancing points. please don't go out in groups. don't do all of the things that have been asked of you to avoid, and on monday, against his real instincts, has had to clamp down
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with emergency legislation and give police the power is to move people on if necessary. these things are very alien to his culture, to his nature, and basically, britten's nature. but he has taken those decisions, and i think it brings home to everybody, look, no matter how high you be, you are under threat from the covid—19 strain. unless you are prepared to step up and do what you've been asked to do, chances are it will continue to spread. though there is some quite good sense that we are beginning to get on top of it. and we've been hearing from some quarters a sense of relief that at least some of the very major and difficult decisions on social distancing, on the economic packages, have now been taken, and that in a way, this is not the worst moment that news like this could happen. no, i think the truth is,
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this tells us that even the prime minister and a member of the royal family — let's not forget, prince charles has now got the symptoms — so, the point here is that it isn't a case ofjust one group is likely to get this, it's everybody in the uk can get this virus if others do not observe this really critical social distancing, keep yourself away from people as far as possible, staying in your household, all those rules that have been laid out. they are not there because people want to be awkward, they are there because this is the consequence of failing to do this earlier. everybody, anybody can get this, and of course, you get it and don't realise it, you spread it as well. so, it really is a very good example of what boris has been saying absolutely endlessly — please, please, observe these rules. but at the same time, the government has taken huge actions. just the announcement
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from the chancellor yesterday and last week, businesses loans, supporting the paid for people in employment and also now for the self—employed. they are not necessarily going to be perfect, but they are on a scale unseen in this country at any time, and they are real commitments across the board forgetting politics altogether to try to make sure we get through this. and we will get through this, we will get through this. the british people are unbelievably resilient, and the economy is actually very strong, but we have to do what we've been asked if we will get through this quickly. a moment ago, we were watching on the screen as we were listening to you the pictures of the prime minister under chancellor on the steps of downing street last night, observing a two metre as they applauded the carers across our health front line, but right now, we are watching pictures of the prime minister only a couple of days earlier, flanked by the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical officer,
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at less than two metres. 0ne concern and one question in some minds would be, should the social distancing rules have come in earlier in westminster, in downing street and across government? to be fair, the prime minister has observed that to me to be fair, the prime minister has observed that two—metre distancing throughout. the difference with those press conferences was that they were not, to be fair, facing each other, so they have stayed, though, i'm told, two metres apart throughout all of their discussions. we have to hope that this has been enough to ensure that the scientific advisers, medical advisers are themselves not going to come down with this, but i'm absolutely convinced the prime minister has kept his distance as far as humanly possible, and of course, no matter what, he was absolutely right, as we all were, to come out and applaud the magnificent work that the nhs and all our emergency services are doing, notwithstanding
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the fact that they themselves, of course, are losing colleagues who are coming down with this and having to be treated as well. so, we are all in this together, really, frankly. there is nobody here who can step above it, from the royal family down to the person in greatest difficulty and the most vulnerable. everybody is in this together.
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