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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 29, 2020 4:00am-4:31am BST

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a very warm welcome to bbc news. if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: american coronavirus cases move past a million — that is nearly a third of the total, worldwide. at least 30% of all deaths linked to coronavirus in england and wales are now happening in care homes. france is to ease its lockdown from next month, but masks will remain a way of life. and understanding immunity: we have a special report on one of the major questions about covid—19.
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hello. we're covering all the latest coronavirus developments here in britain and globally. first: the united states has now registered more than a million known cases of the coronavirus. that's roughly four—times the 2nd—worst affected nation, spain. here, the uk government says it's significantly expanding access to testing to include all care home residents and staff, not part of the official figures so far. iag, the parent company of british airways, has said the airline may make up to 12,000 workers redundant. aid agencies are warning a lack of resources in conflict zones could spread the virus even further. and in france, all food shops will reopen from may the 11th, but bars and restaurants will remain closed. much more on all that to come, but first jane 0'brien reports from new york as states across the us plan to lift some lockdown restrictions. a salute to the covid warriors — the blue angels and the
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thunderbirds paying tribute to those on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus. they flew formation across the north—east. an uplifting spectacle for residents in lockdown. new york continues to be the worst hit, but today, a glimmer of hope. what we've seen is clearly progress and that's getting us closer to the day when we can start to make some of the moves to open things up. but i've said it before, i'll keep saying it — we're going to be cautious, we're going to be careful, we're going to be governed, we'll be governed by the facts. more than1 million people in the us are now known to have been infected and the emphasis is on more testing. in manhattan, people lined up at the latest facility. other states are moving faster, even without the recommended levels of testing. georgia has taken aggressive steps to restart its economy, opening salons, gyms and some restaurants. and most states are making plans even if they have no clear time frame. well, it will go down to zero, ultimately.
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and you have to understand, when it comes to cases, we do much more testing than anybody else, so we're going to show more cases because we're doing much, much more testing — double anybody else. somebody said if you add everybody else combined, that would be a number — and it will be, at the appropriate time, it will be down to zero, like we said. but even as some businesses open their doors, it is not clear whether americans at home are ready to open theirs. consumer spending drives the us economy, but with no cure for coronavirus and social distancing the only proven control so far, they may not feel safe enough to spend outside. jane 0'brien, bbc news. just a short while ago our north america correspondent, peter bowes, gave us more detail. two grim milestones. the one we have just been hearing about now — more than 1 million cases of covid—19 across the united states,
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and another milestone in that more americans have now died as a result of this virus than were killed during the almost two decades of the vietnam war. so for all, there's a lot of talk about states getting back to normal, of businesses restarting, of parks opening, of beaches opening — we're still a long, long way from the end of this, mike. the president, of course, talking the figures eventually going down to zero, but dr anthony fauci sounding a warning? yes, and the warning is — and he has said similar things before, but this was very specific — that he believes, with some certainty, that the virus will be back in the autumn. indeed, he stressed it may never go away, it will probably still be with us all the way through the summer. yes, it may, in terms of those peaks and troughs, it may well continue to go down and we're seeing some optimistic news from places like chicago and boston and new york city, but he says the reality is that this virus, this disease, will still be with us towards the end of the year and, of course, major health implications for people,
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but of course it will also coincide with the presidential election, which has to take place in november. this curious instant involving the vice president's visit to a hospital, and we've just seen the latest pictures on this coming in? yeah, he's visiting or been visiting the mayo clinic, in minnesota, which is one of the leading medicalfacility in the united states, and he was meeting some of the workers there. he said thank you to them for their work, but he was not wearing a mask, and we understand that he was told as he went into the place, that it was their policy that all visitors should indeed wear a mask, as indeed in the pictures that we have seen, everyone else indeed has some sort protection on theirface. he explained this by saying that he's the vice president, he is tested regularly, along with all the other people that he works with, and he did not believe that he needed to wear a mask. let's get some of the day's other news:
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the death toll from the pandemic in brazil has now passed 5,000. it's the worst affected country in south america, with infections close to 72,000. president jair bolsonaro has criticised the restrictions imposed by state governors to try to slow the spread of the virus. spain's prime minister, pedro sanchez, has outlined a four—phase withdrawal from one of europe's strictest lockdowns, with the aim of getting back to something like normality by the end ofjune. social distancing will remain but schools won't re—open until september. president putin says the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in russia has not yet been reached, and he's extending the lockdown until may 12th. he said the spread had been slowed but warned of the risk of acting too quickly to lift restrictions. so far there's been 867 recorded deaths. british airways is set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant. its parent company, iag, announced the planned job cuts as revenues had plunged 13% in the first quarter of the year. british airways has
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currently furloughed its 22,500 employees. iag says the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take years. all residents and staff in care homes in england are to be eligible for coronavirus tests from wednesday, whether they have symptoms or not. scotland, wales and northern ireland are expected to follow soon. latest figures suggest a third of all deaths in england and wales related to covid—19 are in care homes. they've not been included in official figures so far. 0ur social affairs correspondent, alison holt reports. at st cecilia's nursing home in scarborough, like many homes across the country, they believe the fight they have been waging against coronavirus for weeks is only now being reflected in officialfigures. this is the area that we will have for anyone that's being barrier nursed. they locked down early, have areas set aside for nursing
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coronavirus residents, and people stick to their rooms. but still, across the three homes in the group, they've had 11 deaths, four confirmed as covid—19. i was called and did see her for the last — on the day that she died... one of the residents who died was reg kemp's wife, liz. they were married for more than 50 years, and she loved spending time with her grandchildren. he says staff did all they could for her. i just hope that the ministers do recognise the wonderful work that's gone on and goes on, up and down the country in nursing homes just like where liz was. they're doing a job equal to anyone in the national health service. information collected by the care regulator up to last friday suggest deaths in care homes are still rising. even so, homes like this one continue to struggle to get the testing and protective
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equipment they need. there are far more people being cared for outside the nhs than in the nhs, and they all need looking after. they deserve better than they've got. i think it's been too little, too late. the government says mobile units and home kits are making testing easier and that all residents and staff will be eligible for checks. it insists it's also providing millions of pieces of protective equipment. but that offers no comfort here. ayse is struggling to explain to her 2—year—old granddaughter why her mother, a care worker, isn't coming home. 26—year—old sonya kaygan died of coronavirus. herfamily say she loved herjob looking after others, but they want people to understand the anguish and questions they are left with. they showed us the mask that sonya had bought online to protect herself. i believe what my sister has confirmed, that they have arrived when she was in hospital.
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so, too late for her? too late for her. in time, there will be questions that many families need answering about the impact of the virus on care homes. alison holt, bbc news. in the last 48 hours, lebanon has seen some of the worst violence since the anti—government protest movement began in october last year. the country's deepening economic crisis has been exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown. there's been one confirmed death with dozens more injured. the currency has collapsed and commodity prices have soared, with human rights watch warning millions could go hungry. middle east analyst with the bbc world service, youssef taha, joined me in the studio a short time ago. the protests began last october, again, it's the deteriorating economic situation in lebanon, and also accusing the government of corruption and mismanagement, and then we had the coronavirus lockdown and the protests abated a bit, and then the lockdown was eased
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a little, and people were out again on the streets, protesting because the economy is getting worse and worse, it has not improved at all, the local currency, the lira or pound, has crashed. 0n the black market, it now retails at 4,000 to the us dollar from the official 1,515. and for people, this has pushed prices for commodities very high up, and also the currency crashed, and therefore, it's far more difficult for people, for them to — for the protests to break out in tripoli, in the north, the second—largest city, is because one of the poorest cities in lebanon, with around 57% below the poverty line. and now the world bank expects if the economic crisis in lebanon does not improve with any quick remedies, it might send about 60% of the lebanese population below the poverty line. well, youssef, tell us
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something about remedies if you can. are there possible ways out of this? 0n the horizon, there doesn't appear any quick fix. there is a new prime minister and a government in lebanon who took over last month — pardon me, injanuary, after the resignation of the previous prime minister, saad hariri, and the new prime minister is a former professor of computing engineering at the american university in beirut and he's unaffiliated with any political party. however, the solutions at the moment on the horizon are talks between lebanese government and the world bank for a loan. lebanon is the third most indebted country in the world after japan and greece with152% debt to gdp. and of course this does not make things any easier with lebanon having to pay the debt instalments, eating up more than half
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the government's revenues and lebanon had defaulted on foreign debt payments last month. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a warning that a billion people worldwide could be infected by a coronavirus unless action is taken to help war—torn countries. nothing, it seemed, was too big to withstand the force of the tornado. the extent of the devastation will lead to renewed calls for government help to build better housing. internationally, there have already been protests. sweden says it received no warning of the accident. indeed, the russians at first denied anything had gone wrong. only when radioactivity levels began to increase outside russia were they forced to admit the accident.
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for the mujahideen, the mood here is of great celebration. this is the end of a 12—year war for them, they've taken the capital, which they've been fighting for for so long. it was 7:00 in the morning, the day when power began to pass on the minority to the majority, when africa, after 300 years, reclaimed its last white colony. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: american coronavirus cases move past a million — nearly a third of the global total. a third of all coronavirus deaths in england and wales are
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happening in care homes. france is to ease lockdowns from the middle of next month. schools and shops will begin reopening, and people can travel within 100 kilometres of their home. but that depends on infection rates remaining low. this from our paris correspondent, lucy williamson. of all the lessons learned during lockdown, the hardest for the government has been working out how to end it. aurelie‘s four children have been studying at home since the middle of march. primary schools will reopen on may 11, but aurelie says it's too soon. translation: i don't think my kids are going back in may. i'm going to wait before i send them into a group environment. the prime minister warned today that france risked the collapse of society if it kept the restrictions in place for too long. translation: never in the history of our country have we known a situation like this. not during war, nor occupation, nor in previous epidemics. never has the country been
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confined as it is today. it can't go on forever. if infection rates stay low, most major restrictions will start to be lifted next month. schools will begin opening from may 11 on a voluntary basis. all shops will reopen and people will be free to move within 60 miles. but beaches, cinemas and large museums will stay closed. and a decision on bars and restaurants has been pushed back to the end of may. pressure to lift the lockdown here is coming from the top. earlier this month, president macron set a date of may 11 to ease restrictions and start reopening schools. his government has quickly pulled together a plan for how to do that. but it's delicate, it's complicated and there is strong opposition from those on the ground. teachers‘ unions have described the reopening of schools next month as "unworkable", even "mission impossible".
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translation: the scientific advisers have proposed that classes are staggered, that the children are a metre away from each other at all times, that they shouldn't circulate in the corridors. all this will cause us enormous problems. the plan for lifting lockdown here rests on keeping new infections low, under 3,000 a day. some areas may need to relax the rules more slowly. but the task of containing this epidemic is shifting from government responsibility to individual response. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. until now, the virus has largely been concentrated in countries where health systems are well established. so far, developing countries have been less affected, but they are particularly vulnerable, especially if they are already afflicted by conflict. 0ur middle east editor jeremy bowen explains. welcome home. syrians crossing back from turkey face 1a days quarantine in regularly disinfected dormitories. this is idlib, the last syrian province holding out
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against the assad regime, with almost1 million people displaced by war. social distancing and washing hands are not easy if you live in a tent with little or no clean water. jannah knows all about the coronavirus but much more about sudden death. she is ten, her brother mohammed is 13. they've been bombed and shelled for most of their lives. jannah fears chemical weapons more than the virus. but she is still scared. translation: yes, i am, because it would spread rapidly. people gather to get bread even here in the camp. lots of people in a small place. 300 people share four toilets, even more than 300. if someone catches it the whole camp would be infected in a day.
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even before the pandemic, yemen was locked in the world's worst humanitarian crisis. across the middle east, at least 60% of people are under30. that's a plus in the fight against the virus but it could be cancelled out by illness, poverty, malnutrition and war. the us aid organisation international rescue committee works in 3a fragile countries and sees disaster looming. we think between 500 million and 1 billion people could become infected in those 3a countries. and between 1.5 million and 3 million people are at risk of dying. how confident are you about the numbers? if you're in south sudan there are only four ventilators. if you're in north—west syria, 85 health facilities have been bombed by the government in the last six months. so i fear that, if anything, this will be an underestimate, not an overestimate.
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back in afghanistan, this doctor treats war casualties. and now he's in another fight. we are like the soldiers, those who are in the front line. but without weapons and ammunition. we don't have enough number of ppe kits to save ourselves. the challenge is huge. rich nations that might have helped are struggling. even though they have individual hospitals with more ventilators than entire countries. and time is short. jeremy bowen, bbc news. a research paper published in the medical journal the lancet has highlighted what is known and not known about immunity. understanding the nature of immunity is key to developing treatments and vaccines and helping governments decide how lockdowns might be relaxed. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle has been investigating. it's the virus that has mobilised the world's scientists. and a majorfocus now is how
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the immune system responds to it, because understanding this could help us to stop covid—19's spread. and the big question is, if you've had the virus, are you immune 01’ can you catch it again? how does immunity work? the coronavirus is covered in spikes which allow it to dock onto a structure on the surface of our cells. it's like a key opening up a lock, so the virus can enter and infect the cell. to fight this off, we produce antibodies. these block the spike. it's like a cap covering the key. it means the virus can't get in and replicate, so eventually it's killed off. the antibodies, though, stick around. the idea is if the virus comes back, they can rally an immediate response. a small study revealed that monkeys who'd had the virus didn't catch it again a month later. for humans, though, there's still much we need to learn.
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early data's showing that there are antibodies being generated, but it's really important to follow up with more in—depth studies about whether these are the right kind of neutralising antibodies, because those are the ones that can then give protection if there's enough of them and they last long enough. building up antibodies is just the first step. what scientists want to find out is how long any immunity lasts. because covid—19 is so new, scientists are having to look at the viruses it's related to. from everything we know so far, it would be very hard for me to reassure you with any kind of certainty that if you've been exposed to the virus you will definitely have protective antibodies in one or two or three orfour years‘ time. so that makes it very hard to know how we would mitigate against a second wave if it comes along. coronavirus affect people in different ways. but does the severity of symptoms alter immunity? some people with covid—19 are so ill they end up in intensive care. but others have very mild or even no symptoms.
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scientists are trying to understand what difference this makes. people who've got severely ill make a lot of antibody in general and people who haven't got so ill make a lot less. what that means may be that people who've only had a mild infection might lose their immunity faster than others and might not be protected if the virus comes back. scientists say we need answers on immunity urgently to determine the next steps to take in the fight against covid—19. rebecca morelle, bbc news. an australian couple have found themselves in coronavirus lock down on a deserted topical island. kevin and adele hockey came to fraser island off the queensland coast to work as caretakers
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for a group of holiday homes. one month later they are still on the island, miles from civilisation. let's take a look at how they are getting on.
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it could be worse, couldn't it? plenty more on the website,, or you could download the bbc news app. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. thank you so much for watching.
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hello there. it has been the sunniest april on record and for much of the month it's been exceptionally dry. but things changed a bit on tuesday for many of us. you can see the way in which rain pushed its way northwards, certainly across england and wales, there were some showers for scotland and for northern ireland. now, that first area of rain is clearing away, you can see the frontal system sliding out into the near continent but there is another area of low pressure out to the west. more frontal systems coming our way, which means there is more rain in the forecast through the day ahead. this is our main rain band, it will be pushing its way north—eastwards, so initially moving across the south—west of england, into wales, the midlands, into the london area by about lunchtime, and then that rain will eventually get into northern england, northern ireland and southern scotland
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by the end of the day. northern scotland will hold onto something brighter, but with one or two showers. some brighter skies returning behind the rain band as well. quite a windy day across parts of northern ireland and also the south—west of england. and those temperatures generally between 10—14 degrees, i think some coastal areas in north—east england might struggle at around eight or nine. now, as we go through wednesday night, here goes ourfirst rain band northwards, but another pulse of heavy rain will slide its way north—eastwards across england, wales, northern ireland, again up into southern scotland, some further hefty showers chasing on behind. temperatures to start thursday morning generally between 5—8 degrees. so for thursday, low pressure firmly in charge of the scene, you can see these various frontal systems spiralling around the low. so there will be some outbreaks of rain to contend with, some patchy rain drifting its way northwards across scotland, perhaps parts of eastern england for a time. and then, yes, we'll see some spells of sunshine, but also some showers. and some of those showers across the southern half of the uk will be heavy and thundery into the afternoon. also, very windy across the south of england and the channel islands,
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across the channel islands we could see gusts of 50 miles per hour, potentially those temperatures again generally in the range of 10—14 degrees. so, certainly cooler than it has been on many days recently. for friday, it's another sunshine and showers day, the centre of our area of low pressure will start slide away eastwards so we may just start to see something a little bit brighter and certainly drier developing. temperatures nudging upwards a little bit, could get as high as around 15 degrees. and then we get into the weekend, certainly to start off it will be drier with fewer showers. i think some of us will see rain returning from the west on sunday.
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this is bbc news, the headlines:
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the number of coronavirus cases in the united states has now passed 1 million. the figure is nearly a third of the total worldwide, and includes at least 57,000 deaths. president trump claimed the unwanted milestone is a result of the number of tests the us is carrying out. the uk government says it plans to increase the number of tests for coronavirus in care homes — after new figures showed this is where a third of all deaths linked to the virus in england and wales — are happening. people over 65, with symptoms, will also be eligible. the french government has laid out plans for easing the lockdown — from next month. all shops will be able to reopen on may the 11th, and schools will also be allowed to resume teaching, despite the opposition of some teachers. masks will have to be worn in public spaces.


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