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tv   Review 2020  BBC News  January 2, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm GMT

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in that sunshine and notably so with that brisk wind in eastern and southern areas. but perhaps something a little bit more unsettled wednesday and thursday. that's one we're watching. as ever, the warnings are on the website. hello, this is bbc news with martine croxall. the headlines... in the uk, pressure grows to shut more schools. unions are demanding an immediate two—week closure of all primaries and secondaries in england, as coronavirus cases surge. this isn't about head teachers wanting to close schools. this is about head teachers wanting to open schools but in order to do that we need to have risk assessments that ensure that there is safe practice across our schools. president trump and the election — now 11 republican senators say they will support him and object to the official results.
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india begins a nation—wide mock drill to test its preparedness for mass immunisation against covid—i9. french police shut down an illegal rave that had been underway since new year's eve with more than 2,500 partygoers. and, now, hugh pym tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on all our lives. viewers may find some of the content of this film upsetting. british scientists say the scale of a mystery virus in china might be far greater than authorities there acknowledged. the outbreak began in december in the central city of wuhan. the infection is a new type of coronavirus which originated in animals.
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i'm calling from nigeria, what are the symptoms? it is the first british fatality from the coronavirus. it's official, the coronavirus is here in the uk. wash your hands to the national anthem. they sing wash your hands to the tune of baby shark. prime minister, are you telling people today that sooner or later, all of our lives are going to be disrupted somehow? from this evening, i must give the british people a very simple instruction. you must stay at home. the coronavirus newscast from the bbc. applause. oh wow, people are stood out on the pavement. people like me that are going to be looking after you when you are at your lowest, just stop it, please. the staff here are dealing with the biggest challenge ever faced by the nhs.
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it's hard to comprehend how historic these times are when you are living them. behind the statistics, the government charts, the number crunching, are the lives lost. covid—i9 has reached rural india. woman yelling bring oxygen, a woman pleaded. captain tom, you're an inspiration to us all and we thank you. stay at home, protect the nhs and save lives. the first vaccine has been developed which appears to prevent 90% of people contracting coronavirus. if i can do it, well, so can you. it's extraordinary how fast the coronavirus story has moved in less than a year and the things which we know now that we didn't know then.
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here at bbc news, we've been setting out a vast range of developments in this continuing saga which has affected all our lives — week by week and day by day, throughout 2020 — and trying to look ahead to 2021. the new strain of coronavirus was first identified as a potential threat in china at the turn of the year. at the end of january, a student and a relative tested positive for the virus in york. these were the first known cases in the uk. 0n the same day, the world health organization declared a global emergency. by the middle of february, the virus had been given its official name of covid—i9 and at the end of the month, a british man who'd been infected on board the diamond princess cruise ship died injapan. laura here is a member of nhs staff. she'sjust going to demonstrate what actually happens, so she stays in the car...
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it was not long before we saw for the first time what virus testing involved. one of them has got the full protective equipment on. her colleague stands back at a safer distance. erica, the senior nurse, shows information about the procedure. tilt your head back for me. and then carries out nasal and throat swabs. they are sent off for testing. they get through 12 tests a day. few would have predicted then it would need hundreds of thousands of tests daily across the country. the first death from coronavirus in the uk as the number of cases doubles injust 48 hours. that first covid death in the uk was announced in early march. within a week, the prime minister had this warning. i must level with you, level with the british public. more families, many more families, are going to lose loved ones before their time. in italy, the scale of the crisis was becoming
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quickly apparent. ten, 50, 60, 70, 200 patients in our emergency department. here, the government and its scientists were still working out a strategy to tackle the virus. to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not to suppress it completely. also, because most people, the vast majority of people, get a mild illness, to build up some degree of herd immunity as well so that more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission. at the same time, we protect those who are most vulnerable from it. that phrase "herd immunity" surprised and worried some people. it suggested tolerating a further spread of the virus in the knowledge enough people who got it would become immune. though this was later denied to be an official policy. but then, virus experts stepped in with dire warnings. one of them told me in a recent interview what had happened.
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even making quite optimistic assumptions, we were estimating there could be a quarter of a million deaths over a one to two—year period. as importantly, the nhs would be completely overwhelmed, in the same way as we saw in northern italy for instance in february, march, and so that really drove the decision making. he thinks the lockdown happened too late, though ministers don't agree. so was the policy too draconian? it was never that we were gung ho about this as a solution. it was a last resort really. and one of the reasons perhaps for some of the delays is there was a very clear recognition that this would have costs, both economic costs and human costs in terms of people's health, well—being, mental health. it was just there wasn't an alternative. as the official strategy was developed, people across the uk were still mixing freely. the virus is deadly, yeah. but the virus was now moving
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fast and over a few days in march, there was a flurry of official announcements. avoid pubs, clubs, theatres. we're making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees. if we can get this down to numbers 20,000 and below... and then this. from this evening, i must give the british people a very simple instruction. you must stay at home. less than a fortnight later, the prime minister himself was taken to hospital with covid. he joined thousands of other british people who had been hit by the virus. i've developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus, that's to say a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer, i've taken a test. that has come out positive. but mild symptoms turned into a serious threat
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to the prime minister's health as he was moved into intensive care at st thomas‘ hospital. it's the sickest patients who go into intensive care, so clearly this is a cause for concern. but the downing street statement made clear it was a precaution. he'd been moved to intensive care at st thomas‘ should he require ventilation to aid his recovery. that suggests he's not on a mechanical ventilator to help his breathing which would require sedation, but he will be requiring oxygen through a mask or nasally. throughout spring and into summer, my colleagues at bbc news documented a national crisis and the individuals caught up in its path. fergus walsh was the first tv reporter inside an intensive care unit. it is completely unimaginable. fergus walsh: this is the front line in the ward. apart from two patients, every patient we are looking after has covid. we cannot cope with a big
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spike, we just can't. every day, some battles are won. is one of the doctors here? and some are lost. all the patients here are critically ill. we're planning for many more patients, so all our theatres to be full of covid patients and possibly beyond. it is, you know, none of us have ever seen anything like this. the staff here are dealing with the biggest challenge ever faced by the nhs. they can save many of the patients. sadly, not all of them. and still, more patients keep coming every day. ed thomas reported from a hospital in lanarkshire and the experiences of a wide range of patients, young and old. suspected covid—i9? yes. look beyond the daily statistics. these are the lives
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changed forever. that's you completely breathing on your own. i'm a lucky one. i'm seeing my family tomorrow. from those trying to save the sickest... we've had three deaths, which has totally floored the staff today. it's probably the most amount of deaths in one shift that we've had so far. the eldest, most vulnerable. and the youngest. the last thing you want to hear when you pick up the phone is, "your baby's got coronavirus." mums and dads of babies kept in for observation can only visit for an hour a day. what was it like being away from a baby for 15 nights? couldn't sleep, it was so hard. it was so hard. but these babies are never alone. receiving constant care. what have the nurses and doctors been like here? honest to god, they have been a treat.
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they deserve a medal, every one of them. to contain the virus, the maternity ward is now divided. it is to isolate coronavirus right there? payton is three weeks old and has the virus. i can't thank them enough for what they have done for her. she's always watched over. definitely privileged to have such a great team behind her. cheering heron. she's just been brilliant. and you got a phone call saying your baby's got coronavirus, that's the worst thing i can only imagine, but you just need to power through and provide the best care we can give at this horrible time. hi, baby! clive myrie covered the challenges facing a major london hospital. clive myrie: the front line of the war on coronavirus is everywhere, on the floor of a corridor, on a door handle, on the shake
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of another‘s hand. this man is proud he is waging war on the virus, a ten—year veteran of the cleaning staff at the royal london hospital. all of us cannot be doctors. some have to be doctors, some have to be nurses and some have to be a domestic. so i'm proud of what i am. because altogether you're helping to save lives. yeah, all of us come together and then we save more lives. it's a selflessness much admired in this pandemic. those choosing to do what others wouldn't. and so many of the nurses and doctors, and consultants, as well as cleaners, helping hands guiding us through this storm, are black, asian and minority ethnic. studies suggest those from the bame community are being affected by the virus disproportionately and they're almost twice as likely to die
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from infection than those who are white. why is unclear. when it comes to bame nhs staff, proximity to the virus through close contact with infected patients is a disproportionate feature of many of their roles in the health service. some argue the nhs needs to examine staff deployment policies for structural racism. where certain workers are retained in lower paid roles. but for most nurses and doctors, white or black, given the correct protection, where else would you want to be, if not cushioning a patient‘s pain? by may, the uk's covid—i9 death rate was one of the highest in europe. it was becoming clear that in care homes, elderly residents were especially vulnerable. my colleague in northern ireland, emma vardy, was one of the first to highlight the issue. emma vardy: this is the first
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time julie bennett has seen her father in four weeks. you can't touch my hand. he doesn't understand why she can't come in. heartbreaking, heartbreaking. it was lovely to see him, lovely to see him. staff at this care home in belfast have been coping with a number of suspected and confirmed cases of coronavirus. all 82 residents are being kept in isolation but it's not easy. many have dementia. he is looking for us and saying why is his family not coming to see him, but i know the staff here are so good to him and i know he is being well cared for. they are afraid to go to work themselves because they probably have vulnerable people
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at home and young children. the first cases of the virus were detected early here. magdalene mitchell, a resident, passed away in hospital. staff are trying to prevent infection as best as they can, but residents need hand on care and to the virus can spread rapidly. are you worried about your own safety? it is hot and tiring, but behind the masks, still smiles. inside, residents need them. i love you. the smallest interaction it means a lot. i love you.
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the crisis of coronavirus in 2020 also showed people at their best. one man who sought to make a difference and inspire others was captain tom moore. there he is, congratulations! well done. his back garden marathon raised more than £30 million for nhs charities. captain tom, how do you feel this morning? fine. i'm surrounded by the right sorts of people, so i feel fine and i hope you are all feeling fine too. for many up and down the country, the example of captain tom and others helped to draw us together. the sense of national solidarity was rarely more evident than on ten successive thursdays at 8pm with the clap of carers. john kay reported from one
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particular st in the west midlands. on this street, like so many others, it's personal. sarah is on the front line. she is a health care assistant at the birmingham hospital trust that has had more than 600 covid deaths. does it help you get through? 100%. every thursday. it is like a release. it is like a release, yes. when they are all clapping, it is another week coming to an end. it is amazing, just fantastic, i can't believe it. at precisely eight o'clock, for the fifth week in a row, it felt like the whole of the uk erupted. # let it shine, let it shine, let it shine #.
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8000 miles from home, members of the british antarctic surveyjoined in. in the middle east, divers from hms ledbury clapped and washed their hands at the same time. in the skies above wiltshire, the pilot of a light aircraft plotted his flight path to spell out his gratitude. while on the ground, the social distancing red arrows. from bin collectors in norfolk, to the royal family. back in the midlands, sarah and her husband, gary, who is a delivery driver, have moved into a caravan on the drive. we love you loads, thanks for all you do. so they do not put sarah's mum at risk. gwen is 83. clapping for her daughter and for thousands of others and she will be saying thank you again next week.
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all right now. case numbers and hospital admissions began to fall. lockdown restrictions were eased across the uk but life was far from easy for those needing non—urgent operations which had been postponed because of covid pressure on hospitals. he said this is not even up for discussion, you need both hips replaced. helen had been waiting more than a year for a double hip replacement. i'm in quite a lot of pain, some days are worse than others, sometimes i go into a spasm. it is just at the not knowing. i do not know if i should be walking, sitting down, resting, there isjust a nobody telling me what i should and should not do and when it might happen.
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as people return from summer holidays and pupils went back to school, the testing system came under immense strain. the bbc reported that some people were being told to drive hundreds of miles for a test, including one at family near glasgow. belfast was not exactly desirable, especially with the ferry trip, so we went back again to try again and the second time it tried to send me to portree in the isle of skye, which is 127 miles and a five and a half hour round trip, five and a half hours each way. a second wave of cases accelerated. once again, hospitals came under huge pressure, especially in north west england. we put our feelings to the back of our minds from the last wave because it was so stressful and now that we have the second wave, the anxiety has definitely come back within the staff and trust. stay at home. three words that brought life
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to a standstill in the spring, now an instruction for wales in autumn. it is our best chance of regaining control of the virus and avoiding a much longer and much more damaging national lockdown. by now, restrictions were being tightened, though in different ways around the uk. a fire break in wales and then a second lockdown in england. christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together. our objective in taking this action now is to protect the nhs, create the prospect of seeing some loved ones at christmas and completing the journey to next spring with as few restrictions as possible. the brutal truth was that the virus was continuing to claim lives.
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i still thought that he might get better. the shock came when i got a call on the early hours of the friday morning to say that he had developed a complication and that his heart had stopped and the reason why his heart had stopped was a clot on his lung. and i knew they did everything they possibly could. as 2020 came to an end and a looser restrictions were promised over the festive season, the news which had been so keenly anticipated arrived. ijust want to bring you some breaking news about covid vaccine because pfizer has said that its covid—i9 vaccine has been 90% effective. and then a world first. applause.
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90—year—old margaret receives the pfizer vaccine at university hospital coventry. so, margaret, first tell us, how was it for you? it was fine. i was not nervous at all. it was really good, yes. and what do you say to those who might be having second thoughts about having this vaccine? i say go for it. go for it, because it is free and it is the best thing that has ever happened. vaccines offer a way through the pandemic, but with christmas not far off, there was bleaker news. the discovery of a new variant of the virus, the promise of the mixing of the festive season were severely curtailed. scientists revealed the variant of the virus resulting from mutations meant it was growing more rapidly. it spreads more easily and therefore more measures are needed to keep it under control.
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we absolutely need to stick to the basics of making sure that we reduce our contacts, reduce the ability for this virus to spread and that is the reason why tougher measures are required to keep this variant under control. professor whitty, if someone is packing a bag right now, listening to this, trying to leave the south—east by midnight tonight, what should they do? my short answer would be please unpack it at this stage. looking further ahead, what to do the experts think we can expect? i'm hopeful we will be able to see some relaxing of social distancing measures by end of march, april timeframe. such that we get back to something more like we were, the position we were in, in say early september of 2020, where people could at least visit each other‘s houses if they were careful. it was more open society than we have now, but not completely normal. will people have to accept for example face coverings and some form of social distancing measures at quite
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a long time through 2021? yes, i think some form of social distancing, i think masks are going to be with us, it is difficult to predict exactly when, but at least until the autumn of 2021. there have been devastating losses, lives have been blighted by coronavirus in 2020. the year has come to an end on a sombre note, but there is some hope that 2021 will at least bring more protection from this deadly virus. it looks as if the cold weather
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is with us for a few days yet, which means that the showers, when they come along, are falling as snow. mostly over the hills, but at lower levels as well. and ice becomes more of an issue, of course, after dark and when the surfaces are below freezing. and they could well be quite damp the surfaces where we have seen the frequent showers today — across northern and eastern scotland, northern england, wales, the midlands, southern and western parts of england, too. but we'll start to pick up some showers elsewhere, as well, because temperatures have barely risen 3 or 4 degrees above freezing by day. 0bviously, overnight they will plunge below freezing quite quickly once again. and the showers just keep coming onto those surfaces, and so damp surfaces with temperatures below freezing means ice is a real risk. and it'll be another harsh frost under the clearer skies across north—western areas overnight. the frost a little less harsh further south, but nevertheless still a frost, still a cold start as we move into sunday. slight difference is that high pressure builds towards the north on sunday, so we pick up more of
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a north—easterly as opposed to the more northerly wind we've had today so there will be a difference in the distribution of the showers. one or two may actually get across to western scotland, some getting across the higher ground in northern england, and more potentially for east anglia and the south—east — of rain and sleet mostly but some snow certainly possible over the hills because it is another cold day after a cold start. with more of a wind, quite a bracing wind starting to pick up through sunday and monday. so although temperatures will reach 3—5 degrees above freezing, it will feel colder, particularly in the south, with those winds. further north and west, more sunshine under that area of high pressure, but equally a hard frost, some patchy fog. as i say, that set—up stays with us through monday and tuesday. that strong east, north—easterly wind with us. in fact, something a little more prolonged, potentially, rain and sleet—wise across southern and eastern areas, the channel islands as well on monday. again, with the intensity, it could bring the snow down to relatively low levels. there'll be a scattering of snow showers or wintry showers elsewhere coming in off the north sea.
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so, the better, drier, brighter weather will be further north and west, but it is going to feel cold even in that sunshine and notably so with that brisk wind in eastern and southern areas. but perhaps something a little bit more unsettled wednesday and thursday. that's one we're watching. as ever, the warnings are on the website.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. in the uk pressure grows to shut more schools. this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. in the uk pressure grows to shut more schools. unions are demanding an immediate two week closure of all primaries and secondaries in england — as coronavirus cases surge. india begins a nation—wide mock drill to test its preparedness for mass immunisation against covid—19.


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