tv BBC News BBC News January 10, 2021 9:00am-9:31am GMT
this is bbc news i'm ben brown. our top stories. britain's national health service is facing ‘the worst crisis in living memory, according to england's chief medical officer. chris whitty says hospitals could soon be overwhelmed, leading to avoidable deaths. it comes as asymptomatic testing in the uk is ramped up and more than half a million people over the age of 80 are invited to mass vaccination centres. rescue teams in indonesia detect a signal believed to be from the flight recorder of the boeing passenger plane that crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff. 62 people were on board. president trump will face impeachment proceedings this week for the second time — accused of inciting the storming of congress. a special report from south africa following the people committed to saving one of the world's most
endangered and trafficked creatures — the pangolin. hello and welcome to bbc news for viewers in britain and around the world. england's chief medical officer has given a new warning that the nhs could soon be overwhelmed by the spread of coronavirus. professor chris whitty said if the rate of infections continue, the pressure on hospitals will lead to "avoidable deaths", as doctors struggle to deal with the number of patients. he's appealed again for people to stay home, saying the new variant of the disease is spreading rapidly across the country, leaving some areas facing "the most dangerous situation anyone can remember". the uk government is rolling out rapid flow tests
to all areas of england. the tests, which can return results in 30 minutes, will be prioritised for those who can't work from home. and thousands of people in england aged over 80 are being invited to book an appointment to get the jab at one of seven mass vaccination centres. here's our health correspondent, anna collinson. there are already more than 1000 vaccination sites across england, but the roll—out is expanding further, with some of the most vulnerable now invited to receive theirjab at a mass vaccination centre. more than 130,000 letters have been sent to elderly patients who live near one of the seven sites, which are due to open this week. around 1.5 million people in the uk have had at least one dose of a covid vaccine, including the queen and prince philip. both in their 90s, the royal couple are in the main priority group, which consists of around 15 million people. but the nhs faces a huge logistical challenge — trying to vaccinate them
all by mid—february. ok, here we are. 0k, go. from tomorrow, the 0xford—astrazeneca vaccine will become more widely available in scotland — with its delivery due to be expanded to gp practices and centres across the country. so far, more than 70,000 vaccinations have taken place both in wales and northern ireland. good? great. but with fears the current wave threatens to overwhelm many hospitals, the race is on. the uk is nowjust one of five countries in the world to record more than 80,000 coronavirus deaths. it's just really bad news and the thing with hospitalisations is that we've seen, like, especially in london, the nhs is already overwhelmed. and the people here who are going to need hospital over the next ten days already have covid, so we know — just because case numbers have been going up —
that that number's going to keep going up every day. mass testing is one way to stop the virus spreading. in the coming days, all local authorities in england will be able to provide rapid community testing, including to people who have no symptoms. but many are critical about the accuracy of these tests, and scientific advisors argue only tougher lockdown measures will bring the more contagious variant under control once and for all. anna collinson, bbc news. 0ur political correspondent nick eardley is here. a pretty stark warning from the chief medical officer?” a pretty stark warning from the chief medical officer? i think that is right and i think the fact that england's chief medical officer is writing in the newspapers about how serious this issue is shows how it is viewed in number ten. i think we will hear more from the experts about some of the potential problems over the next few months, partly because they are more trusted than politicians, to put it bluntly. the message from professor whitty in the
sunday times this morning is this is the most serious situation in the pandemic so far. the current trajectory, if it continues, the increase in cases, the nhs will be in trouble. some hospitals will struggle to cope. impact of that is significant. it is important chris whitty is trying to almost shock people into trying to realise how important this is by saying, if you have hospitals that are too full, people will not get in for emergency treatment, there will not be the normal person to person care you get from doctors and ultimately there will be avoidable deaths. this matters because one of the fears in government, something they do not talk about publicly but something number ten worries about, is compliance, people not following the rules in the way they did during the first lockdown last spring and that is helping to drive virus
transitions. that takes us to the way the police are enforcing the rules, controversy about one incident in particular in derbyshire we re incident in particular in derbyshire were two women had gone for a drive separately to then go for a walk together were fined. a lot of people saying that was unfair. although ministers are related reluctant to talk about this specific case —— relu cta nt to talk about this specific case —— reluctant to talk about this case, they are hitting home the message that police can take action. home secretary priti patel saying this morning if police have to take action, they should. they will not be frightened of cracking down people who are repeatedly breaking the rules because, ultimately, if people break the rules, it will cost lives. there are big political questions being asked about whether the government acted at the right time, could have acted sooner, whether they walked down potentially has to go sooner by doing things like closing nurseries and clamping down on the number of people who are
allowed to go to work at the moment. i think over the next few days we will hear a lot more about that issue of compliance and people being urged to follow the rules very closely. one of the weapons of course against the testing, what is the latest? one of the things we have heard lots about over the last few weeks is the number of people who are not showing symptoms but can still be transmitting the disease. if you have the experts is that could be up to a third of people who have coronavirus are not showing symptoms. although most people are being urged to work from home and only work from the office or from their normal workplace if that is absolutely essential, we are going to see more of these rapid flow tests from people who are leaving home to go for work. so every local authority in england will have access to some of these lateral flow rapid tests which can give you a result in is little as 30 minutes that does not mean everyone who
leaves the house to go to work is going to get one, itjust means every a ccess going to get one, itjust means every access will have access and prioritise for people who have to go to work regularly. the idea is you will be able to tell more people who are positive, not everybody, one of the criticisms of these tests as they are not as accurate as anybody who has gone to a drive—in centre or into a who has gone to a drive—in centre or intoa nhs who has gone to a drive—in centre or into a nhs testing facility will have had. but it does pick up some of those asymptomatic positive tests, being rolled out over the next few days. i'm joined now by dr elly gaunt, a virologist at edinburgh university's roslin institute. do you think people are complying with the current lockdown as much as they were in the first lockdown last year? i am not sure whether compliance is more of an issue but we know the measures that are being
put in place are less strict than they were in the first lockdown. more people have key worker designation where they did not in the first lockdown, so people are more freely moving around than they were. do you think the current measures are working as well as you would like? they are i would say insufficient against this new variant of coronavirus because we are seeing the spread of the virus, we have not got the are a number below one and these measures are not going to implement that. —— r number. everyone infected is going to infect at least one other person, thatis to infect at least one other person, that is going to lead to an increase in cases. our people complying with the rules and restrictions less than they were, perhaps? there is an element of fatigue with this and people do find ways to bend the
rules, especially because of a lot of the language is if you can, so it is not a black and white line for people, so people are making their ownjudgments people, so people are making their own judgments about what the rules are and how they apply to them. and what about testing? and asymptomatic testing especially, how important do you think that is in the battle against coronavirus? there are two sides to this, the tests of asymptomatic key workers will allow us asymptomatic key workers will allow us to identify people who are a symptomatically affected and pre—symptomatic, those people will be able to self—isolate. the other side of it is people who have had a negative test may assume they are uninfected and that is not necessarily the case, these tests are not particularly sensitive to the best guess for how effective they are as around 75%, probably not
that high. that means a lot of positive cases will go undetected using these tests are people still really need to use their measures like handwashing, wearing facemasks and social distancing even if they have a negative test. on vaccinations, we have been hearing from health secretary today saying again the government are confident they get to two vaccinations a week, is that doable as a way out of this crisis? —— 2 million vaccinations a week. they are doing a fantastic job disseminating the vaccines around the country and we have oxford—astrazeneca, so we can hope to achieve those targets. in general, do you think the vaccines that we have can provide a way out of this, given we have new variants, the one in the uk, the one from south africa as well? so the
vaccines look like they are going to be efficacious against the new variant, so that seems to be a concern we need to keep an eye on but it looks ok so far. given the current situation, it seems as though vaccination is our only way out of this. thank you, doctor. the indonesian navy has recovered pieces of fuselage and some body parts from the sea off the coast nearjakarta where a boeing 737 aircraft crashed on saturday. rescuers also said they had detected a signal from the plane more than 20 metres below the surface. 62 people were on board the jet which was flying to borneo. mark lobel reports. could these be vital clues as to what happened to sriwijaya air flight sj182? divers from ten navy ships, assisted by military helicopters, are slowly piecing together the wreckage from their ongoing
search of the waters where they believe the plane fell. translation: we will do our best to find the victims. in the name of the government and the indonesian people, we would like to expose our condolences. —— express our condolences. as the flight tracking app flight radar shows, four minutes after the 26—year—old boeing 737 took off from jakarta on saturday afternoon, with 62 passengers on board, including seven children and three babies, contact was lost, as it reportedly plunged 3000 metres in less than a minute. before its disappearance, its operator said no problems had come to light. translation: based on the information i have, the plane was in a good condition when it was flown from pontianak, pangkal pinang, and this was the second route back to pontianak. there shouldn't have been any problem and the maintenance report
was also fine. in a significant development, the chief of the country's search and rescue agency has told reporters his teams have deducted signals in two points, which could be the plane's black box, which he is now investigating. the black box is going to be critical because that is going to determine whether or not there were sounds in the cockpit of perhaps an explosion, they're going to look at the wreckage and find out how the metal was bent, whether it was bent in or out, which could be a potential explosive device, were there missiles in the area? we saw that just over a year ago with the ukrainian 737 that was shot down. relatives and friends of those on board now have a painful wait for more answers. ajakarta police spokesperson said rescuers have handed over a bag containing passengers' belongings and also another they believe contains body parts. after flight sj182 delayed its take—off due to heavy rain,
and never sent a distress signal, what these rescue teams can now salvage from the seas is more important than ever. mark lobel, bbc news. we can now speak to our south east asia correspondentjonathan head. relatives waiting for answers, any more clues as to what went wrong? not at all. we know it was something very catastrophic, we have seen the pieces of wreckage that the search teams have pulled out of the water and there is no doubt they are from the plane, it obviously came down from what we have seen on flight tracking apps, very fast from 11,000 feet into the sea in the matter of seconds. in the last stages of its ﬂight. it seconds. in the last stages of its flight. it is impossible to imagine anyone surviving that so it is just anyone surviving that so it is just a matter of picking the wreckage up. they knew the location of the fight, not far from the airport, the sea is
shallow. they know where the fuselages, they will be able to retrieve large parts of the pain and probably the flight recorders, and we will get answers within perhaps weeks or months. at this stage, no distress call from the pilots, an old plane but had been maintained properly, no particular reason for a problem. the investigators will have to look at every possibility. there could be something quite catastrophic that the pilots might have done, something mechanical wrong with the point or even the possibility of some sort of outside factors like an attack. we do not know at this stage and sadly the families will not get answers for some time, most likely. chris whitty said hospitals could soon be overwhelmed, leading to
avoidable deaths, in what is called the worst crisis in living memory for the nhs. it comes as asymptomatic testing in the uk is ramped up and more than half a million people over the age of 80 are invited to mass vaccination centres. rescue teams in indonesia detect a signal believed to be from the flight recorder of the boeing passenger plane that crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff. 62 people were on board. the outgoing us vice president, mike pence, will attend the inauguration ofjoe biden on january the 20th. it's in contrast to donald trump who's said he won't be at his successor‘s swearing—in, breaking with tradition. meanwhile, democrats in the house of representatives say they'll start impeachment proceedings against president trump in the next 2a hours. they've accused him of inciting his supporters to storm the capitol building in washington. our north america correspondent peter bowes reports. the images that shocked america and the world. video and photographs that are now being scrutinised by the authorities to bring those
responsible to justice. this man, dressed in a bearskin headdress and carrying a 6—foot spear, was among those that stormed the us capital and gained access to the senate chamber. prosecutors say he is jacob chansley, a prominent follower of the baseless conspiracy theory qanon, now in custody for charges that include violent entry and disorderly conduct. adam johnson was pictured carrying the lectern used by the house speaker, nancy pelosi. he is now in custody in florida. protests for and against donald trump have continued this weekend. heavily armed supporters of the president gathered in minneapolis. heavily—armed supporters of the president gathered in minneapolis. we want donald trump to resign! while in chicago, opponents of the president rallied outside the city's trump tower. in washington, there is now intense security. the national guard is on patrol around the capital, wherejoe biden will be inaugurated as the nation's
next president in ten days. donald trump has said he won't be there, but the vice president, mike pence, and his wife, do plan to attend the ceremony. in the meantime, democrats plan to move forward with a second impeachment of the president, starting on monday. it was an act of sedition that was incited and encouraged by donald trump, and that is why he must be held accountable to the full extent of the law. the claim in the draft articles of impeachment is that donald trump's behaviour "greatly endangered the security of the united states". but some republicans think the process could fuel further unrest. others argue there simply isn't enough time. i've got enough decisions to make about things that can happen rather than to spend time on things that can't happen. if the house of representatives votes to impeach the president, the earliest the us senate could begin a trial of mr trump is january 20, the day he is due to leave office. peter bowes, bbc news.
police in the us are appealing for public help in its search for those responsible for the attack. one former fbi agent, rick smith, says the breadth of the security failings are still shocking. i think anyone in the security business was appalled by the lack of security. the consequence of the poor planning. no one really understands how that could happen. it isa understands how that could happen. it is a sad day here, a very sad day, and embarrassing, really. particularly for anyone in the security business. i have a lot of friends in the secret service, i was a former fbi agent, and none of us
can understand or appreciate why and how this happened. it should never have happened and can never happen again. the thing was banned for like three weeks, it was not an ad hoc function, it was not organised overnight or a couple of days before, it was known for three or four weeks. the lack of intelligence was a serious problem. and then when things started, there did not seem to bea things started, there did not seem to be a protocol to stop it. it did not seem to be any organisation, any plan to stop this thing. it's just got out of hand with own ten or 15 minutes and then it was over. —— within ten or 15 minutes. they could not control it, they were overpowered, which should never have happened. this could have been something where isis attacked the capital and there could have been 50 senators killed, there is no excuse for it.
the us secretary of state, mike pompeo, says he's ending long—standing restrictions on official contact between the us and taiwan. the announcement is likely to anger china, which sees taiwan as part of its territory. our taiwan correspondent, cindy sui, explains what the changes could mean. the taiwanese government has welcomed this and expressed gratitude towards the trump administration and pompeo. people have wa nted administration and pompeo. people have wanted to see a normalisation between the us... there are people in taiwan who are actually increasingly wary about the unprecedented tensions between beijing and taipei since trump came into office. and under the president in taiwan they see the trump and tyler love affair if you want to,
that has created bad relations between beijing and taipei. it has untie committed —— antagonise china to the point where they are flying aircraft on an almost daily basis. when the coronavirus was still in its early stages, one of the theories about its origins involved a rare animal — the pangolin. they're among the most trafficked mammals in the world. our africa correspondent andrew harding reports on south africa's efforts to rein in the illegal trade. get on the ground! a sting operation by south african police. they've lured a gang of suspected smugglers to this car park in order to arrest them. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven arrested. inside the car, still alive, a strange and precious victim is rescued. whose animal is this!
this is a pangolin — one of the world's most endangered, most trafficked creatures. its thick scales prized in traditional chinese medicine — but on no scientific basis. injured and weak, the elderly male is rushed to a dedicated pangolin clinic in johannesburg — but too late to be saved. this is worse than we have seen. this is the worst male we have seen. he's really dehydrated. and his wounds are terrible. unfortunately, when they've been in the trades for long, their immune system is compromised. so, um, healing is — takes a lot longer, and they get worse infections. this is an acutely sensitive and ancient species. few survive an ordeal that resembles a kidnapping, complete with proof—of—life videos like this one, sent by the poachers to potential buyers. sorry, but you are partand parcel, eh? today, six suspects are taken
into custody, a small blow against a criminal trade that involves huge sums of money and enormous cruelty. you know, when we get them out of the trade, they are absolutely terrified. they've got no real natural enemies — and now man is their absolute downfall. you know, teriffic. this adult female was rescued, and survived. now she's well—guarded at a secret location. the species has gained new prominence after scientists began investigating possible links between pangolins and covid—19. these are some of the most harmless creatures on the planet. but there is new evidence from china that pangolins may have helped incubate and transmit covid—19 to humans who ate the animals. there's also the suggestion that by studying these animals, we may learn more through their immune systems about the virus itself. in the meantime, a new arrival is nursed at the clinic.
three months old, her family — trafficked. the pangolin has lived on this planet for more than 80 million years. it's in the headlines today because of covid, but humans have hunted it to the brink of extinction. andrew harding, bbc news, johannesburg. you are watching bbc news. forget robocop — how about a robo—doc? scientists think robotic health care assistants could soon become a reality. a team at the university of sheffield in the uk are developing ways of using new technology in hospitals and care homes, as luxmy gopal has been finding out. this is benny the robot. he's in a home lab in sheffield, but he is being controlled in real time from manchester. through the technology, anyone anywhere can immerse themselves in the robot. i become the robot simply by putting on a vr headset. and now i can see everything the robot sees.
and i can control its arms. robotic firm cyberselves has developed a versatile, more user—friendly programming system, so what robots can't yet do alone can be done with the help of human controls. they hope it will revolutionise health tech. there is an increasing use of robots now in health care, but the artificial intelligence that powers those robots isn't up to scratch and the programming is very, very hard, it requires incredibly specialist degrees to programme robots. so what we're trying to do is simultaneously make it easier to control robots and also to make up that gap for the artificial intelligence. so a robot moving around a hospital, say cleaning a ward, will get stuck and won't know how to do a certain task. a human being can enter into it, perform the task and the robot can then learn in the future from that as well. the same system can be used to control any number of robots to perform a whole range of different tasks, from surgery to bomb disposal, orfor example in care homes, as way of having covid—safe company.
no social distancing needed here. it's the closest to being with someone without actually being there and opens a world of possibilities. how are you today? i've got your medicine right here. thank you. the doctor could be hundreds of miles away, it could be some specialist that you would like to see a patient and they might be in new york and theyjust need to put on a vr headset and they could be in sheffield looking at this patient. can you look to the left for me, please? and to the right? it's saying can you show me your leg and you can look at the leg you know looking at this patient. it is the naturalness that is going to make a difference and the spontaneity. here in italy guiding people with limited mobility through tasks and drawing cues from autistic youngsters who otherwise struggle with social interaction. they have now received government funding to explore now ways of helping health care through robots like benny
here in a covid world and beyond. luxmy gopal... ..and benny, for bbc news, in sheffield. now, the weather with darren bett. this morning was not as cold as yesterday morning but it has started frosty and foggy across some parts of the uk. through the day, milder air pushing in across most areas as the westerly breeze drugs and more cloud. with the frost and fog lifting across southern areas, could brighten up a touch but generally lots of cloud. the rain turning heavier in western scotland, temperatures here are eight, five or six fairly typical, may be lower in the south east. a cold day here but not as cold as yesterday. for many overnight we keep cloudy skies, some rain and drizzle around, wetter weather in western scotland,
threatening flooding as we get snow melt as well. for most parts of the country, temperatures just above freezing. with the cloud thinner in the south east and the eric alder, could see frosty and still some cold weather in shetland with snow showers continuing. on monday, milderair showers continuing. on monday, milder air spilling in across most areas as we get a stronger west to south—westerly wind. the weather front in the north is crucial, the boundary between the milder air and the cold air sitting across northern areas. snow in northern most parts of scotland, rain, wetter in northern ireland, west of england. try towards the south of england. temperatures of 7—8, could make double figures in belfast on monday. the milder, cloudy wetter weather could push southwards during the evening and overnight, clearing away for most areas in time for tuesday. briefly, colder air returning and perhaps a frost in scotland, northern england, perhaps know
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