March 31, 2020
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World news Related Video and AudioVideo 1 minute 3 secondsVideo 1 minute 3 seconds1:03Video 4 minutes 10 secondsVideo 4 minutes 10 seconds4:10Video 52 secondsVideo 52 seconds0:52Video 6 minutes 28 secondsVideo 6 minutes 28 seconds6:28Video 2 minutes 27 secondsVideo 2 minutes 27 seconds2:27Video 1 minute 15 secondsVideo 1 minute 15 seconds1:15Video 2 minutes 7 secondsVideo 2 minutes 7 seconds2:07Video 1 minute 23 secondsVideo 1 minute 23 seconds1:23Video 41 secondsVideo 41 seconds0:41Video 2 minutes 5 secondsVideo 2 minutes 5 seconds2:05Video 2 minutes 27 secondsVideo 2 minutes 27 seconds2:27Video 1 minute 17 secondsVideo 1 minute 17 seconds1:17Video 2 minutes 28 secondsVideo 2 minutes 28 seconds2:28Video 43 secondsVideo 43 seconds0:43Video 1 minute 40 secondsVideo 1 minute 40 seconds1:40Video 1 minute 49 secondsVideo 1 minute 49 seconds1:49Video 2 minutes 30 secondsVideo 2 minutes 30 seconds2:30RTLGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreLive ReportingBy Yaroslav Lukov, Alexandra Fouché, Katie Wright, Hugo Bachega, Kate Whannel and Thom PooleAll times stated are UKPosted at 15:4615:46Spain hopes to ‘flatten curve in two weeks’EPACopyright: EPAWe reported earlier that Spain had become the fourth country to register more than 1,000 deaths from the virus.But the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Arancha González has said the government hopes to flatten the curve of infection “within two weeks”.”That’s the prognosis we’re working with at the moment,” she told the BBC. “It will rely on a co-ordinated approach and responsible behaviour from our citizens.””That’s our hope and that’s where we’re putting all our energy. Our entire country is embarked in a fight.”Ms González also reassured Spaniards that there was a sufficient supply of equipment.”We have a good stock of products and are purchasing more medical and sanitary equipment,” she said.Posted at 15:4415:44England has 39 more deathsA further 39 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died, NHS England has announced. That brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 167.Posted at 15:4015:40Staying or leaving? Brits’ dilemmas in SpainDamian GrammaticasEurope correspondentFor UK citizens living in the south of Spain who try to leave, it’s not easy. Inside Malaga airport, the terminal is almost empty. Pretty much every check-in counter is closed. But at the British Airways desk, there is a queue of people, each standing a safe distance from the person in front. The flight is sold out. People in the airport tell us they have been asked to pay up €1,000 (£900; $1,070) for a one-way ticket to London. “I just want to get back to the UK,” one woman says. Philida Mary Jones, 86, has found a cheaper alternative on Ryanair to fly to Bristol. She’s turned up six hours early for her flight as she has had three earlier tickets cancelled. She lives in Spain for several months at a time and says she feels safe here, but her family in Wales are worried and want her home.In Benalmadena, a community of pretty villas stretching up a hillside with views over the sea, the streets are silent. Alison Thompson and her husband are not sure whether to leave. They have two dogs and would have to drive across Spain then take a ferry to reach the UK. The earliest date they can get a booking is exactly in a month’s time. But will the ferry journey expose them to people who might be infected? And would they escape one lockdown in Spain only to arrive in the UK in the middle of a new shutdown there?Hard choices with no easy answers.Posted at 15:3315:33Nine new cases in Northern IrelandIn Northern Ireland nine more people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of cases to 86.It comes a day after it announced its first virus-related death – an elderly man in Belfast who had an underlying medical condition.Posted at 15:3015:30GCSE and A-level grades awarded by teachersThe UK government has issued more advice on how pupil grades will be decided after the cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels exams.It says the grades in England will be based on teacher assessments – taking into account “a range of evidence and data”, such as mock exam results and other school work.The government says the aim will be for the “calculated” grades to be awarded by the end of July.Students will also have other options – they can sit an exam early in the next academic year which starts in September – if they want to.They can also appeal if they are not satisfied that their calculated grade reflects their performance, or can choose to sit exams in summer 2021.Posted at 15:2115:21’Europe won’t recover’ without ItalyThe European Union may never recover if the bloc leaves Italy to fend for itself during the coronavirus pandemic, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned, saying member states have to come together.”If it’s everyone for themselves, if we let down some states, if we say to Italy, for example, ‘do it alone’, Europe will not recover,” he told French TV.The European Central Bank has earmarked funding to support the economy, but the EU has not harmonised practical measures to stop the spread of the virus.Posted at 15:1715:17South America trials lockdowns and curfewsGetty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesRio’s beach ban is initially set to last 15 daysImage caption: Rio’s beach ban is initially set to last 15 daysThere are confirmed
cases in every country in South America, but some have yet to report deaths.
The biggest outbreak is in the largest country, Brazil, which has reported 621
cases and six deaths.Here are some
major updates:Argentina’s lockdown began at
midnight with people now only permitted to leave their houses to do grocery
Chile’s Congress has decided to
postpone for six months a referendum on whether to
rewrite the country’s constitution. The vote was going to take place on 26
April, but more than 300 coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, the second-largest regional figure

No-one is allowed to leave or
enter Easter Island for the next two weeks in a
bid to protect the remote Pacific outpost, its Chilean authorities said
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state is barring people from its beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema while states and cities across the country have imposed other restrictions
Colombia’s capital, Bogota, is
trialling quarantine plans before possible enforcement, with various cities already under night curfews

A plane sent to Ecuador to pick
up stranded tourists was prevented from landing at an airport in Guayaquil
because the local mayor did not want the Spanish crew to disembark. The plane was later permitted to land in the capital, Quito
Posted at 15:0915:09More on what’s happening in AfricaWe now hear the number of confirmed cases across Africa has increased to around 850 – almost six times the number recorded just a week ago. Countries across the continent have imposed a number of meausres in an effort to stem the spread of the virus – some, including Senegal and Tunisia, have suspended all religious gatherings.Posted at 15:0315:03School closure effect, age threshold and unrest threatDavid ShukmanScience editor, BBC NewsReutersCopyright: ReutersPeople wearing protective face masks walk across Westminster Bridge in LondonImage caption: People wearing protective face masks walk across Westminster Bridge in LondonThe UK government has always said it is relying on scientific advice to fight the pandemic, and the documents released on Friday (see our earlier entries) reveal the internal discussions of the scientists themselves.One disagreement was over when to close schools. One of the documents spells out how different models came up with very different results for how much closures would reduce the spread of Covid-19.Some said it would bring a reduction of between 20-60% while another suggested it would be 7.5-30%.Other insights include the age for people to be considered at risk. The government’s advice is aimed at over 70 – but behind the scenes scientists have been discussing a threshold of 65.And it’s clear that in developing the advice, there is a pessimistic view of how the British public will respond.It’s assumed that only 50% of households will abide by the request to self-isolate if one member shows symptoms of the virus and that even this “may be unachievable”.The scientists and the Home Office explored whether the measures would lead to public unrest but this was judged unlikely.Posted at 14:5014:50What’s the latest in Asia?Countries around Asia are stepping up measures to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus:Pakistan’s largest city Karachi has recorded its first Covid-19 death, bringing the country’s total deaths to three. The man was 77, and a cancer survivor. Meanwhile, the army has set up a field hospital in Karachi’s Expo Center, and the governor of Sindh province has hinted that a three-day lockdown may be brought in to combat the spread, according to Dawn newspaperSri Lanka has now introduced a nationwide curfew which will last from Friday evening until Monday morning. Mosques have also been ordered to shut indefinitely. So far, 65 people have tested positive for the virus in the island nation

A state of emergency has been declared in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta. Entertainment venues – like spas, cinemas and bars – will be closed, according to Reuters news agency. The city of 10 million people has recorded 215 cases so far, with 18 deaths

Meanwhile, Singapore has launched an app to help trace people who have passed within two metres of someone who picks up the infection. It’s not compulsory, but the government is encouraging as many people as possible to download it
Posted at 14:4314:43F1 teams hope to provide ventilatorsReutersCopyright: ReutersA collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams and engine manufacturers are working with the UK government and other organisations in an attempt to increase the supply of ventilators during the coronavirus crisis.They are discussing how they can help produce or support production of medical equipment, with F1 saying they hope to reach “a tangible outcome in the next few days”.”All the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialise in rapid prototyping and high value manufacturing, which is hoped can be applied to the critical needs set out by government,” F1 said.Posted at 14:2914:29How do I keep my phone clean?We may be washing our hands religiously these
days but what about our phones and other devices which we handle all the time?
Here’s a quick guide on how to do a thorough wipe-down of your mobile, and what
to use when cleaning it.Video contentVideo caption: Coronavirus: How to safely clean your smartphoneCoronavirus: How to safely clean your smartphonePosted at 14:2014:20Spreading at weddingsAt least 35 people who
attended a wedding in Australia have contracted coronavirus.The wedding took place at Tumbling Waters Retreat in New South Wales on 6 March, according to ABC News. A similar incident
happened in Uruguay, with 44 guests contracting the virus from a guest who had been
in Europe.In the UK, couples who do
not postpone their church wedding because of the coronavirus outbreak should
only have two guests, the Church of England has said.The Church has recommended the numbers attending ceremonies should be limited to the legal minimum of five people: the priest, the bride
and groom, and two witnesses.Many couples with forthcoming weddings are, however, opting to cancel. British bride-to-be Jodie Crane told the BBC she felt relieved after making the very stressful decision. “Three weeks ago we were worried about whether it would rain on our wedding day and then it turned to whether we would have a virus at our wedding that would potentially harm a lot of people,” Ms Crane told Radio 1’s Newsbeat.Jodie CraneCopyright: Jodie CraneJodie Crane and Philip Turner told the BBC they are postponing their March wedding to keep guests safeImage caption: Jodie Crane and Philip Turner told the BBC they are postponing their March wedding to keep guests safePosted at 14:1314:13Europe ‘will never walk alone’Radio stations broadcast Liverpool fans’ famous songGetty ImagesCopyright: Getty ImagesThe Liverpool football anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone was broadcast by 180 radio stations across Europe this morning, including Slovenia’s Val 202. It’s a defiant message of solidarity, as millions are cooped up at home in the coronavirus crisis.But the BBC’s Balkans correspondent ,Guy De Launey, says Slovenia has just told people officially that they should walk alone if they go outside, to avoid spreading the virus.Posted at 13:5813:58UK fatality rate ‘best estimate’ is 0.5-1%More on the advice being given by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) group to the UK government (see our 12:56 entry). It says that “at least half of the year” would need to be spent using strict measures which include school closures and encouraging social distancing for everyone in society.Less restrictive measures include: isolating cases, household isolation and social distancing just in vulnerable groups. There would be a two-three week delay between measures being put into place and their impact being felt in intensive care. The report also said it was “currently unclear” whether warmer weather would affect the spread of the virus. And that the best estimate of the “infection fatality rate” (the proportion of people who die after being infected) is in the range of 0.5% to 1%.You can read our full story herePosted at 13:4513:45Four members of the same family die in the USFamily photo / Go Fund MeCopyright: Family photo / Go Fund MeGrace Fusco (centre) and her 11 childrenImage caption: Grace Fusco (centre) and her 11 childrenA New Jersey mother and her three adult children have died from coronavirus, and three more relatives are in hospital, after they had a family dinner together, according to US media.Grace Fusco, 73, and three of her children died on Wednesday and Thursday. Three more of her children are now in hospital.Nineteen family members are now self-isolating, according to family representative Paradiso Fodera, and have waited nearly a week to learn the results of their virus tests.”Why don’t the family members who are not hospitalised have the test results? This is a public health crisis,” Ms Fodera told CNN. “Why should athletes and celebrities without symptoms be given priority over a family that has been decimated by this virus?”Posted at 13:3613:36How close are we to getting a vaccine?James GallagherHealth and science correspondent, BBC NewsResearch is happening at breakneck speed.There are more than 20 vaccines in development.One has begun human trials after unusually skipping any animal research to test either the safety or the effectiveness of the vaccine.Other scientists are at the animal research stage and hope to get the results of human trials later in the year.But even if scientists can celebrate having developed a vaccine this year, there is still the massive job of being able to mass-produce it.It means, realistically, one would not be ready until at least the middle of next year.All of this is happening on an unprecedented timescale and using new approaches to vaccines, so there are no guarantees everything will go smoothly.Remember there are four coronaviruses that already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we don’t have vaccines for any of them.Posted at 13:3113:31Pollution drop in China amid industrial slowdownIn China, where the coronavirus first appeared, industrial production, sales and investment all fell in the first two months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019.And the country’s industrial slowdown has been visible from space. Nasa said pollution-monitoring satellites had detected a significant drop in nitrogen dioxide over China, as the image below shows.BBCCopyright: BBCEvidence suggests that’s “at least partly” due to the economic slowdown caused by the outbreak.China makes up a third of manufacturing globally, and is the world’s largest exporter of goods. The restrictions imposed there have affected the supply chains of big companies all around the world.Posted at 13:2013:20Ways to stay social while in self-isolationCristina Criddle, Technology reporterPeople in the UK – and many other parts of the world – have been told to avoid non-essential contact with others to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.With schools shutting and more people now working from home, many are feeling cut off from their everyday hobbies and social lives.But the internet offers a means to stay connected and to keep us all entertained and educated through the days of isolation.From workouts, cooking lessons and pub quizzes – here are just some of the ways people are using technology to lift their spirits.Ways to stay social online while in self-isolationPosted at 13:2013:20Sturgeon: Cancer treatments should go aheadScottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon takes one final question from a journalist who says people have been in touch to say their urgent operations have been cancelled and asks if priorities have been changed in the health service to deal with the virus.Ms Sturgeon replies: “We have been absolutely clear cancer treatment and urgent life-saving treatment should go ahead.”And there the briefing from Scotland ends.
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