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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Man applauded from hospital after 'nearly dying'

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    A man who has survived coronavirus described the hospital staff who cared for him as "living angels".

    Maurice from Torquay spent four weeks in hospital after he was admitted as an emergency with coronavirus symptoms, during which he had two life-threatening incidents.

    The 59-year-old insisted on walking rather than using a wheelchair when he was discharged on Saturday.

    Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust staff applauded him as he left in honour of his fight against the illness.

    Video content

    Video caption: A man who has survived coronavirus described staff who cared for him as "living angels".

    Leaving the ward, the senior engineering manager said: "You have helped me live again."

    Admitting that he was previously "too relaxed about coronavirus", Maurice said what happened to him "should act as a warning" to people who do not take the virus seriously enough.

    He said the result of ignoring his symptoms was that "I nearly died twice".

    "Without the morale-boosting attitude of all the staff and their genuine professional and caring nature I would have given in to COVID-19.

    "The environment in the hospital is amazing."

  2. Coronavirus: Groups still having barbecues on Dartmoor

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Groups of people have been seen meeting for barbecues on Dartmoor, despite repeated warnings against gatherings to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

    The Dartmoor National Park Authority is again urging people to stay home.

    Chief Executive Kevin Bishop also praised the efforts of ‘Team Dartmoor’ for how they have responded to the crisis, but said he was saddened to hear of incidents where rangers had been subject to abuse for doing their job to protect people and Dartmoor.

    Mr Bishop said: “We are in direct contact with police over these types of issues and very grateful for their continued and active support. We will not tolerate any type of anti-social behaviour that impacts on staff or can potentially damage Dartmoor’s special environment and will not hesitate in taking further action.

    Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, said: "Should you travel to Dartmoor for reasons that are not essential, then it is all but certain that you will receive an enforcement notice should police encounter you.

    “As importantly, you will have not played your part in protecting the NHS or being the law abiding member of the community that you would ordinarily expect yourself to be. Our support for Dartmoor Rangers in this is unequivocal.”

    Kevin Bishop
    Image caption: Kevin Bishop
    Quote Message: Having barbecues is not essential – and is also an additional fire hazard – and nor is driving 15 miles to walk your dog. The reality is stark: if you do travel further than you absolutely have to, you are risking the spread of the virus, your own lives and that of others.” from Kevin Bishop Dartmoor Chief Executive
    Kevin BishopDartmoor Chief Executive
  3. Cornish girl's gardening tips during coronavirus

    Claire Hawke

    BBC Local Live

    This Cornish schoolgirl is on a lockdown mission to get every child in the world to eat vegetables..

    Video content

    Video caption: A child from Cornwall is sharing her gardening tips during the coronavirus crisis
  4. Coronavirus: Ten further deaths in the South West

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    There have been a further 10 deaths reported in the South West of people infected with coronavirus.

    NHS England said the latest figures included:

    • Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital - four
    • Dorset Healthcare - two
    • Royal Cornwall Hospital - two
    • Plymouth's Derriford Hospital - one
    • Dorset County Hospital - one

    In total, 268 have died in the region including 126 in Devon and 68 in Cornwall.

  5. Hotels used to care for people to free up hospital beds

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Hotels in Cornwall have given up their accommodation to the NHS for recuperating patients.

    St Moritz

    The St Moritz Hotel at Trebetherick is among three Cornwall hotels offering rooms for patients which are recovering from operations or Covid-19 but are not strong enough to return home.

    By taking them to the hotels the NHS has been able to free up beds at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

    Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay and Penventon Hotel in Redruth have also joined the scheme.

    St Moritz owner Hugh Ridgway said: “Every holiday apartment owner, without exception, was in the vanguard of donating their property for use by the NHS.

    "It is these properties that are now occupied with patients."

    Cornwall Council Chief Executive Kate Kennally said one guest at the Carnmarth Hotel "broke down in tears of joy" in a room overlooking Fistral Beach.

    All three hotels are using specialist staff provided by Cornwall Council-owned company Corserv and the NHS in Cornwall.

    Cornwall Council’s adult social care team has been working on the scheme, which is predicted to free up 120 hospital beds for 12 weeks.

  6. Coronavirus fears send cancer referrals plummeting

    BBC Radio Devon

    The number of people being referred for urgent testing for cancer in the South West has dropped as a result of coronavirus.

    It's thought many patients are not going to see their GP because they fear the NHS is too busy or that they may get infected if they end up in hospital.

    Breast screening

    At Derriford Hospital about 530 people a week are usually referred but that's dropped to about 160.

    Across the country, a drop-off in screening and referrals means roughly 2,700 fewer people are being diagnosed every week, Cancer Research UK says.

    Cancer screening has paused in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with few invitations sent out in England.

    People are still advised to contact their GP with worrying symptoms.

  7. Man who 'nearly died twice' leaves hospital to applause

    Charley Adams

    BBC News Online

    A man who has survived coronavirus described the hospital staff who cared for him as "living angels".

    Maurice from Torquay spent four weeks in hospital after he was admitted as an emergency with coronavirus symptoms, during which he had two life-threatening incidents.

    The 59-year-old insisted on walking rather than using a wheelchair when he was discharged on Saturday.

    Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust staff applauded him as he left in honour of his fight against coronavirus.

    Maurice

    Leaving the ward, the senior engineering manager said: "You have helped me live again."

    Admitting that he was "too relaxed about coronavirus", Maurice said what happened to him "should act as a warning" to people who do not take the virus seriously enough.

    He said the result of ignoring his symptoms was that "I nearly died twice".

    "Without the morale-boosting attitude of all the staff and their genuine professional and caring nature I would have given in to COVID-19.

    "The environment in the hospital is amazing."

  8. No financial help is 'kick in teeth' says businessman

    BBC Radio Devon

    A small business owner who's not getting any financial help from the government during the pandemic says it's like getting a "kick in the teeth".

    Business generic

    Richard Forshaw-Smith runs Devon-based RFS Marketing and Communications but owner-directors like himself, who are paid via dividends, will not qualify for help.

    Mr Forshaw-Smith says he's lost lots of contracts, and some businesses are in an even worse way.

    Mel Stride, Central Devon MP and chair of the Treasury Committee, said: "I and the committe are pressing the government to come up with a fix for that.

    "The government has been incredibly bold and inevitably there are cracks and it's our job as a committee to spot those"

    The Treasury said company directors were eligible to be furloughed, and those who do not qualify could access other support including income tax deferrals and mortgage holidays.

    There's more here on how businesses can access help in the coronavirus outbreak.

  9. Council worker 'secures PPE in middle of the night'

    Richard Whitehouse

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A council staff member took a 02:00 (BST) phone call to secure more than 100,000 protective facemasks for frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, the chief executive said.

    Kate Kennally, leader of Cornwall Council, said many council staff are working long hours day and night, and in roles they are not familiar with.

    Ms Kennally gave details of how one of her employees - referred to only as Tim - has switched his role to take on the important task of securing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers.

    He had been working in the council’s commercial services department before he was given the important role.

    Woman wearing facemask and goggles

    She said: “These are very much extraordinary times, all of us have seen our lives change beyond recognition”.

    Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for adults, said the problems with PPE are still his “single biggest concern” in the coronavirus crisis.

    He said the care sector currently has around seven to 10 days worth of stock in the system and another 150,000 face masks are set to arrive in Cornwall next week. Despite this he said demand continues to outstrip supply.

    “I call on the Government to provide concrete assurances that supplies will be available when we need them,” said Cllr Rotchell.

  10. Fire service reports a 40% rise in open fire call outs

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    There has been a 43% rise in the number of call outs to bonfires and fires in the open in Cornwall during lockdown.

    Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has received many calls from people complaining about fires in their neighbours' gardens.

    This is despite repeated requests from the fire service not to light fires in the open.

    The figures are up by 43% compared to this time last year.

    Scott Brown from the fire service said there is no law against a bonfire, but they are not necessary.

    "We really are appealing to the public to refrain from burns of this type."

  11. Royal Navy submarine crew had lockdown party

    BBC News

    Devonport

    A submarine crew were filmed having a party during the coronavirus lockdown, prompting a Royal Navy investigation.

    The captain of HMS Trenchant, a nuclear-powered attack submarine based at Devonport in Plymouth, has been sent home on leave.

    Video of the crew enjoying a party and barbecue while the submarine was tied up have been shared on social media.

  12. Too many people in Plymouth city centre say police

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    Police in Plymouth said they were concerned too many people were in the city centre on Thursday, not observing social distancing rules.

    The Charles Cross police team tweeted officers saw "too many people ... out eating eating ice cream, sat in the sun".

    They appealed for people to say at home.

    The city has seen maximum tempreaures of 68F (20C) during the day, according to the Met Office.

    View more on twitter
  13. South West MPs working virtually...and in slippers!

    Martyn Oates

    BBC South West Political Editor

    The South West’s longest-standing MP was among the first parliamentarians to ask a virtual question in the House of Commons from his home this week.

    Sir Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon, asked the Health Secretary to set out a plan for elective surgery to resume in hospitals with the capacity to do so.

    Meanwhile, neighbouring MP and Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard chaired a meeting of his Shadow ministerial team from his Plymouth home.

    South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray took part in the Commons Environment Committee, Prime Minister’s Questions and the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs – all virtually and all wearing her slippers.

    South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray
    Image caption: South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray has been taking part in government meetings in her slippers
  14. Law student turns to healthcare in coronavirus call

    BBC Radio Devon

    Nineteen-year old student Millie Doodson is one of more than 1,300 people who have answered the call to help support Devon’s most vulnerable.

    View more on youtube

    People of all ages and backgrounds including lawyers, students, hairdressers, engineers and retired soldiers have registered to become healthcare assistants, said Devon County Council.

    Cardiff University law student Millie, from Blackborough, near Cullompton saw her academic year cut short as a result of the lockdown and she returned to Devon.

    Last week she completed the first stage of her training - a three-day fast-track training course.

    Over the coming weeks, Millie and other healthcare assistants in the scheme will be placed in a variety of care settings in hospitals, care homes or visiting people in their homes.

    "It was a real challenge leaving the university environment and my studies so abruptly and not knowing when I will be able to go back," she said.

    “When I returned to Devon and I wanted to use this time usefully and do something to help other people during a time of crisis."

    There's more information about how you can get involved here on the Proud to Care website.

  15. Children dress up as keyworkers for Superhero Day

    Chris Quevatre

    BBC News Online

    When you let kids dress up as superheroes for school, you might expect a few supermen, a batman, and lots of spidermen.

    However this year, nurses and firemen are the superheroes.

    Children at the five Connect Academy Trust primary schools in Plymouth have been dressing up for the BBC's Big Night In.

    Children dressed as superheroes

    The five schools - Manadon Vale, Widey Court, Eggbuckland Vale, Leigham and Thornbury - all remain open for the children of keyworkers, but the number of students in attendance has dropped from 2,500 to about 100 on most days.

    Children dressed as superheroes
  16. Sea Change Festival about to come alive online

    BBC Radio Devon

    A music and arts festival touted as an "antidote" to "grey rolling news" about coronavirus is kicking off online this weekend.

    Sea Change

    Sea Change Festival had to ditch its plans for a traditional event at Dartington near Totnes in Devon and has swung everything into an internet version.

    Organisers have just added performers The Orielles, Ana da Silva from The Raincoats and writers like Sean O'Hagan to the likes of Billy Bragg, Tim Burgess, The Breeders, Gwenno, Midlake and Torquay's own Metronomy to the mix.

    The festival on Saturday and Sunday, will be back next year on its site at Dartington said curator Rupert Morrison of Drift record shop in Totnes.

    "It's fun to think about how many people will tune in across the weekend," he said.

    "I hope that everyone that does finds something new and exciting at Sea Change 2020.

    "Just make sure you are following us online, click on the socials and bookmark the website as there is going to be so much going on."

  17. Volunteer medics get training in coronavirus protection

    Charity BASICS Devon, which provides volunteer doctors across Devon for South Western Ambulance Service, has been putting the medics through their paces.

    View more on twitter
  18. Coronavirus: Nine further deaths in the South West

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    There have been a further nine deaths reported in the South West of people infected with coronavirus.

    NHS England said the latest figures included:

    • Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust - two
    • Plymouth's Derriford Hospital - five
    • Royal Cornwall Hospital - one
    • Somerset Partnership NHS Trust - one

    In total, 258 have died in the region including 121 in Devon and 66 in Cornwall.