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Live Reporting

By James McCarthy and Richard Porter

All times stated are UK

  1. A round up of Thursday's main developments

    That's it for now for our coverage of the coronavirus crisis in Wales on Thursday.

    Here are the main points from today:

    • The UK's death toll rose by more than 100 to 578
    • In Wales it rose by six to 28
    • Aneurin Bevan health board called for more staff
    • Fines of up to £120 came into force for breaking stay-home rules
    • Nurses' waits for safety equipment was branded "intolerable" by their union

    There'll be more live updates from us on Friday morning.

  2. Talking drones tell rule breakers: 'Stay home'

    Talking drones have taken to the skies in the fight against coronavirus to tell people: "Please follow the government rules."

    The devices are being used across Neath Port Talbot during the coronavirus outbreak.

    "You must stay home," they say.

    "Only be outside for food, for health reasons, for exercise."

    The council has teamed up with South Wales Police to survey hotspots where people are not following social distancing measures.

    View more on twitter
  3. Changes for pregnant women

    Here are some more details about what changes mothers-to-be can expect during the coronavirus crisis.

    All seven health boards in Wales have asked pregnant women to attend future scans alone and have said expectant mothers will now only be allowed one birth partner with them when it comes to having their baby.

    Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Swansea Bay Health Board have also had to reduce the amount of face-to-face appointments carried out, meaning some consultations may now be done over the phone or online.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus and pregnancy: 'Outbreak has added more anxiety'
  4. Senedd lit up in blue in honour of NHS staff

    As people around Wales gave NHS staff a round of applause this evening, the Senedd in Cardiff Bay was cast in blue light to thank those at the front line of the coronavirus outbreak.

    View more on twitter
  5. Council converting three sites into hospitals

    "Rapid progress" is being made converting three sites in Carmarthenshire into temporary hospitals.

    The council hopes three sites - Carmarthen Leisure Centre, Selwyn Samuel Centre and Parc y Scarlets barn in Llanelli - will be ready within weeks, in time for an anticipated peak demand for beds in May.

    “It is impressive to see both the scale of work and the pace at which staff are working to get these facilities ready,” said Carmarthenshire council leader Emlyn Dole.

    View more on twitter
  6. 'Leave DIY for another day'

    A man who has injured himself doing DIY

    A doctor has called on people to "leave the DIY project for another day" after a spike in the number of home improvement-related eye injuries.

    Opthalmologist James Morgan of Cardiff University said: "While it’s tempting to undertake much needed DIY there is a risk and what we don’t want is people coming in with injuries because they could displace other patients with a greater clinical need.

    "Please take care. The services are really under stress and if there’s one thing you can do to help the NHS, leave that DIY project for another day.”

  7. Welsh Government welcomes Sunak announcement

    Ken Skates

    Welsh Government has welcomed the UK government's plans to help the self-employed.

    UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said self-employed people facing financial difficulties will be able to have 80% of their monthly wages covered by the UK government.

    Welsh Economy Minister Ken Skates said Mr Sunak's announcement was "warmly welcomed" in Cardiff.

    "It will provide huge relief for hundreds of thousands of people in Wales who are self-employed," he said.

    "Of course, details are emerging about how the scheme will operate and we will be looking very closely at what gaps there are that individuals may fall through".

    There are around 211,000 self-employed people in Wales.

    FSB Wales had earlier welcomed the commitment but said it would be calling on the Welsh Government to create a hardship fund to "plug the gap" until money was available in June.

    Mr Skates added the Welsh Government would be announcing news of a "cross-sector, cross-government fund" which "matches seamlessly" with UK government support already announced.

  8. Council receive 'aggressive' and 'abusive' calls

    A council says its call centre staff have received a number of "aggressive" and "abusive" calls.

    A "large majority" of the calls were from "patient and co-operative", Flintshire council said in a statement.

    "Sadly, a small minority of callers into our contact centres have been aggressive and at times abusive," the council said.

    "Examples include council tax payers expecting a council tax ‘holiday’ because a local service such as a library has been temporarily closed. Behaviour of this type is unacceptable."

    The council asked for "good and caring" conduct from residents calling in.

  9. MPs call for more clarity on England-only measures

    Boris Johnson

    Fifteen Welsh Labour MPs are urging UK ministers to state clearly when measures to deal with the coronavirus crisis apply to England only.

    They warn "mixed messages" could mean people lose confidence in their actions and refuse to comply with their advice.

    In a letter, the MPs highlight "confusion" over a business rates plan that did not specify Welsh ministers would have their own programme.

    They describe similar problems with an England-only NHS volunteering scheme.

  10. NHS staff given round of applause

    BBC Wales' parliamentary correspondent Mark Hutchings has posted a video on social media showing people in Pontcanna, Cardiff, giving NHS staff a round of applause.

    View more on twitter
  11. 'Just wondering how we are going to cope'

    A driving instructor does not know how she will get by while she waits to receive money from the government's fund for the self-employed.

    Lauren Cook said the payment was good "in terms of the amount."

    The 29-year-old, from Raglan, Monmouthshire, said: “Having to wait for over two months for it is the problem, because of the bills - household bills but also with the business, paying the car and the insurance, things like that.

    “There are a few clauses in it. How long you have got to wait. You have got to wait 10 weeks, over two months.

    "Just wondering how we are going to cope until I can get the money.”

    Learner plate
  12. Fines of up to £120 for breaking stay-home rules

    A police officer in uniform

    People who breach stringent new rules brought in to tackle the coronavirus outbreak risk a fine of up to £120.

    First Minister Mark Drakeford has signed into law new regulations setting out how the measures will be enforced.

    People found in breach of the rules will be fined £60 for a first offence, which rises to £120 for second and subsequent offences - although people ignoring the new law could risk arrest if they do not comply.

    But while fines in England could reach as high as £960, that will not happen in Wales.

    A fixed penalty notice for a first offence falls to £30 if paid within 14 days.

  13. Family trapped in South America speak of ordeal

    Ceri Welchman and her family
    Image caption: Ceri Welchman and her family

    A family trapped in South America by coronavius have spoken about their ordeal.

    As the pandemic rapidly spreads globally, many countries have introduced strict controls on domestic and foreign travel.

    Cardiff NHS occupational therapist, Ceri Welchman, her partner Salvatore Ledda and their four-year-old daughter Nicole had been touring South America since 4 January.

    When countries began closing borders, the family fled La Paz, Bolivia, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to get a flight home.

    Two hours from the border, the Brazilian government closed its doors.

    "There wasn't much thought given for tourists who were trying to get out," Ms Welchman said.

    "My biggest worry is if anything happens to Nicole while we are here and couldn't leave."

  14. Royal Gwent Hospital staff 'very nervous'

    Gethin Williams

    A doctor at a hospital in one of the worst hit areas of the UK has told BBC Wales that colleagues were "very, very nervous".

    Gethin Williams, a consultant surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital, said comparisons with Italy had made staff anxious at their level of exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

    On Wednesday, Sarah Aitken, director of public health at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which operates the Royal Gwent, said the area could be "following Italy" as it is overwhelmed by a rapid rise in cases.

    Dr Williams said: "We've read reports from Italy and heard from colleagues in London that young, healthy doctors - presumably exposed to a lot of viral load - are getting severe Covid infection and being placed themselves on ventilators."

  15. Government plan for self-employed criticised

    Labour MP Stephen Doughty has criticised the UK Government's proposed aid for the self-employed as having a "huge sting in the tail."

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday up to £2,500 a month will be paid, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June.

    Mr Doughty said: "What are millions of people supposed to do until June, not least when there's a five-week wait for universal credit?

    "How do they put food on table and pay their bills?

    "This is a big announcement but with a huge sting in the tail for millions of self-employed and freelancers."

    The scheme must be brought forward, he said.

    "Most people simply don't have the cash reserves in their bank accounts to get through one month, let alone three," he said.

    Stephen Doughty
  16. Calls for hardship fund for self-employed

    Rishi Sunak

    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Wales has welcomed chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement of support for self-employed people.

    Mr Sunak said self-employed people facing financial difficulties will be able to have 80% of their monthly wages covered by the government.

    It will be capped at £2,500 per month and will initially last three months.

    Speaking to Gareth Lewis on BBC Radio Wales, FSB Wales' Ben Cottam said Mr Sunak's announcement went "further than many people were expecting so is very much welcome".

    But Mr Sunak also revealed people would have to wait until June to receive the money.

    There are nearly 211,000 self-employed people in Wales - that's 17% of the workforce.

    Mr Cottam said FSB Wales "would want to sit down" with the Welsh Government "in very quick order" to discuss the possibility of setting up a hardship fund for the self-employed to help "plug the gap" before June.

  17. Coronavirus safety equipment wait 'intolerable'

    The Royal College of Nursing in Wales has branded the wait for equipment to keep staff safe from Covid-19 "intolerable".

    Its director Helen Whyley said personal protection equipment, or PPE, was “essential" for keeping staff safe.

    "Let’s be clear: nurses have been committed, dedicated and patient while awaiting PPE but their altruism is drying up," she said.

    "The added stress and anxiety of not knowing if they will receive PPE is intolerable.

    "We would never ask any member to work in an environment that would leave them vulnerable.

  18. BreakingUK death toll rises to 578

    The number of people to have died with coronavirus in the UK has risen to 578, the Department of Health said.

    It said that, as of 09:00 GMT, a total of 11,658 people had tested positive for the virus.

    View more on twitter
  19. Tour de France could go ahead without spectators

    Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal

    The Tour de France is considering the option of going ahead without fans, says France’s sports minister.

    The race is due to run from 27 June to 19 July but is in doubt, with most major sports events off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "We have [imposed spectator bans] for other competitions before," said Roxana Maracineanu.

    "But there's a time for everything. We have a more urgent fight, it's still too early to decide [to go ahead]."

    Welshman Geraint Thomas said in February that he was targeting a second Tour victory and Olympic Gold.