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Live Reporting

By Gareth Evans, Robin Levinson-King, Robert Greenall, Andreas Illmer, Saira Asher, Yvette Tan, Alexandra Fouché, Yaroslav Lukov, Katie Wright, Patrick Jackson, Thom Poole, Paulin Kola, Hugo Bachega, Kate Whannel and Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

  1. We are pausing our live coverage

    After a day in which governments around the world sought to slow the spread of the coronavirus, we are pausing our live coverage.

    But we'll continue to bring you updates across the BBC News website.

    So for now, here are the latest headlines:

    • But China, where the virus originated last year, reported no new domestic cases for the second consecutive day
    • The total death toll passed 10,000, while confirmed cases rose above 250,000
    • And the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning to young people. "You are not invincible," he said. "The choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else"

    As always, you can find our latest coronavirus stories here.

    But we leave you with this video diary from the world's greatest marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge, who is self-isolating:

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenyan athletics star Eliud Kipchoge explains how he's keeping fit while in quarantine.
  2. Christmas arrives early to lighten mood

    How to lift the mood during a period of anxiety? Some people in the UK have chosen to put up their Christmas lights.

    One of those was Emma Dickinson and her family, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

    Emma Dickinson and family

    Emma says: "We don't have much control about what is going on outside of the house but we can control what is going on inside our house, so why not have some fun?"

    Paul Burbidge-Grant, from Coventry, says he has received a great response to his Christmas lights display.

    Christmas lights

    The 38-year-old, who decorates the house each Christmas to raise money for charity, says: "We looked out of the window the other day and saw how dark and gloomy the world was, so we wanted to light it up."

    Christmas arrives early to lighten the mood

    Emma Dickinson and family

    How to lift the mood during a period of anxiety? These people chose to put up their Christmas lights.

    Read more
    next
  3. France clamps down on 'le week-end'

    Gare Saint Lazare, Paris

    As France spends its first Friday under a national lockdown, authorities have warned city dwellers to refrain from their traditional weekend escapes to the countryside.

    Such jaunts, national police head Jean-Paul Pecquet reminded citizens, were not among the exceptions to the travel restrictions. "I urge people to be public spirited and responsible," he said.

    Police patrols are being stepped up at all Parisian railway stations from Friday to Sunday. Those caught violating the lockdown will not be allowed to board trains and face fines of €135 (£122; $145).

  4. Canada's unlikely coronavirus fashion icon

    For the past week, all eyes have been on Alberta's top doctor, Dr Deena Hinshaw.

    The province's chief medical officer has been tasked with providing daily updates to the public on the spread of coronavirus, and the measures they should take to help flatten the curve.

    But people aren't just tuning in for her latest medical advice, they're also looking to her for her latest style.

    When she wore a dress decorated with the periodic table, the small boutique that made the frock was inundated with orders.

    Local media has praised her calm, but clear delivery of the grim statistics, and Albertans have taken to social media to praise her for providing a soothing scientific voice in the face of such uncertainty.

    She says this new-found status as fashion icon was never something she intended.

    “While I’ve never been known for my fashion sense – just ask my family – I believe anything that draws attention to COVID-19 is a positive,” Ms Hinshaw told the Globe and Mail in a statement.

    “I hope that everyone commenting on my clothing is also practising social distancing, regularly washing their hands and staying home if sick.”

    View more on twitter
  5. Stories of hope amid the chaos

    We appreciate that these are dark times for people around the world, as the coronavirus continues to spread.

    But amid all the worrying news, there have also been reasons to find hope. From environmental changes, to people helping each other, to creative responses to self-isolation like this in Italy:

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Italians sing from their windows to boost morale

    On Monday, we're going to have a dedicated live page (alongside our regular news one) looking at these stories of hope.

    Get a cup of tea ready, put your feet up and join us from 07:00 GMT on Monday.

  6. Illinois announces 'shelter-in-place' mandate

    The governor of Illinois has ordered the state's 13 million residents to "shelter-in-place" starting Saturday.

    This means they should stay at home unless they have an essential reason to go out.

    Non-essential businesses will be shut down, but people will still be allowed to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and to take walks outside. Roads will remain open.

    “We don’t know yet all the steps we’re going to have to take to get this virus under control," Governor J.B. Pritzker told media at a press conference.

    These orders encompass Chicago, the state's biggest city and the third-most populous city in the US.

    Chicago mayo Lori Lightfoot told residents they should "stay home".

    The directive will take effect on Saturday at 5pm local time (2100 GMT) and last until 7 April.

    On Thursday California issued sweeping stay-at-home orders that affected 40 million Americans.

    Chicago amid coronavirus crisis
  7. Tokyo 2020 date 'needs to be addressed'

    Tokyo 2020 is due to run in the Japanese capital from 24 July to 9 August
    Image caption: Tokyo 2020 is due to run in the Japanese capital from 24 July to 9 August

    Nic Coward, the chairman of UK Athletics, has suggested the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games should be postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

    Key qualifying events have been cancelled, while a number of athletes have criticised the organisers' stance to press ahead with plans to stage the Games.

    "To leave it where it is is creating so much pressure in the system. It now has to be addressed," Mr Coward tells BBC Sport.

    GB Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall, who is in Japan on a site visit, adds organisers are "nervous" and rates prospects of the Games beginning on 24 July, as currently scheduled, at "50-50".

    USA Swimming has also asked for a delay, as have several senior sporting figures.

    The IOC and Tokyo 2020 officials have previously indicated that they will make an announcement by May.

  8. Can happiness help fight coronavirus?

    Tom Bateman

    BBC News, Helsinki

    A girl with a Finnish flag. File photo

    The UN's World Happiness Report says Finland is the happiest country on Earth for the third time running, which it links to its strong welfare state and high levels of public trust in government.

    Co-author and economics Professor Jeffrey Sachs believes that happiness will benefit Finland and the other Nordic countries in reacting to the crisis in the long term.

    "As this crisis continues to unfold, we're going to need a lot of solidarity, a lot of redistribution of income, a lot of society pulling together, and places that can manage that are going to do better," he told the BBC.

    But there’s still a lot of debate in Finland over whether or not the government’s response has been the right one, after it ran out of capacity to test for the virus.

    Finland’s head of health security, Mika Salminen, responded by criticising the official WHO advice to governments, saying: "We don’t understand the WHO’s instructions for testing. We can't fully remove the disease from the world any more."

    There are currenly 450 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland, with no deaths recorded so far.

  9. 'America has been humbled'

    Katty Kay

    World News America presenter

    In one short week, the US has gone from being the world's superpower to asking nurses to sew their own protective gowns and masks.

    In the early phases of this war, the country has failed miserably. Miserably.

    Doctors are terrified. They know hospitals are about to be hit by a tsunami of infected patients and they don't have enough equipment to treat them. They don't even have basic protective gear to keep their staff healthy.

    I lived here during 9/11. That was a huge shock to America's sense of security but the response was different.

    It was confident. Misguided, quite possibly, but confident. The country could respond with massive military force.

    Here a critical weakness at the heart of the American system has been exposed.

    Yet even now, there are glimmers of hope.

    Read more from Katty.

  10. Dame Vera Lynn: Keep smiling and keep singing

    Dame Vera Lynn

    Singer Dame Vera Lynn helped rally British troops during World War Two and has used her 103rd birthday to urge people to "keep smiling and keep singing" during the coronavirus crisis.

    Dame Vera has released a new video for her wartime classic We'll Meet Again - which includes references to the coronavirus outbreak.

    The new video features archive footage of her performing the anthem alongside new visuals and words tackling current themes.

    Dame Vera says in a voiceover: “We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.

    “I’m greatly encouraged that despite these struggles, we have seen people joining together.

    View more on twitter
  11. Alternative Eurovision?

    Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands won last year's Eurovision
    Image caption: Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands won last year's Eurovision

    The Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled earlier this week because of the coronavirus outbreak - but organisers say an alternative event could be held.

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says it is “exploring alternative programming” to honour the songs and artists chosen to represent the 41 competing nations.

    While this event would not be classed as a competition, the EBU believes it would "help unite and entertain audiences around Europe during these challenging times".

    It means this year's entries will not be eligible for the 2021 competition.

  12. What's the latest in Africa?

    Cases are increasing in countries in Africa which are stepping up their restrictions to people's movements:

    • South Africa has announced that 205 people are now infected with coronavirus. It's a jump of 55 cases from Thursday
    • Three British nationals have been marooned for two days in a small aircraft at an airport in South Africa because of new travel restrictions that came in before they landed
    • In Kenya, the government has directed all bars and nightclubs to close by 19:30 from Monday
    • An unexpected knock-on effect is that private jet charter companies in Nigeria say they have experienced a spike in bookings in the last two weeks as people try to get back to their families
    • Judges in north-western Tanzania have been told to avoid issuing jail sentences "at all costs" in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  13. 'Fraudsters playing roulette with lives'

    UK councils are warning people to beware of scammers pretending to be health officials or offering to pick up food and medicines during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Fraudsters are also selling counterfeit face masks and hand sanitisers, says the Local Government Association, which speaks for councils in England and Wales.

    The LGA is advising people not to accept help from cold-callers.

    Councils in Rochdale and south London received reports of attempted scams.

    "By tricking elderly and vulnerable people in self-isolation to part with their cash, fraudsters are playing roulette with the lives of those most at risk," says Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA's communities board.

  14. What's the latest in Italy?

    The Palazzo Marino building is seen illuminated with the colours of the Italian flag

    It's been a day of unwelcome developments in Italy, which is already the worst affected country in terms of reported deaths.

    It earlier said deaths had risen sharply over the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 4,032.

    The increase of 627 in a single day is the largest since the outbreak began. The total number of confirmed cases is now 47,021.

    Also in Italy:

    • Police in the capital, Rome, say that from next weekend all cars will be checked and drivers asked why they are travelling
    • Restrictions have been extended and all parks have been closed. Nearly all Italians have been told to stay at home
    • Foreign help, such as a field hospital just set up in Cremona, near Milan, has been provided by a US charity. More than 100 soldiers are enforcing controls along with police
    • Data from the country indicates the death rate for men is double that for women, the US says
    • Infections rose on Friday by nearly 6,000, which is another international record
  15. 'Employers should stand by their staff'

    Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw says it welcomes the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cover 80% of the wages of those unable to work because of the pandemic.

    But the union warns many workers, particularly in the retail sector, will be put into "real hardship" because they work "many more" hours than they are contracted.

    It is calling for the calculation to be based on average income, rather than contractual pay, and wants employers to make up the 20% shortfall.

    "We also urge employers to stand by their staff, keep them employed and ensure that they and their families are not plunged into poverty," Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said.

    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says it is “critical” cash grants are given “swiftly”, adding it wants banks to immediately help small business owners who ask for a 12-month interest free loan.

  16. London's congestion charge suspended

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the congestion charge and other road charging schemes will be "temporarily suspended" from Monday "to support our critical workers".

    "I’m urging all Londoners - do not travel unless absolutely necessary, so that these heroes can do their jobs," he said.

    Forty Underground stations in the UK capital have been shut until further notice in efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

  17. How Premier League clubs are helping their communities

    Premier League clubs helping their communities during coronavirus crisis

    English football has been suspended until at least 30 April because of the continued spread of coronavirus.

    How have Premier League clubs been affected so far? And what work are they looking to carry out in the community?

    NHS staff being put up in a hotel owned by Chelsea, Brighton staff phoning elderly supporters for a catch-up chat and unused hospitality food given to homeless charities are among the gestures from the English top-flight clubs.

    Read more how the clubs are helping their communities.

  18. 'With a heavy heart' UK scales down VE commemorations

    The UK government has announced that it will be scaling back its VE Day commemorations including cancelling the veterans' procession down the Mall in central London.

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says he has taken the decision with "a heavy heart" but added that amid the coronavirus outbreak "our key priority now is to protect their [the veterans'] health and wellbeing."

    A parade and concert that had been due to take place in Edinburgh will be rescheduled, as will Cardiff's planned drumhead service and military parade.

  19. UK suspends driving tests

    The UK government is suspending driving tests for up to three months, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

    "Key workers will still be able to take their tests. Those who have tests cancelled will have priority on resumption," he said on Twitter.

    "We're having to take big decisions as we protect the public in our nation's fight against Covid-19."

  20. Young people are not invincible, warns WHO chief

    Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

    We've just heard from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), who issued a stark warning to young people about the virus.

    "One of the things we are learning is that although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

    "Data from many countries clearly shows that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation.

    "Today, I have a message for young people: you are not invincible. This virus could put you in hospital for weeks, or even kill you"

    He added: "Even if you don’t get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else."

    At the daily briefing, Dr Tedros also:

    • Expressed concern at the possibility of the virus "gaining a foothold in countries with weaker health systems"
    • Explained that "the collapse of the market for personal protective equipment [had] created extreme difficulties"
    • Thanked "the private sector for stepping up to lend its support to the global response"
    • Said the WHO was "working with companies to secure the supply and equitable distribution of... tests"