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Live Reporting

Patrick Jackson

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for following our live coverage

    We’re pausing our live page coverage for the time being.

    If you’ve been following our updates, thanks for joining us on what has been an unusual Easter weekend for many so far.

    We’ll be back on Sunday, so please do join us again. We’ll be bringing you all the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from the UK and across the world.

    We leave you with this picture from London, showing a chalk drawing of a rainbow – a symbol that has fostered hope worldwide.

    A chalk drawing of a rainbow in London
    Image caption: Rainbows have been used to keep spirits up during the pandemic
  2. UK government 'must scale up national food response'

    A food package

    The government is being urged to "scale up the national food response" after a survey suggested more than 3 million people in Great Britain may have gone hungry during the coronavirus lockdown.

    About 6% of 4,343 adults polled by YouGov said someone in their household had gone hungry during the first three weeks of the social distancing measures.

    The Food Foundation, which commissioned the survey with the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, said this represented more than three million people.

    The charity is calling for the creation of a national food aid task force to help local authorities scale up welfare assistance schemes and provide food parcels, and to improve home delivery options.

    It also wants the Department for Work and Pensions to abolish the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments.

  3. Today's live updates team

    We've been bringing you updates all day from Broadcasting House in London or, because of social distancing measures, from our laptops at home.

    This is the team behind Saturday's live coverage: Emlyn Begley, Joshua Nevett, Georgina Rannard, Adrian Dalingwater, Dulcie Lee, Jonathan Jurejko, Tom Gerken, Hazel Shearing, Lucy Webster, Alex Bysouth, Kevin Ponniah, Vanessa Barford, Jasmine Taylor-Coleman and Patrick Jackson.

  4. Labour politician's children crash BBC interview

    As families across the world spend more time at home, working while there are children around can be challenging for parents.

    So it proved for Labour's shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, whose children made an unexpected appearance live on BBC News on Saturday.

    The British MP chuckled as he repeatedly told his girls "I'm on the TV"!

    Ashworth compared himself to Professor Robert Kelly, an academic who went viral in 2017 when his children crashed his live TV interview with the BBC.

    You can watch the amusing moment below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Labour's Jonathan Ashworth experiences BBC Dad moment
  5. Violent crime rates falling globally - report

    Police in South Africa are operating road blocks in Cape Town as part of the country's lockdown
    Image caption: Police in South Africa are operating road blocks in Cape Town as part of the country's lockdown

    The pandemic seems to be leaving no corner of life untouched - including violent crime.

    The Associated Press news agency has looked at crime rates globally in an interesting report - it explains that they've dropped and by spectacular levels in some countries. It says:

    • In South Africa, homicides fell from 326 to 94 in the first week of lockdown compared to the same period last year
    • In El Salvador, one of the world's most violent countries, there were 65 homicides in March, down from 114 in February
    • Crime levels in Peru fell 84% last month
    • And in the epicentre of the US outbreak, New York City, murder, rape, robbery, burglary, assault, and car theft decreased by 12% from February to March

    The drop in crime is being put down to increased policing on the streets, as well as more people staying at home.

    “There’s a lot fewer opportunities for criminals to take advantage of,” Joe Giacalone, a former New York Police Department sergeant, told AP.

    Sadly one area of crime that has soared is domestic violence. So much so that the World Health Organization has called for abuse charities to be designated essential services in order to deal with the volume of cases.

  6. Pope urges people not to 'yield to fear'

    The Pope

    Pope Francis urged people not to "yield to fear" and focused on a "message of hope" as he held an Easter eve Mass from an almost empty St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

    He encouraged people to be "the messengers of life in a time of death", and urged those better off to help the poor.

  7. Peru revokes gender-based restrictions

    Women shop at a market in Lima after the Peruvian government limited men and women to alternate days for leaving their homes
    Image caption: Women gathered in large numbers in shops and markets on the days when they were allowed to go out

    Peru's government has revoked a decision to restrict the movement of people in the streets on certain days of the week according to their gender. The ruling was issued on 2 April as part of measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

    Farid Matuk, a member of the government's Covid-19 task force, said the move did not work because Peru was still a patriarchal society where women did most of the domestic work. He said women had gathered in large numbers in shops and markets on the three days of the week when they were allowed to go out.

    Now only one person per family unit can go out from Monday to Saturday to buy food or medicine, or go to the bank. As with the previous measure, no-one is allowed out on Sundays.

    On Friday, President Martín Vizcarra extended the state of emergency and lockdown measures until 26 April. The country has reported 5,897 confirmed coronavirus cases and 169 deaths.

  8. Wuhan health official fears second wave risk

    People wearing face masks line up to undergo nucleic acid tests for the novel coronavirus at Hubei Provincial Hospital
    Image caption: Life in Wuhan is slowly returning back to normality, but there's a long way to go yet

    It’s been three days since Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million where the pandemic began, emerged from its more than two months in lockdown.

    But as Wuhan and other parts of the country re-open, Chinese health officials are worried about a possible second wave of coronavirus cases.

    “We can’t say that there is no such potential risk,” Wang Xinghuan, the president of a hospital built for coronavirus patients in Wuhan, told Reuters news agency.

    In recent days, China has seen a rise in new coronavirus cases, most of which have been imported from abroad.

    On Friday, 46 new cases of the virus were reported, up from 42 new cases a day earlier, Chinese health authorities said.

    Of those new cases reported on Friday, 42 were from abroad.

    Another 34 asymptomatic cases were reported on Friday too, heightening concern that cases from abroad may be going undetected.

    You might be wondering if China's coronavirus figures can trusted. Read our analysis on that here.

  9. What are the latest developments?

    Health workers carry a patient to an ambulance in the Brooklyn borough of New York City
    Image caption: New York has been one of the hardest-hit cities in the world, recording hundreds of deaths a day this week

    Here’s a overview of some key updates from around the world on Saturday:

  10. US trial of coronavirus drug 'shows promising signs'

    Remdesivir is being used to treat severely ill patients in international clinical trials, including at University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Germany
    Image caption: Remdesivir is being used to treat severely ill patients in international clinical trials

    The billion-dollar question right now is how soon will we have a coronavirus vaccine.

    But scientists are also working on treatments for patients who already have the infection. These could save lives and alleviate suffering in the meantime.

    One of four drugs being tested in experiments overseen by the World Health Organization is remdesivir. Two-thirds of 53 patients given the drug in a US clinical trial showed signs of improvement.

    The trial began when scientists looked at drugs that had shown promise against the Sars or Mers coronaviruses, which killed hundreds of people in 2003 and 2012, the WHO’s chief scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan told the BBC.

    But she warned that the remdesivir trial had no control group, meaning there were no patients in the experiment who did not take the drug, and therefore no way of comparing the results.

    Although scientists hope the initial signs will prove to be correct, Dr Swaminathan explained, there was no way of knowing currently if and by how much the drug benefited patients.

    “We're doing everything we can to speed up enrolment [in the trial] but I think this epidemic is going to be with us some time,” she warned.

  11. A 12th birthday to remember

    When Jody Smith asked people on Twitter to help his 12-year-old son celebrate his birthday, he could not have expected the response he would get.

    Birthday boy Brandon wanted to mark on a map where everybody who had retweeted or replied to the tweet was from.

    But that's difficult when about 100,000 replies or retweets have come in...

    View more on twitter

    He was making a good go of it a few hours ago, but with the tweet being made a 'Twitter event' it's going to take a while...

    Jody Smith on Twitter
  12. Watch: Priti Patel responds to PPE complaints

    Earlier on Saturday, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was grilled over the UK government's provision of protective equipment to NHS staff treating coronavirus patients.

    Patel was asked at a Downing Street press briefing if she would apologise to NHS workers after medics said the lack of PPE was putting lives at risk.

    Here is what she said.

    Video content

    Video caption: Patel: 'Sorry if people feel there have been failings'
  13. 'Much-loved' nurse, 52, dies with virus

    A 52-year-old nurse has become the latest NHS worker to die with Covid-19, a hospital trust has confirmed.

    Julie Omar died on Friday morning at home, where she had been self-isolating after developing coronavirus symptoms.

    She was a highly experienced trauma and orthopaedics nurse who had most recently been working as a sister on Ward 14 at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said.

    Read the full story: Redditch nurse dies after developing Covid-19 symptoms

    Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the trust, announced Omar’s death in a message to his colleagues, describing her as a "much-loved member of our nursing team".

    Addressing NHS staff, he wrote: "I know that this news will have a profound impact on many of you, not least because it brings the tragic consequences of this outbreak even closer to home than it already was."

    About 20 NHS workers have now lost their lives. You can read their stories here.

    A sign outside Alexandra Hospital
    Image caption: Julie Omar had been working as a sister on Ward 14 at the Alexandra Hospital
  14. Every US state now under 'historic' disaster declaration

    Wyoming has become the final state to have a disaster declaration approved by President Donald Trump. Federal funds will now be available to the state as it deals with the country's growing coronavirus epidemic.

    According to CNN, this is the first time in history that every US state is under a federal disaster declaration at the same time.

    Wasington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands also have disaster declarations in place.

  15. Breakdown of UK patients in critical care

    Richard Warry

    BBC News

    An analysis of 3,883 Covid-19 patients admitted to 229 critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland up to Thursday has been published by the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre.

    Of these patients, 871 have died, 818 have been discharged, and 2,194 were last reported as still receiving critical care.

    The average age of the patients was 59.8 years. Some 72.5% were male, and 27.5% female. Some 66.4% were white, 14.4% Asian, 11.9% black, and 1.3% of mixed race.

    • Nearly three-quarters of the patients had a body mass index higher than the recommended healthy level of 18.5 to 25. Some 35% had a BMI of 25 to 30 - the overweight range. And 38.5% had a BMI over more than 30 - putting them in the obese range.
    • 93.2% had previously been able to live without assistance in daily activities. Only 6.7% previously needed some assistance, and just three needed total assistance.
    • Focusing on the 1,053 patients who needed advanced respiratory support, the average age on admission was 61.9 years. 73% were male, 27% female. Out of this group, 66.3% died, and 33.7% are alive.
    • Examining the final outcome for patients admitted to critical care, for the 133 aged 16-39, 76.7% were discharged alive, and 23.3% died. For the 484 aged 60-69, 43.6% were discharged alive, and 56.4% died. For the 434 aged 70-79, 31.3% were discharged alive, and 68.7% died. And for the 107 aged over 80, 27.1% were discharged alive, and 72.9% died.
  16. Who has the authority to close New York City schools?

    Earlier today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools would remain closed until September and the move "clearly will help us save lives".

    But later, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed his claims and said "that's his opinion, but he didn't close them and he can't open them... there has been no decision on schools".

    A state governor can overrule a decision of an individual city's mayor.

    Cuomo said it "made no sense" for New York City to keep its schools closed if they were allowed to open in other nearby cities. He even went a step further to suggest the decision should be coordinated with other states.

    "Legally, I want the metropolitan area coordinated," he said. "I'd like to ideally coordinate that with Connecticut and New Jersey."

  17. More on those Holby City ventilators

    We have previously reported that BBC medical drama Holby City has donated working ventilators from its set at Elstree to be used in London's new NHS Nightingale Hospital.

    We can now tell you that the two machines were part of a donation made almost three weeks ago, which also included all the personal protective equipment (PPE) from the show.

    Some social media users questioned why a TV drama used real medical equipment.

    Most of Holby City's equipment is real but the majority - including some of their other ventilators - is old and non-operational.

    A BBC Studios spokesperson said: “Prior to the coronavirus crisis Holby City Production took delivery of two working anaesthetic machines with ventilators attached but immediately asked our supplier to offer them to the NHS when we became aware of the urgent demand several weeks ago."

    Holby City
  18. Italy and France see deaths rise but ICU patients drop

    Italy’s coronavirus-related deaths increased by 619 on Saturday, bringing the total toll to 19,468. That death toll is now second to that of the US, which, according to the respected John Hopkins University tally, is the highest in the world.

    The number of people who have tested positive has reached 152,271 in Italy, an increase of 4,694, or 3.1% day on day. On a positive note, there were 116 fewer people in intensive care with Covid-19 than the previous day.

    In France, meanwhile, the total death toll rose to 13,832, with 353 more deaths in hospitals and 290 in care homes.

    But for a third consecutive day, the number of patients in intensive care with Covid-19 dropped, with 121 fewer cases compared to Friday’s figures.

    France’s director of health, Jérôme Salomon, described the drop in intensive care numbers – the biggest yet – as a “ray of sunshine”.

    Medical officials see the number of intensive care patients as an indicator of the pressure on health systems.

  19. Day in the life of a New York paramedic

    Alice Cuddy

    BBC News

    Anthony Almojera, a senior paramedic in New York City, has written a diary for the BBC of one day in his working life. He says that day - last Sunday - was the worst in his 17-year career. Here are his words:

    "We arrive at a house and I put on my mask, gown and gloves.

    We find a man. His family says he has had a fever and cough for five days. We start CPR and I watch the medics pass a tube down his throat to breathe for him.

    We work on him for about 30 minutes before we pronounce him dead. I make sure the crews are OK and get back in my truck - decontaminating everything first. I hit the button to go available.

    Twenty minutes later, I get another cardiac arrest. Same symptoms, same procedures, same results.

    We hit the button, get another one.

    It is now around 11:00 and I've done about six cardiac arrests.

    In normal times, a medic gets two or three in a week, maybe. You can have a busy day sometimes, but never this. Never this."

    Read more of Anthony's account here

    Anthony Almojera
  20. BreakingUS death figures overtake Italy

    Earlier we reported that the US death toll was expected to soon overtake Italy as the highest in the world - and that has now happened.

    There have now been 19,701 deaths reported by the US, according to John Hopkins University. That compares to 19,468 reported by Italy's government.

    Regardless of which country has reported a greater number of deaths, it is a tragedy for both.