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Live Reporting

Edited by Paulin Kola

All times stated are UK

  1. What happened on Thursday?

    And here we come to the end of our live coverage for the day. Thank you for joining us.

    Here is a round-up of some of the day's developments.

    • In his first briefing since returning to work, Boris Johnson said the UK was "past the peak" of the coronavirus outbreak. He promised to set out a lockdown exit strategy next week as the UK death toll rose by 674 in a day to reach 26,771
    • In the US, the coronavirus outbreak has now led to 30 million Americans losing their jobs since mid-March.
    • President Donald Trump said he would not renew federal social distancing measures after they expire today
    • Top US disease researcher Dr Anthony Fauci predicted that hundreds of millions of vaccines could be ready by January
    • Here in the UK, Capt Tom Moore has managed to raise £32m ($40m) for the national health service by walking laps of his garden. The veteran who turned 100 on Thursday has been made an honorary colonel.
    • And finally, many of us here at the BBC have been working to bring you news as they happen through the day. The list is long, and includes my colleagues Owen Amos, Saira Asher, Krutika Pathi, Yvette Tan, Andreas Ilmer, Gareth Evans, Steven Sutcliffe, Matt Cannon, Patrick Jackson, Kevin Ponniah, Suzanne Leigh, Emlyn Begley, Adrian Dalingwater, George Wright, Francesca Gillet, Ritu Prassad, Max Matza, Jennifer Scott, Paul Seddon, Ben Collins, and Lucy Webster.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: UK's weekly clap for carers
  2. How easy is it to create a vaccine?

    Contact tracing and social distancing are put in place because there is currently no treatment.

    A vaccine would provide some protection by training people's immune systems to fight the virus. Many trials are under way - a top US official sounded optimistic on Thursday when he mentioned January next year as a possibility.

    But how easy is it to create a vaccine?

    BBC health correspondent Laura Foster takes a look.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How close are we to getting a vaccine?
  3. What is contract tracing?

    Governments around the world are proposing contact tracing as a way of limiting the spread of coronavirus after lockdown.

    Watch this video to see BBC Click's Chris Fox explaining what contact tracing is, and some of the methods that have been proposed.

    Video content

    Video caption: What is contact tracing and how does it work?
  4. The virus in the US - what is happening?

    The current number of infected in the US now stands at 1,056,402 people, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 61,867 have died.

    • President Trump says he will not renew federal social distancing measures after they expire today
    • Los Angeles has become the first US city to offer free tests to all residents, regardless of symptoms
    • Top US disease researcher Dr Anthony Fauci warned against states opening too early and predicted that hundreds of millions of vaccines could be ready by January
    • More than one out of six elderly care homes have confirmed infections, according to a Washington Post analysis
    • Vice-President Mike Pence has worn a face mask, days after being criticised for refusing to wear one at a hospital treating virus patients.
  5. How to wash your hands - in 20 seconds

    Although Boris Johnson said earlier that the UK was "past the peak" of the outbreak, he stressed the country must not "risk a second spike" by easing up on efforts to fight the spread of the disease.

    Here's a reminder from Dr Adele McCormick at the University of Westminster about how to wash your hands effectively.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to wash your hands - in 20 seconds
  6. Should the public wear face masks?

    Man wearing a face mask

    The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said face coverings worn by the general public "will be useful" when the UK comes out of its current lockdown.

    In Scotland, the devolved government already recommends people use face coverings - although not "medical-grade" masks - when in shops and on public transport.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) currently says only those with symptoms or caring for people suspected of having the virus should wear protective face masks.

    But the WHO says countries must weigh the risks and benefits of mask wearing when it comes to advising whole populations about wearing face coverings.

    Read more.

  7. What is the R?

    James Gallagher

    Health and science correspondent, BBC News

    A simple number – called the R number – is right at the heart of the government’s strategy.

    R is the number of cases each person passes the virus on to.

    Keep it below one and the outbreak is under control. If it goes above one then cases will snowball exponentially.

    The lockdown has brought the figure down from three to about 0.7. That does not give a lot of wiggle room.

    The clear danger is that if the wrong lockdown measures are lifted, then we could very quickly end up back in exponential growth and pressures on the NHS will increase.

    Ideally new ways of suppressing the R value will be introduced to replace the lockdown measures being used now.

    Better testing or an app that can spot people at risk of infection are two options, but vaccination is the obvious long-term solution.

    Read more here.

  8. 'Third of Covid-19 hospital patients die'

    At least a third of hospital patients with Covid-19 die, according to a large British study.

    Medical details on nearly 17,000 coronavirus patients in England, Wales and Scotland show 49% survived and were discharged, 33% died (which is a similar rate to Ebola patients) and 17% are still being treated.

    It is the largest such study in Europe.

    Overall the death rate from Covid-19 is thought to be less than 1%, as many people have a mild form of the disease.

  9. UK is 'past the peak'

    Mr Johnson was among those joining in the nationwide Clap for Carers on Thursday evening
    Image caption: Mr Johnson was among those joining in the nationwide Clap for Carers on Thursday evening

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that the UK was "past the peak" of the virus outbreak, but stressed the country must not "risk a second spike".

    He said a "comprehensive plan" would be set out next week on how to restart the economy, reopen schools and help people travel to work following the coronavirus lockdown.

    Some 26,771 people have now died with the virus in the UK, a rise of 674.

    Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries and more than 200,000 deaths.

    See here to see graphics tracking the global outbreak.

    Graphic
  10. Colombia foils jail break attempt amid contagion fears

    Colombia prison
    Image caption: Both guards and inmates as well as a prison cook have tested positive for coronavirus

    Guards have foiled an attempted jail break and riot at a prison in central Colombia which has hundreds of cases of coronavirus, officials say.

    Seven inmates tried to dig a tunnel out of one of the cells at a jail in Villavicencio. Home-made weapons that were going to be used in an uprising have been seized.

    The jail has 314 coronavirus cases, the highest number of any Colombian prison.

    Inmates have protested about the high risk they run of contracting the virus.

    Among the more than 300 people who tested positive at the jail are both guards and prisoners.

    Read more here.

  11. Fears in Russia as PM tests positive

    Sarah Rainsford

    BBC Moscow Correspondent

    Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is the first senior politician here to fall sick with coronavirus.

    He looked exhausted as he informed President Putin, via a video call, that he had tested positive and was handing over his responsibilities and heading into self-isolation.

    Mr Putin said it only showed how the virus did not discriminate. He told the prime minister to give him a call when he got to hospital.

    Mr Mishustin himself used the chance to urge all Russians to take coronavirus seriously, and to stay at home as an 11-day, extended May holiday begins.

    Officials fear warmer weather will send families rushing to the countryside as usual. So Moscow is increasing the number of police patrols in the coming days, to ensure people stick to the strict lockdown.

  12. Trying to make a living during a pandemic

    Barber shops, tattoo parlours, beaches and restaurants have reopened in the US state of Georgia as the governor eases coronavirus restrictions.

    BBC Newsnight's David Grossman travelled across the state to see what life looks like as the state emerges from economic hibernation.

    "We're here trying to make a living in the middle of a pandemic," one Georgia barber said. "Being safe is the only way to do it."

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: This is what reopening in US looks like
  13. Kenyans moved by widow cooking stones

    A Kenyan widow who was filmed cooking stones for her eight children says strangers sending her money "is a miracle".

    Peninah Bahati Kitsao, who lives in Mombasa, hoped her kids would fall asleep while they waited for their non-existent meal.

    They live in a two-bedroom house with no running water or electricity.

    Kitsao has received money through a bank account opened for her by a neighbour because she does not know how to read and write.

    "I didn't believe that Kenyans can be so loving after I received phone calls from all over the country asking how they might be of help," she told Tuko news website.

    Read more here.

    Peninah Bahati Kitsao
  14. California governor orders beaches closed

    California beaches
    Image caption: Around 80,000 Californians visited the beach last weekend

    The governor of California has ordered all beaches in sunny Orange County to close after photos of an estimated 80,000 beach-goers went viral online.

    The "images we saw on the beaches were disturbing," Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday as he ordered the “targeted” closure.

    A memo sent to police chiefs earlier this week had incorrectly said that Newsom planned to close all of California's beaches and state parks.

    California is nearing 50,000 coronavirus cases and has reported almost 2,000 deaths.

  15. EU denies report was edited because of China pressure

    Gavin Lee

    BBC Europe reporter

    The EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, has denied claims that a report alleging disinformation tactics by the Chinese government during the pandemic was edited because of pressure from the Chinese authorities.

    Mr Borrell faced over an hour of questions from MEPs in the European Parliament on the issue.

    It’s been reported that after a leaked version of the initial report was published by a newspaper, the final version was edited and softened to be less critical of China. The New York Times said EU officials had rewritten the document after bowing to pressure from Chinese diplomats.

    Mr Borrell said the original version had been changed because his staff wanted to “avoid inaccuracies in our terminology”.

    “It was decided by the staff without any interference or pressure from outside or inside. We do not shy away from calling out clear disinformation cases by China, which are in the report,” he added.

    One line said to have been changed reportedly stated that China “continued to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image”.

    Mr Borrell acknowledged that Chinese diplomats had tried to exert some pressure on the EU once the leaked document was released, but he said it had made no difference.

  16. Distraught doctors in London hospitals

    Follow a day in the life of Dr Harmandeep Singh, a consultant at Ealing Hospital.

    Singh - who has had coronavirus himself - says he sees colleagues in tears when their patients die.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus doctor: 'I see staff crying when their patient passes away'
  17. Fashion industry faces 'existential crisis'

    Steven McIntosh

    Entertainment reporter

    A closed clothes shop in London

    In a normal year, many of us would now be curating our perfect summer wardrobe as we prepare for sunny weather and foreign holidays.

    Instead, UK clothing sales plummeted by 34% in March as much of the world's population is currently unable to travel abroad or even socialise amid lockdown restrictions.

    "It has led to a real existential crisis for the fashion industry," says Imran Amed, the founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion, a leading industry website which has produced a report about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

    "More than 80% of transactions in the fashion industry still happen in physical stores. Added to that, many consumers simply aren't interested in buying clothes right now."

    Read more here.

  18. What medical trials are under way in Africa?

    Remdesivir
    Image caption: South Africa is looking at remdesivir

    The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined some of the trials for Covid-19 treatment and vaccination in Africa.

    Fifty-two countries have currently reported positive cases of the virus - with more than 37,000 patients being treated.

    The Africa CDC said that in comparison with the rest of the world, there was very little activity on the continent but:

    • In Egypt, there are an estimated 13 trials looking specifically at therapeutics. Scientists there are also testing vaccines
    • Zambia has one ongoing trial with hydroxychloroquine
    • South Africa is part of a World Health Organization solidarity trial and is looking at chloroquine, interferon and remdesivir as treatments
    • Nigeria has one trial of theraputical agents

    See here for more on when we might have a vaccine.

  19. Somalia woefully unprepared for surge in cases

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A group of volunteers distribute cleaning supplies at a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia
    Image caption: A group of volunteers distribute cleaning supplies at a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia

    The Red Cross in Somalia says it fears the true number of people with coronavirus is much higher than the official figure of 582. The country's International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) health co-ordinator said there would be a large number of new cases in the coming week.

    Somalia is woefully unprepared for a surge in cases. Its healthcare system has been shattered by three decades of conflict. Many hospitals lack regular electricity supplies, let alone equipment. Only about half the population of urban dwellers have access to medical care; the figure drops to 15% for rural areas.

    Doctors say people are dying across the country. Many Somalis will find it impossible to practice prevention measures as they live in overcrowded camps, with no access to clean water or soap. There are reports that, in some areas, gravediggers are unable to cope with the number of dead.

  20. LA mayor: 'You can't put a price on peace of mind'

    Sophie Long

    BBC News Los Angeles correspondent

    Health workers administer swab tests in California

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s announcement of free testing for all came hours after a grim milestone.

    LA County saw its largest increase in new coronavirus cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began, though the rate of hospitalisations and percentage of people testing positive have remained stable.

    Eric Garcetti urged all Angelenos to get swabbed.

    “You can’t put a price on the peace of mind of knowing you can’t infect someone around you,” he said.

    California’s leaders have long characterised expanding Covid-19 testing as one of a number of critical milestones that need to be met before stay at home orders can be modified.

    While Los Angeles County, which is home to nearly 10 million people, continues to be the coronavirus hotbed of California, accounting for nearly half of the state's nearly 50,000 confirmed cases, that milestone could now be in sight.