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Live Reporting

Edited by Patrick Jackson

All times stated are UK

  1. We’ll be back again soon

    Our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic is being paused for a few hours after a day which saw a worrying new rise in Covid-19 cases in India while Mexico’s death toll passed 10,000. The UN warned of a “race against time” to combat the virus in war-torn Yemen.

    In the UK, the vulnerability of ethnic minorities was stressed at the daily government briefing. Meanwhile, Parliament called time on voting from home.

    Our teams in Singapore and Australia will be back early on Wednesday to bring you the latest on the crisis which has now seen at least 377,000 deaths and 6.3 million confirmed infections.

    But we’d like to leave you with this picture from Paris, looking more like its old self after cafes and restaurants reopened after months of closure.

    Cafe in Paris
  2. Who we are

    You've been kept up to date today by our team of writers and editors across Asia, Australia, North America and the UK: Patrick Jackson, Vicky Baker, Emma Owens, Rebecca Seales, David Walker, Samanthi Dissanayake, Mary O’Connor, Jonathan Jurejko, Toby Luckhurst, Sophie Williams, Josh Cheetham, Lucy Webster, Brian Wheeler, Frances Mao, Vanessa Buschschluter, Ashitha Nagesh, David Gritten, Laurence Peter, Gavin Stamp, Kate Whannel, Michael Emons, Matthew Cannon, Ella Wills, Andreas Illmer, Krutika Pathi, Saira Asher, Robin Levinson King, Alex Bysouth, Owen Amos and Jay Savage.

  3. How Europe's art world is welcoming back visitors

    Louise Bourgeois's Maman sculpture on display outside Bilbao's Guggenheim

    Some of Europe's best-known art museums are reopening after closing in March for the Covid-19 pandemic - but it will be far from business as usual.

    Most of these museums and galleries will be limiting visitor numbers, intensifying cleaning procedures and insisting all tickets be bought online in advance.

    One example: normally at this time of year Amsterdam's huge and world-famous Rijksmuseum would have up to 12,000 visitors daily.

    From this week, that number will be strictly limited to 2,000 a day.

    Caravaggio's Narcissus painting
    Image caption: Caravaggio's Narcissus is back on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
  4. P&O Cruises suspend trips until mid-October

    Britannia, the flagship of the P&O Cruises fleet, arriving into Norwegian port Olden wharf in August 2019

    The UK's biggest cruise operator says it will not resume sailing until at least mid-October.

    P&O Cruises, which operates cruises all over the world from Southampton, had previously cancelled trips up to the end of July.

    The firm said it was working with "governments and industry bodies at the highest level" to ensure approval for enhanced safety and hygiene measures.

    P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said the company was focused on developing a way of keeping everyone on board "safe and well, and still give our guests an amazing holiday", rather than on what date it could resume sailing.

  5. The London hospital hit by a 'tidal wave' of patients

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    A patient and NHS staff in the Intensive Care Unit

    As the UK stared down the barrel of a coronavirus epidemic in early March, the biggest fear was that hospitals would be incapacitated by a tsunami of patients.

    The NHS largely pulled through, but there were still times when hospitals became overwhelmed.

    On 19 March, night-shift staff at Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London awoke to discover their workplace was so deluged with Covid patients that a critical incident had been declared.

  6. Beach crowds 'showed shocking disregard for coast'

    Litter on the beach near Durdle Door
    Image caption: Thousands of visitors flocked to Durdle Door at the weekend, leaving litter scattered on the beach

    England's Jurassic Coast has been treated with "shocking" disrespect by visitors since lockdown restrictions were eased, conservation groups have said.

    The Unesco World Heritage site has been deluged with crowds in recent days.

    The Jurassic Coast Trust said many were "determined to arrive at any cost" and volunteers described "horrendous" amounts of litter being abandoned.

    Current rules state that households can drive any distance in England to destinations such as parks and beaches.

  7. Canadian hospital fails to report hundreds of virus cases

    At least 500 coronavirus cases were missing from public health records because a Toronto area hospital failed to report them, officials have revealed.

    Most of the tests were done at a drive-through testing site operated by the William Osler Health System, but processed by a lab at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    There seems to have been some confusion about who was responsible for reporting the cases.

    A spokesperson for Ontario's health minister told CBC they were had just been made aware of the "reporting gap" and were working with William Osler to "correct the issue".

    The cases go back to April, so officials will focus their contact tracing on the ones that tested positive in the past 14 days.

    "Many of the cases from more than 14 days ago would now be considered resolved," a statement released by Ontario Health read.

  8. Ethnic minorities must 'stringently' social distance - Hancock

    Speaking at the briefing earlier, English Health Secretary Matt Hancock said people from ethnic minorities - and anyone in a higher risk group - should "stringently" follow social distancing guidelines to protect themselves from coronavirus.

    A Public Health England report has showed people from ethnic minorities are at a higher risk of dying.

    Watch what Hancock had to say in the video below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Minorities should 'stringently' follow coronavirus guidelines
  9. London key workers to star on cover of British Vogue

    Key workers featured on the front cover of British Vogue

    Regular readers of British Vogue might be used to seeing famous faces on its cover.

    But a different kind of star will grace the fashion bible's front page next month as the issue celebrates the key workers keeping London going through the coronavirus pandemic.

    A London Overground train driver, an east-London midwife and a King's Cross supermarket worker will all feature on July's front page.

    "They represent the millions of people in the UK who, at the height of the pandemic, put on their uniforms and went to help," said Vogue's editor in chief, Edward Enninful.

    "This moment in history required something extra special, a moment of thanks to the new front line," he added.

    Anisa Omar, who features on the front cover of British Vogue
    Image caption: Supermarket assistant Anisa Omar, 21, says the pandemic has given her a new sense of pride in her job

    Anisa Omar, 21, who works as a supermarket assistant at the London King's Cross branch of Waitrose, is featured on the cover.

    She said the pandemic had given her a new sense of pride in her work.

    "My job was not something that was that big of a deal before," she said.

    "But now it's like we're important. We have to be here, regardless of what's happening in the world. It's more than just a job now."

  10. What are the UK's new travel quarantine rules?

    Passengers at check in

    A two-week quarantine period for UK arrivals comes in to effect on 8 June, with the home secretary expected to lay out regulations and update parliament tomorrow.

    Most passengers will have to self-isolate for 14 days, and in England could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to do so.

    More than 200 travel companies have written to the government asking for the plan to be scrapped and replaced with ‘’airbridges’’, whereby countries with low coronavirus levels could agree to exempt one another's residents from quarantine.

    Some MPs have also voiced concerns about the measures, which the government says are being brought in to prevent a second wave of cases.

    Read more about the new rules here

  11. 'Air bridges can help flights resume'

    A passenger wearing a face mask waits for a flight at Bangkok airport

    Creating "air bridges" between countries as a way of allowing flights to restart has been backed by the head of the UN aviation agency.

    Air bridges would be an arrangement allowing visitors to travel between low-risk countries without having to go into periods of quarantine.

    "This concept can help our global sector to move as much as possible and, according to the medical advice, to carry the passenger in a safe and secure way," Dr Fang Liu, secretary-general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), told BBC World News.

    She said restarting aviation was extremely important for the global economy and for social stability.

    The ICAO recommends wide-ranging coronavirus safety measures, including restricted access to toilets on flights.

    The guidelines also include limiting or suspending food and drink services on short-haul flights.

  12. What's the latest in the sporting world?

    Liverpool players taking part in a training match at Anfield this week
    Image caption: Premier League leaders Liverpool held an 11v11 training match at their Anfield stadium this week

    English Premier League football clubs have been given permission to play friendly matches - under strict restrictions - before the planned restart on 17 June.

    Measures include teams not being allowed to travel more than 90 minutes and players having to drive themselves to games.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle United doctor Paul Catterson has warned that clubs are preparing for "a lot more injuries" as players prepare to return to action after the three-month break.

    In other sporting news:

  13. Mozambique sees growing stigma against those suspected of infection

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A market trader in Maputo wears a face mask

    Health officials in Mozambique say there is growing discrimination against people suspected of being infected with coronavirus.

    In some cases the stigma has become so extreme that people are being threatened with violence.

    In the central city of Beira, those infected with the virus have been threatened with lynching.

    Health officials say this has led to a fall in the number of people going to clinics to report flu-like symptoms and other illnesses.

    Health workers have been sent into communities to try to convince people to seek medical help when needed.

    The hostility towards those suspected of having the virus has led the health ministry to restrict the amount of information it releases about the disease, including not disclosing locations where cases have been confirmed.

    Mozambique has reported more than 250 infections.

  14. Rohingya refugees grapple with virus in Bangladesh

    Rajini Vaidyanathan

    BBC News

    For those living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, it was news they were expecting, but dreading: a 71-year-old man became the first Rohingya refugee to die of Covid-19. He was one of at least 29 in the camps who had tested positive for the virus.

    For months the settlements have been in lockdown, with all but essential aid workers allowed to visit to limit potential spread.

    But even with precautions, social distancing in the densely populated areas, home to nearly 1 million refugees who fled genocide in neighbouring Myanmar, has been tough.

    So too, the ability to share public health information about Coronavirus with a Bangladeshi government ban on internet in the camps still in place, despite calls from the UN for it to be lifted.

    And even the most basic of resources – like soap and water to wash hands regularly – are in short supply.

    To cope with the outbreak, hundreds of isolation beds have been set up but healthcare facilities are basic.

    There are no ventilators in the camps for the most serious of patients. They’d have to be taken to the nearby town of Cox’s Bazar but even there resources are limited.

  15. Britons urged to stop using paddling pools

    Roger Harrabin

    BBC environment analyst

    A paddling pool being filled with water

    Water companies are asking people in the UK to avoid using hosepipes and not to fill paddling pools during lockdown.

    The country has been basking in record-breaking dry weather in recent weeks - and suppliers are urging people to use water carefully to help prevent a shortage.

    Water UK, which represents water companies, said it had noticed "truly incredible surges of demand" - up 25% in some areas - as people spend more time at home.

    Reservoirs are still in a healthy state, they said, but some firms can’t get enough water to the taps and pressure is dropping.

    “It's things like paddling pools and sprinklers that are the biggest challenge," Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty told BBC News.

    "So we’re just asking people to save a little bit of water and that’ll make a huge difference.”

    Long-term weather forecasts suggest more dry summer months to come. But no hosepipe bans are currently in place.

  16. 1m or 2m? How far should we stay apart?

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus social distancing advice: What two metres looks like

    Scientists agree that the closer you are to someone who is infected with coronavirus, the greater the risk of catching it.

    But how close is too close?

    In the UK, some have called for the current 2m distance to be reduced in an effort to allow more people into restaurants and shops when they reopen.

    The World Health Organization's guidance - which is often cited by critics of the 2m rule - suggests people should stay only 1m apart.

    The rules vary by country:

    • 1m distancing rule - China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Singapore
    • 1.4m - South Korea
    • 1.5m - Australia, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal
    • 1.8m - US
    • 2m - Canada, Spain, UK

    Which is the right distance? Our science editor David Shukman has been following the latest on the debate.

  17. Are foreign holidays getting more likely?

    Reality Check

    UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked whether he still thought - as he did in mid-May - that Britons would not be taking overseas holidays this year.

    He said that he was “more optimistic than previously”.

    As it stands, the UK government is still advising against non-essential international travel and from 8 June anybody arriving in the UK will have to isolate themselves for 14 days, including UK nationals.

    So it may well be that Britons will be holidaying in Britain this summer. If so, here are a few figures to bear in mind.

    Last August, according to the Office for National Statistics, UK residents made about 9.4 million visits overseas. In the same month, overseas residents made about 4.1 million visits to the UK.

    So popular UK destinations may get a bit crowded, even if foreign holidaymakers are not allowed in.

  18. Analysis: Questions will remain until testing data published

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    In response to criticism from the UK Statistics Authority, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said improvement to the reporting of testing data is “constantly” being looked at.

    The government is no longer reporting the number of people tested – there were problems with some apparent double-counting and the fact that the figures never included the tests returned from kits sent out by post.

    Mr Hancock said because the testing system was expanded rapidly the counting of tests struggled to keep pace.

    There is some truth to this. In the early days of the testing regime, postal testing was not being used.

    But these questions will not go away until the data is published and it is clear just how many people are being tested rather than simply tests being provided.

  19. Kenyan boy scoops award for hand-washing machine

    Stephen Wamukota

    A nine-year-old Kenyan boy who designed a wooden hand-washing machine to help tackle the spread of coronavirus has told the BBC he is "very happy" after receiving a presidential award.

    "I now have two machines and I want to make more," Stephen Wamukota said.

    They allow users to tip a bucket of water using a foot pedal to avoid touching surfaces and reduce infections.

    Stephen came up with the idea after learning on TV about ways to prevent catching the virus.

    Read more here.

  20. Yemen faces 'race against time', UN chief warns

    A Yemeni youth wears a protective mask at a street market in Taiz, Yemen (1 June 2020)
    Image caption: War-torn Yemen was already experiencing an acute humanitarian crisis

    The UN’s secretary-general has warned that there is a “race against time” to combat the coronavirus in Yemen, where a civil war has already caused the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

    Reports indicated that mortality rates from Covid-19 in the second city of Aden were among the highest in the world, António Guterres told a virtual pledging conference.

    “That is just one sign of what lies ahead, if we do not act now,” he added.

    Just half of Yemen’s health facilities are operational. There are shortages of testing devices, oxygen, ambulances and protective equipment. Many healthcare workers are among those who have been infected. And 50% of the population do not have access to clean water to wash their hands.

    People fill water bottles at a communal tap in Sanaa, Yemen (1 June 2020)
    Image caption: Half of Yemenis do not have access to clean water

    Guterres said the UN and its partners urgently need $2.4bn (£1.9bn) in funding to cover their operations for the rest of the year. Otherwise, 30 out of 41 major UN programmes will have to close in the next few weeks in a country where 24 million people depend on aid.

    The UK has pledged £160m, which Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said would “mean the difference between life and death for thousands of Yemenis”.