Wickford

England, United Kingdom

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Severe accident: A118 Greater London eastbound

BBC News Travel

A118 Greater London eastbound severe accident, at Cameron Road.

A118 Greater London - A118 High Road in Seven Kings blocked eastbound at Seven Kings station, because of an accident. Diversion in operation - bus 86 affected.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Family praises NHS after grandfather survives coronavirus

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Roy Ives with his wife
Family handout/PA

The family of a 76-year-old man from Kent told to prepare for the worst after he contracted coronavirus have praised the "incredible" NHS staff who saved his life.

Retired postman Roy Ives, who has underlying health conditions, was admitted to the Medway Maritime Hospital a week ago and was not expected to survive the night.

His granddaughter Scarlett Walsh said: "No-one could get up and see him and say goodbye because it's the Covid-19 ward. That night was just awful."

However, the next morning, Mr Ives' family were told he had improved overnight, and a few days later doctors said he could go back to his home in High Halstow.

Roy Ives
Family handout/PA

Praising the NHS staff, Ms Walsh said his story demonstrates that elderly people can survive the virus.

"I think they are completely unsung heroes.

"These people are in there 12 hours a day and have their own families and children to go home to."

She added: "They were incredible and all of our family are forever grateful."

Severe disruption: A13 London eastbound

BBC News Travel

A13 London eastbound severe disruption, at A1306.

A13 London - A13 in Dagenham blocked and queues eastbound at Goresbrook Interchange, because of a police investigation. Congestion to Lodge Avenue Flyover.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS

Coronavirus: Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS
There was clapping, cheering, pots clanging and car horns honking as people across the East of England gave their thanks to the NHS.

Many people took part in the social media campaign on Thursday night, where people across the UK applauded the work of the health service treating coronavirus patients.

'Thank you NHS'

Oscar's been using his time off to create a masterpiece thanking the NHS for all their hard work.

The ambulance service were definitely impressed by his artistic talent.

View more on twitter

Tearful tribute to 'kind' GP who died from suspected COVID-19

A patient of an Essex GP who's died from suspected coronavirus has made a tearful tribute when she phoned BBC Essex.

Dr Habib Zaidi of Leigh-on-Sea died aged 76 on Tuesday - if the cause proves to be COVID-19, he will be the first doctor in the UK to die from the disease.

Iris said: "Last time I saw him, which was two weeks ago, he said 'keep strong' and I always used to kiss the top of his head and say 'you please take care'.

"He was kind to everyone and his wife and children were such a wonderful family.

"I remember him coming over from Pakistan when he was in his 30s or 40s.

"I can't believe he's gone."

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe accident, between J26 for A121 and J27 for M11 J6.

M25 Essex - Two lanes blocked and queues on M25 clockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J27 M11 J6, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 London anti-clockwise severe accident, at J28 for A12 Brentwood.

M25 London - Two lanes closed and queues on M25 anticlockwise at J28, A12 (Brentwood), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Tributes paid to artist Paul Karslake after cornavirus death

Jo Wood, the former wife of The Rolling Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood, has paid tribute to her brother Paul Karslake, who has died from the coronavirus.

On Twitter she described the Leigh-on-Sea artist, who was in his early 60s, as "a great man", her "hero" and his death has left her "heartbroken".

"He was so brilliant.. proud that he was my brother."

His website said he was taken to hospital on Sunday with breathing problems but passed away.

Paul Karslake and Jo Wood
Jo Wood

"Paul was a fantastic husband, a wonderful father, an amazing family man and an excellent friend to all", it said.

Paul Karslake
Jo Wood

Police carry out high visibility patrols in Essex

A number of high visibility patrols have taken place around the Southend-on-Sea district.

Essex Police, via their Facebook page, said: "It’s excellent to see government advice is being adhered to with a lack of vehicles to stop and people to speak with."

Empty streets
Essex Police

The post comes after new laws to try to force people to stay at home have come in.

Empty streets
Essex Police

People ignoring tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence.

Empty streets
Essex Police

New powers given to police in England mean no-one will be allowed to leave their home "without reasonable excuse".

Six more coronavirus deaths reported in East of England

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

Six more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the BBC East region on Thursday evening.

Thee people died in hospitals run by East and North Herts NHS Trust and three at Princess Alexandra in Harlow.

The UK death date rose to more than 550 as of yesterday evening.

Here are the latest numbers of positive cases (not deaths) recorded in our region:

  • Norfolk 51 (a rise of 6 on previous day)
  • Suffolk 42 (up 7)
  • Peterborough 10 (up 1)
  • Cambridgeshire 47 (up 6)
  • Northamptonshire 64 (up 21)
  • Bedford 10 (up 3)
  • Central Bedfordshire 28 (up 4)
  • Milton Keynes 38 (up 9)
  • Buckinghamshire 66 (up 7)
  • Luton 30 (up 1)
  • Hertfordshire 170 (up 23)
  • Essex 130 (up 42)
  • Southend12 (up 3)
  • Thurrock 20 (up 5)

These figures will not include people have show symptoms, but have not been tested.

Further figures can be found at Public Health England.

Three more deaths at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Three more patients have died at Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital, it has been announced.

Chief executive Lance McCarthy confirmed two patients in their 70s and one in the 90s had passed away after testing positive for COVID-19.

All three patients had underlying conditions.

"Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patient’s family and loved ones at this difficult time," Mr McCarthy said.

The hospital announced on Monday that a patient in their 80s - also with underlying health conditions - had died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Princess Alexandria Hospital
Google

Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you all the latest developments and news from the East of England until 18:00 GMT.

Clap for our Carers

Set your alarms for 20:00 this evening when a big round of applause is planned to thank all the NHS staff working tirelessly to keep us safe.

If you want to take part all you need do is put your hands together from your windows and doors.

View more on twitter

Hospital appointments go online

Alex Pope

BBC News

We are all finding new ways to work at the moment, and that includes staff working within the NHS.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust is using a new video system so appointments can be made online.

I am a little jealous as Claire's headset looks better than mine.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J2 for A2.

M25 Kent - M25 lane closed on entry slip road anticlockwise at J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

How is self-isolating affecting you? Study needs your help

Orla Moore

BBC News

It's only been a matter of days, but everyone is having to adjust to this new normal: social distancing and self-isolation at home.

Public health experts at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Ulster University are conducting research on how closing ourselves away is affecting our health and behaviour.

It focuses on how individuals are adapting, whether it's changing their diet and exercise - or rethinking smoking and drinking habits.

self-isolation
BBC

Dr Lee Smith, reader in Public Health at ARU, said: "During this global pandemic, it is important to investigate the impact of self-isolation on health, behaviour and well-being.

"This will help us to understand the health implications of this current outbreak, separate to the effects of Covid-19 itself, and ensure that governments and health bodies are better informed if a similar event was to happen in the future."

Anyone in the UK aged 18 or over who is self-isolating, or displaying symptoms - can take part in the 15-minute survey.

Hospice appeals for 'vitual supplies'

"Gifts in kind" are needed at a hospice to help care for people at the end of their life.

St Clare Hospice, which covers West Essex and East Herts, urgently needs vital cleaning supplies.

Carolanne Brannan, director of patient care at the Hastingwood hospice, said: "The pandemic we’re currently facing as a nation is causing shortages in vital supplies that we are usually able to source without any issue."

It is looking for:

  • Hand sanitiser gel
  • Liquid hand wash
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Sanitising wipes
  • Face masks
  • Fabric anti-bacterial spray
  • Medical scrubs and clothing for Hospice at Home staff, including leggings and t-shirts
  • Tablets/iPads
  • Laptops
Carer
St Clare Hospice

"There are still local people who need us," she said.

"So it’s absolutely vital that we’re able to stay open, keep caring, and ensure that we do so safely with the right essential equipment and supplies."

What the papers are saying...

Here's how some of the newspapers in our region have been reporting the coronavirus pandemic...

  • The Northampton Chronicle reports that a Northampton banking campus has faced scrutiny from employees who believe they could work from home but are not being allowed to so.
  • Tenants and owners have remained defiant after being told to leave their caravans from holiday parks across Essex, reports the Essex Chronicle.
  • The Eastern Daily Press has a story on Amazona Zoo in Cromer calling on closed restaurants, café and hotel owners to donate fruit and vegetables to help feed its animals.

Visiting suspended at Essex and Suffolk hospitals

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The way people can visit loved ones is changing at most hospitals.

East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust has said that visiting has been suspended at Colchester, Ipswich, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe hospitals, and at Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich.

Chief executive Nick Hulme said you could only visit if seeing someone receiving end-of-life care; you are a birthing partner or a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.

Ipswich Hospital
East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust

“Our primary concern is to keep our patients and our staff safe," he said.

"Thank to you everyone in our communities for their continuing support at this very difficult time."

Severe disruption: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe disruption, between J8 for Bishops Stortford and J7 for A414 Canes Lane.

M11 Essex - Temporary closure and stationary on M11 southbound between J8, Bishops Stortford and J7, A414 (Harlow), because of a vehicle on fire.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Max Whitlock staying positive after Olympics postponement

Everyone's lives have changed just recently, but when you're an athlete working towards the goal of yet another gold in the Olympics it can be especially hard.

Hemel Hempstead's very own Max Whitlock has been talking to BBC Breakfast about the impact the postponement of the Tokyo games has had on him and how his training in Essex has had to change.

View more on twitter

Ambulance trust 'could not be prouder' of staff and volunteers

East of England Ambulance NHS Trust has praised on Twitter the "incredible" work its staff and volunteers are doing across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

The trust said it wanted to "dedicate #ThankYouThursday" to all those "working incredibly hard around the clock to make sure that our patients remain safe and get help when they need it the most. We couldn't be prouder to call you #TeamEEAST."

Ambulance staff
East of England Ambulance Service

Birth registrations delayed in Essex

The registrations of births has been delayed in Essex because of the current pandemic.

The county council said the action has been taken to "keep people safe" and that new parents could make a claim for child benefit before the birth was registered.

It is asking anyone who has booked an appointment to get in touch via its website.

Mother and newborn baby
Getty Images

Five more coronavirus deaths reported in the East

Orla Moore

BBC News

Five more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the East of England on Wednesday evening.

Four people died in hospitals run by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, and a fifth was reported at the West Suffolk Hospital.

They were among 28 people nationally whose deaths after testing positive for coronavirus were announced on Wednesday.

Here are the latest numbers of positive cases recorded in our region:

  • Norfolk 45
  • Suffolk 35
  • Peterborough 9
  • Cambridgeshire 41
  • Northamptonshire 43
  • Bedford 7
  • Central Bedfordshire 24
  • Milton Keynes 29
  • Buckinghamshire 59
  • Luton 29
  • Hertfordshire 147
  • Essex 88
  • Southend 9
  • Thurrock 15

Further figures can be found at Public Health England.

Coggeshall displays rainbow for NHS staff

Good morning and welcome to our live updates page today for the region.

Here's something cheerful amid the bad news. Richard Arnold sent these pictures of a banner put up in Coggeshall, Essex, to show support for "NHS key workers".

Banner
Richard Arnold
Banner
Richard Arnold

Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, between J2 for A2 and J3 for M20.

M25 Kent - One lane closed on M25 clockwise between J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange) and J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange), because of a break down.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Have you ever seen Chelmsford like this?

Pete Cooper

BBC News

Gerry Holland sent us these pictures of Chelmsford today, as residents followed lockdown restrictions.

Chelmsford
Gerry Holland

Gerry said: "Just out for our once a day walk into town... Fantastic to see Chelmsford city almost empty. Well done to the residents of our city helping to protect our hard working NHS staff."

Chelmsford
Gerry Holland

It follows the strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus which were announced by the prime minister on Monday.

Chelmsford
Gerry Holland

What the papers are saying...

How are the newspapers in Essex reporting on the coronavirus crisis?

  • A leading estate agency has made hundreds of staff redundant as businesses struggle with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, reports the Daily Gazette.
  • Meanwhile, The Echo has a story about a Westcliff escape room that has launched a virtual puzzle game to stay in business.
  • The Essex Chronicle has a run-down of the restrictions being put in place at Essex hospitals as they clamp down on visitors.

Severe disruption: M2 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent westbound severe disruption, from J3 for A2045 Chatham to J2 for A228 Sundridge Hill Strood.

M2 Kent - One lane closed on M2 westbound from J3, A2045 (Chatham) to J2, A228 (Strood), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

More money to free up Essex hospital beds

Essex County Council
BBC

Essex County Council has announced a further £18.6m of funding to increase residential care capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The authority says the increase in beds will help free up urgently needed space within the NHS and local hospitals.

Councillor John Spence, the council's cabinet member for health and adult social care, said the additional money would mean people with "social care-related needs are able to be cared for out of hospital".

The council also said it was taking steps to ensure "maximum flexibility" to secure care home beds, and was also exploring the use of other facilities.

Severe accident: A118 London westbound

BBC News Travel

A118 London westbound severe accident, at Mill Road.

A118 London - A118 Ilford Hill in Ilford blocked and queues westbound at the Mill Road junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you all the latest developments and news from the East of England until 18:00 GMT.

Have you taken part in the Stay at Home challenge?

Gillingham FC midfielder Mark Byrne showed his Twitter followers how he is keeping himself occupied during the coronavirus restrictions.

The Irishman showed off his skills by volleying a tea bag from a distance into a mug - on the third attempt.

One wag asked whether he could do something similar with coffee.

Twitter users worldwide have been posting their #Stayathomechallenge as communities find themselves housebound due to the coronavirus pandemic.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, from J2 for A2 to J1A for A206 Bob Dunn Way.

M25 Kent - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise from J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange) to J1a, A206 (Swanscombe), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Inquests postponed or suspended due to crisis

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Some coroner's courts are responding to the coronavirus crisis with inquests in Northamptonshire suspended until September.

Coroner Anne Pember said: "In view of the present COVID-19 situation it is with regret that I need to inform you that all inquests listed between now and 1 September have been suspended until further notice."I will review the situation on 31 July."

All inquests due to be heard at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court until Monday, 27 April have been postponed and will be rescheduled.

In Cambridgeshire, the coroner and inquests website warns that "during these unprecedented times, hearings may change at short notice".

People are asked to check the website the evening before a hearing is scheduled, for the most up to date information.

Suffolk County Council said: “Due to the fast-changing situation in respect of COVID-19 the Coroner’s Service is closely monitoring the government advice and considering any impact this might have.

But no announcements have been made by the coroners in Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk or Hertfordshire.

Shake It Off to lift our spirits

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Everyone needs their spirits lifting at the moment, so St John Ambulance cadets in the East of England have come up with a "banging" idea to make us feel a little bit better.

Luke Stevenson, and others, want fellow cadets and St John Ambulance members to make up dance moves.

They are putting together a video to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off - but need some help.

They want to show that everyone is "standing together" and that some "fun" can still be had.

So send your best moves via email - sjaeastrcoty@outlook.com - or via Twitter using #SJADanceForEast.

Just make sure you never miss a beat especially if you are lightning on your feet!

View more on twitter

Council to give 'unprecedented' business rates break

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Port of Tilbury
David Antiss/Geograph
Port of Tilbury

Thurrock Council has taken the "unprecedented" step of allowing businesses to defer their rate payments until May.

The Conservative-run council has chosen to give businesses some relief from the tax as the country goes into lockdown conditions with only essential firms such as supermarkets being permitted to open.

Shane Hebb, cabinet member for finance, said the council "will make sure that our local businesses get the breathing space they need while the government’s plans are put in place".