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New free children's coronavirus book published

A book about Covid-19 just for children has been produced by consultant Professor Graham Medley and the Gruffalo illustrator.

It is available for free download.

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London restaurant donates pizzas to local NHS workers

A restaurant in Lewisham is donating between 50 and 100 pizzas a week to Lewisham Hospital staff.

A spokesperson for Bella Roma in Lewis Grove said it would "continue to do this as long as [it] can".

Lewisham Council described it as a "wonderful act of kindness".

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Lambeth Council tapes off park benches

Lambeth Council has taped off benches in Brockwell Park.

The move comes after the council shut the park on Sunday, which it said was necessary because 3,000 people were using it to sunbathe and gather in big groups on Saturday.

It re-opened on Monday.

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Royal Albert Hall invites people into performers' homes

Royal Albert Home logo
Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is inviting people into the homes of performers as part of efforts to "keep the Hall's spirit alive" while it remains closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rufus Wainwright, Alfie Boe and Ayanna Witter-Johnson are among the artists who will be performing from their front rooms as part of series called #RoyalAlbertHome.

Intimate concerts will be broadcast for free on different days every week, with each lasting between 30 and 60 minutes and featuring well-known hits, requests and covers.

Lucy Noble, the Hall's artistic director, said the venue "has always been a place where people come together at times of national crisis" so the series had been arranged as a substitute while it is shut.

Alfie Boe said: “In this difficult time for all I hope to bring some joy to everyone’s homes and raise some money to help preserve one of my favourite venues. Let’s have a good old sing-along!”

Rufus Wainwright will kick off the shows this evening from 20:15 BST.

London's coronavirus death toll exceeds 2,000

Thomas Mackintosh

BBC London News


More than 2,000 people are known to have died from coronavirus in London hospitals, latest NHS figures have revealed.

According to data published by NHS England this afternoon 2,012 patients have died in the capital after testing positive for Covid-19.

Two trusts, London North West University and King's have seen over 200 people die across the hospitals they run.

Nine patients are also known to have died at private hospitals in London.

Public Health England will publish statistics of confirmed coronavirus cases later this afternoon.

Victoria Park to re-open after coronavirus shut down

Victoria Park on 24 March 2020
Getty Images
Pictured: Victoria Park a day before it was closed by the local authority

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is planning to reopen Victoria Park in Hackney at the weekend after residents complained they were being penalised because others wouldn’t keep their social distance.

The council will introduce a ‘keep left’ system on footpaths, staff patrols and new signs in an attempt to encourage people to keep to the safety rules.

The park was closed on 25 March after people refused to stop having picnics, sunbathing and playing football,The crowds became unmanageable, the council said, and it took the decision to shut the gates on police advice.

Officials said there was a consistent failure to both understand and adhere to social distancing guidance.But one angry local dogwalker complained to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “I’m unhappy with it closed and want it reopened hopefully by the weekend, but we need to be confident in public behaviour.

It was closed for operational reasons. Our park rangers and the police advised that it was best to close because of disorderly behaviour.

"But I am now looking at ways to reopen it as long as people maintain social distancing.

"The public I feel has now learned how important it is to keep their social distance in tackling Coronavirus."

The council said Victoria Park is one of the most popular parks in London, visited by 9m people a year.

Birmingham hospital trust records over 300 deaths

Daniel Wainwright

BBC England Data Unit

A hospital trust has become the first in England to have recorded more than 300 deaths of patients with Covid-19.

University Hospitals Birmingham had reported 306 deaths since the outbreak began.

The NHS trust with the next highest number of deaths is London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which has had 209 patients die with coronavirus.

There are 16 hospital trusts that have recorded in excess of 100 deaths, most of them in London or the West Midlands, along with Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in the south-east of England.

Chart showing Covid-19 deaths by hospital trust

Charity in £25k pledge to help uni make PPE for Royal London

Thomas Mackintosh

BBC London News

Queen Mary University

Barts Health charity has pledged £25,000 to Queen Mary University of London to help produce new 3D-print visors for front line staff at The Royal London Hospital.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects NHS workers against catching coronavirus through droplet transmission while caring for infected patients.

This includes items such as safety visors, gloves and eye protection.

It is hoped 10,000 new visors will be created by printers at the Queen Mary University.

Dr John Connelly, from Queen Mary's Blizard Istitute said: “At the moment, there are around five to six groups at Queen Mary printing visors and sending them over to the Institute of Dentistry where Prof Shakeel Shahdad’s team is attaching the face shield and elastic bands, before passing them over to The Royal London Hospital.”

'Empty' London photographed from the air

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Photos of what would usually be busy tourist sites in the capital were photographed by police helicopter crews.

Nearly 2,000 people have died in London from coronavirus

Thomas Mackintosh

BBC London News


Nearly 2,000 people are now confirmed to have died from coronavirus in London, according to recent NHS England figures.

Latest data published by NHS England this afternoon showed that a further 828 people who have Covid-19 in England have died.

Just under a quarter, 201, were recorded at NHS Trusts in London bringing the total death toll from coronavirus in the capital to 1,907.

London North West Uni NHS Trust, which runs hospitals in Harrow, Brent and Ealing, continues to have the highest amount of deaths with 209 so far.

King's NHS Trust has 191 while the Royal Free Trust, which runs hospitals in Camden, Enfield and Barnet, has recorded 174 so far.

Man jailed for stealing face masks from hospital

Rob England

BBC News

A man who stole surgical masks from a hospital in south London has been jailed for three months.

Lerun Hussain, 34, was detained by security staff at King's College Hospital after he took three face masks, Croydon Magistrates' Court heard.

Police were called to the hospital in Lambeth at about 11:20 BST on Sunday.

On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced the same day.

Lerun Hussain
Wandsworth Police

Queen's message of hope lights up Piccadilly Circus

A gigantic image of the Queen delivering her address to the nation has been displayed on London's famous Piccadilly Lights.
PA Media

A gigantic image of the Queen delivering her address to the nation has been displayed on London's famous Piccadilly Lights.

The photo of the monarch appeared alongside quotes from her Sunday night broadcast on the coronavirus crisis.

The words read "We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return", before scrolling on to: "I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles."

Usually one of London's busiest tourist hotspots, the streets surrounding the Piccadilly Circus landmark were quiet on Wednesday when the Queen's image appeared, as the nation remains in lockdown.

Just a few cars, red double-decker buses and a couple of cyclists and pedestrians were in the vicinity of the 780 square metre LED digital screen, near the so-called "Eros" statue.

An estimated 100 million people usually pass through Piccadilly Circus every year, making it one of the world's prime advertising spaces.

In her rare televised address, the monarch warned the country "may have more still to endure".

But the head of state said if we "remain united and resolute" in the face of the coronavirus outbreak "we will overcome it".

She echoed the words of Forces' sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn's Second World War song, saying: "We will meet again."

Rock star tour buses used by London hospitals

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Tour buses for rock stars are being re-purposed to help front-line NHS staff at a London hospitals relax.

Vans for Bands, a music industry luxury vehicle company, has offered its fleet to NHS hospitals to provide a place for staff to rest during the Covid-19 situation.

A crowd-funding campaign has been launched to cover the costs of the drivers and vehicle running costs but not to make any profit.

The Hillingdon Hospitals Charity has hired vehicles at its hospital sites, pledging to cover the first six weeks' costs.

The charity said the buses will "provide this much needed facility for clinical and non-clinical staff for a rest area at the end of their shift in settings usually only experienced by rock stars".

Jose Mouriho

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he "accepts actions were not in line with government protocol" after being pictured flouting coronavirus social-distancing guidelines.

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Ephraim Mirvis said Passover would be different due to social distancing.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis hopes Passover celebrations "will be back to usual" next year.

Khan: 'I think we are nowhere near lifting lockdown'

Sadiq Khan
Getty Images

The UK is "nowhere near" lifting the lockdown measures put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

When he announced the nationwide lockdown on 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be reviewed after three weeks.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 this morning, Mr Khan said: "We think the peak, which is the worst part of the virus, is still probably a week-and-a-half away."

Earlier this week at the daily coronavirus government press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was "too early" to consider an exit strategy to the lockdown.

New bus boarding system 'to protect drivers'

London bus
Getty Images

A new system for boarding buses is being trialled in London to reduce contact with drivers, following the Covid-19 deaths of at least nine bus drivers across the UK.

Transport for London (TfL) said the scheme would see passengers using the middle door to board.

The trial will be in place from this week on several routes operated by bus firm Abellio out of its depot in Walworth, south-east London, including two that serve hospitals.

Passengers using London buses normally board using the front door and leave using the middle door, to smooth the flow of people.

TfL director of bus operations Claire Mann said: "London's hard-working transport workers are making a heroic effort at the frontline of the fight against this pandemic, and it is only right we consider everything we can to protect them."

First patients admitted to NHS Nightingale in London

NHS Nightingale
Getty Images

The first patients have been admitted to the NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London - a temporary facility set up at the ExCeL conference centre.

A spokeswoman declined to say how many people were being treated at the custom-built field hospital at the ExCeL Centre in the capital's Docklands.

Opened by Prince Charles on Friday and named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, it will need an army of up to 16,000 staff in clinical and ancillary roles to keep it running.

With more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the facility will be used to treat Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units across London.

Those who are admitted to the hospital will already be on a ventilator and will remain at the Nightingale until their course of ventilation is finished, the hospital's chief medical director has said.

Other Nightingale hospitals are due to open in Bristol, Harrogate, Birmingham, and Manchester.

Boris Johnson spends second night in intensive care

Boris Johnson
PA Media

Boris Johnson has spent a second night in intensive care as he continues to receive treatment for coronavirus.

The PM is being kept in St Thomas' Hospital in London "for close monitoring", Downing Street said.

Mr Johnson's condition is "stable" and he remains in "good spirits", his spokesman added on Tuesday evening.

Downing Street suggested the first review into whether the coronavirus lockdown could be eased would not go ahead as planned on Monday next week.

Severe disruption: A1203 London both ways

BBC News Travel

A1203 London both ways severe disruption, between Butcher Row and A1261 Aspen Way.

A1203 London - A1203 Limehouse Link Tunnel in Limehouse closed in both directions between the Butcher Row junction and the A1261 Aspen Way junction, because of a technical fault being fixed.

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

Families living in B&Bs in London are struggling to socially distance themselves.
A family of five living in shared bed and breakfast accommodation in London say it is impossible to social-distance.

Whipsnade and London zoos close with appeal for help

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos have been closed because of restrictions on visitors imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But behind-the-scenes zoo life continues with keepers and vets caring for more than 20,000 animals which need looking after.

White rhinos
ZSL London and Whipsnade
White rhinos Clara and Bertha with gemsbok in the background at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

"As a charity we rely on our visitors and supporters to run our zoos and conservation projects. But right now we're asking for your help to care for our animals," the ZSL website said.

"Any donation, no matter how big or small – whether it feeds one Humboldt penguin or a whole elephant herd – will make a real difference to our animals until we can open our doors again.

"We’ve proudly been open for almost 90 years, welcoming visitors and sharing the wonders of wildlife, please help us to be here for many more to come."