Coronavirus: South Korea holds elections during pandemic

Red Cross volunteers have started to distribute more than a million health masks for free in Barcelona's metro and train stations on the occasion of the Coronavirus Covid 19 health crisis in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, on April 14, 2020.


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Live Reporting

Edited by Deirdre Finnerty

All times stated are UK

  1. UK press briefing to begin in 15 minutes

    We are a quarter of an hour away from today’s Downing Street press briefing.

    UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be leading proceedings on a day when the number of worldwide confirmed infections passed 2 million.

    In the US, President Trump announced he would stop funding the World Health Organization over its response to the pandemic, a move the UK government said it had “no plans” to follow.

  2. BreakingWHO chief ‘regrets’ Trump halting funding

    In the past few minutes the World Health Organization’s chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has been speaking about US President Donald Trump’s decision to halt funding for the organisation.

    He said the WHO regretted the move, but added: “Our commitment to public health, science, and to serving all the people of the world without fear or favour remains absolute.”

    Dr Tedros said the agency was “reviewing” the impact of the withdrawal of US funds to “ensure our work continues uninterpreted”.

  3. Northern Ireland lockdown extended by three weeks

    Northern Ireland’s lockdown is to be extended by three weeks, First Minister Arlene Foster has said.

    New powers to enforce guidelines on people staying at home and businesses remaining closed came into force on 28 March.

    The powers outlined by the first and deputy first ministers banned gatherings of more than two people and stipulated there should be reasonable excuses for leaving the home, such as obtaining necessities, seeking medical help and exercise.

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Lives are being saved by these measures.”

    Full story here.

    Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster

    Copyright: Getty Images

  4. 16:30 UK headlines ahead of the briefing

  5. US retail sales suffer worst drop on record

    Retail sales in the US plummeted last month thanks to mandatory business closures and rising unemployment due to Covid-19.

    On Wednesday, the commerce department said March saw an 8.7% decline in sales, which is the biggest drop since the government began tracking this data in the 90s.

    Retail sales include purchases online and in stores, as well as at restaurants and bars.

    The vast majority of the country is currently under stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus, with only essential services, like groceries and pharmacies, allowed to remain open.

    Over 7 million Americans declared they were unemployed in March, according to the labour department.

    downtown Los Angeles, California during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on April 14

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Image caption: Closed storefronts in Los Angeles, California
  6. 106-year-old leaves hospital after recovering from coronavirus

    Connie Titchen pictured with a member of staff

    Copyright: Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

    106-year-old Connie Titchen was clapped by hospital staff as she headed home after recovering from coronavirus.

    The great-grandmother, believed to be Britain’s oldest patient to recover from Covid-19, left City Hospital in Birmingham after receiving treatment there for three weeks.

    She was admitted to the hospital with suspected pneumonia and doctors later confirmed she had coronavirus.

    “I feel very lucky that I’ve fought off this virus. I can’t wait to see my family,” she said.

    Connie was born in September 1913 and lived through two World Wars.

    Her granddaughter Alex Jones said the care her grandmother received “has been excellent”.

  7. How the world reached two million cases

    As we mentioned earlier today, the number of global cases of coronavirus is now more than two million, with more than 128,000 deaths.

    More than 600,000 cases have been recorded in the US alone, although the true number of infections is likely to be much higher, as levels of testing varies by country.

    It is less than two weeks since the world reached a million confirmed cases.

    Global cases pass two million

    Copyright: BBC

  8. UK press briefing at 17.00 BST

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock

    Copyright: PA Media

    Today’s UK government press conference is expected to begin
    in around an hour, led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

    He’ll be joined by Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical
    officer for England, and Prof Angela McLean, the UK’s deputy chief scientific adviser.

    As has become the norm in recent times, this will be another
    virtual press conference, with journalists asking questions via videolink.

  9. The portraits of lockdown

    Like many freelancers Fran Monks has found her projects curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

    But to document the extraordinary times we live in she decided to use her photography skills to take a series of portraits of the UK in lockdown over the internet.

    Fran Monks

    Copyright: Fran Monks


    Copyright: Fran Monks


    Copyright: Fran Monks

    “My professional aim is to use portraiture to celebrate the undercelebrated,” Monks says.

    “During this lockdown, everyone who is social distancing is playing an important role. And I wanted to highlight that.”

    See more of her pictures here.

  10. The latest UK figures in graphs

    As mentioned earlier, the UK death toll has sadly risen by 761, bringing the total to 12,868.

    Our data team have put together some of the statistics into graphs to help explain the current figures better.

    A datapic showing the number of cases in the UK

    Copyright: BBC

    Graph showing the UK death toll over time

    Copyright: BBC

    London has the highest number of deaths of all NHS regions while Northern Ireland has the fewest with 140.

    Coronavirus deaths by region

    Copyright: BBC

    According to the latest figures, there have been fewer than 5,000 new daily cases in the UK. The figure is a decrease on Tuesday’s numbers.

    Graph showing number of cases in the UK

    Copyright: BBC

  11. What is the scale of infection in the UK’s care homes?

    A resident holds the hand of a member of staff at a UK care home

    Copyright: Reuters

    The UK government has promised tests for care home residents displaying coronavirus symptoms, but how big is the problem?

    There’s a delay in finding out the number of Covid-19 deaths in care homes, as the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics only run until 3 April. By then, 217 deaths – or around 5.3% of all coronavirus fatalities – were in care homes in England and Wales.

    Meanwhile, recent figures from the National Records of Scotland suggest that a quarter of deaths linked to coronavirus occurred in care homes. Statistics from Northern Ireland don’t offer breakdowns of deaths outside of hospitals.

    Although there’s no official data about the number of care home residents, it’s thought that more than 400,000 elderly or disabled people live in residential or nursing homes in England and Wales. Around another half a million people receive home care visits every day.

    This has led to concerns about whether there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep both care workers and the vulnerable people they look after safe.

    Read more from the BBC’s Reality Check here.

  12. What does the new number of global cases actually tell us?

    Robert Cuffe

    BBC head of statistics

    We passed two million infections in the world some time ago.

    The number of confirmed cases is only a fraction of the number of infections.

    In order to be a case, you need to be diagnosed and for that, you need at least to seek treatment.

    Many coronavirus infections never make the statistics because people have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

    Those with mild symptoms may rest, self-isolate and not come to the attention of the health system.

    In the UK, until recently it was almost exclusively hospitalised cases – those with the most severe symptoms – that got tested and so made it into the counts of confirmed cases.

    Trends in the number of confirmed cases can tell us about the stage of the epidemic – is it growing rapidly, flattening or falling – in a country.

    But the numbers don’t tell us about the true scale of epidemic in any given country or globally.

  13. Latest UK coronavirus figures in detail