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Live Reporting

By Claire Timms

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    BBC London

    That's all for today's special live page on the coronavirus and how it is affecting Londoners.

    We'll be back on Monday at 08:00 with the latest devlopments, news and information.

    Stay home and stay safe.

  2. Charity for ill kids faces 'worrying and uncertain time'

    Tim Stokes

    BBC News

    Care charities other than hospices have also launched emergency appeals after fears about whether they can last during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The Sick Children’s Trust runs 10 "homes from home" across the country which support about 3,500 families with seriously ill children in hospital. They cost £2.1m annually to maintain.

    With their entire funding dependent on donations, the London-based charity said they faced a "very worrying and uncertain time".

    Chief Executive Jane Featherstone said: “Our families tell us that when their child is in hospital there is an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. They can’t do anything to improve their child’s condition but what they can do is be there for them because of our ‘Homes from Home'.

    “The reality of the coronavirus for the families we support is that they may not even be able to do that, To be there for their child in their time of need unless people like you donate to keep our houses running.”

  3. Wandsworth Prison has seven cases of coronavirus

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    Wandsworth Prison

    Seven cases of coronavirus have been recorded at Wandsworth Prison, the BBC has been told.

    It comes after the Ministry of Justice announced that 27 inmates have now tested positive for the virus in 14 different prisons across England and Wales.

    Earlier this week, the department confirmed two prisoners who had the virus had died.

    Jails in England and Wales were put on immediate lockdown on Tuesday with all visits cancelled as it emerged thousands of staff were in self-isolation.

    In addition to Wandsworth's seven cases, there have been confirmed infections in Pentonville Prison.

    Elsewhere in the UK there are cases in jails in Manchester, Cookham Wood, Leeds, Birmingham, Oakwood, Wymott, Leyhill, Huntercombe and Barton Moss secure children’s home

  4. Library's story time sessions go digital after closure

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Kingston Library and Heritage Service feed

    Libraries across Kingston were closed last week in response to the coronavirus outbrek but staff quickly found a way of providing their usual "rhymetime" and story sessions to children online.

    Kingston librarians set up a livestream on the Kingston Library and Heritage Service’s Facebook page, and reached almost 10,000 people last week.

    And it’s not just storytime sessions for children, this week the library service has started book reviews and tutorials to help residents while they are self-isolating.

    Marion Tessier, Development Officer for Events and Digital and Innovation said it had been “hugely positive, and everyone really liked it. We had people writing that their kids were completely fascinated by the video, which was quite cool.”

    Now library staff run daily e-book reviews from their homes at 15:30 GMT in the afternoons, with other sessions such as rhymetime scheduled throughout the week.

    There will even be a daily storytime for adults with professional storyteller Richard Neville.

    Many of the sessions are also kept on the Facebook page for people to replay if they miss the event. To watch rhymetime sessions and see next week’s schedule, visit Kingston Library and Heritage Service’s Facebook page.

  5. Future of 129-year-old Clapham hospice 'is at stake'

    Tim Stokes

    BBC News

    Nurse

    Numerous hospices around the country are facing highly uncertain futures as a result of a loss of fundraising due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Royal Trinity Hospice, in Clapham, provides specialist end of life and palliative care for more than 700 adults in London.

    The charity's 32 shops accounted for 57% of the £15m it costs to run the hospice but all have been closed, while fundraising events such as its annual summer garden party which last year raised £87,000 have all been cancelled.

    Chief Executive Dallas Pounds said the future of the 129-year-old hospice "is at stake".

    “Through careful management and good governance, we have some contingencies, but these will not keep us open indefinitely."

    With the charity expected to have a £3m shortfall over the next three months, an urgent appeal has been launched.

  6. Troubled NHS Trust bans visitors from four London hospitals

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    Northwick Park

    Four hospitals in north west London will not be allowing visitors for the foreseeable future in order to stop the spread of coroanvirus.

    Last week Northwick Park Hospital, which is run by the London North West University NHS Trust, had to declare a critical incident last week due to a surge in patients needing intensive care beds.

    That critical incident was stood down, but the Trust has taken steps to stop visitors from Northwick Park Hospital and the other three that it runs including Ealing, St Mark's and Central Middlesex hospitals.

    It comes after a doctor warned that the number of house-shares in the Trust's area will put older residents at greater risk of contracting coronavirus.

    Dr Paul Tanto told the Health and Social Care Committee the sharp increase is because Northwick Park is a specilist hospital for infectious diseases.

    “The consequence of that is that the hospital has taken Covid-19 patients from other parts of the country to Northwick Park for infectious diseases treatment," Dr Tanto said.

    “I think by definition they will be iller than elsewhere and as a consequence, as we all know, iller patients have a higher risk of mortality.”

    Northwick Park is close to the border with Brent - a borough which has seen a huge increase in the number of people confirmed to have coronavirus.

    Figures published by the government on Thursday showed there were 228 cases in Brent - a rise of 162 infections in a week.

    Harrow has also experienced a sharp spike from 56 to 167 in the same space of time.

    Dr Tanto also said the high number of house-shares in the two boroughs increased the danger of social mixing and many families in the area have three generations living together, which puts older residents at greater risk.

    There was “quite a degree of frailty” in the local community, with a high number of patients with heart or lung problems, Dr Tanto told the committee.

    He added: “There is certainly going to be increased demand for intensive care beds, so we are in a difficult situation in that respect."

  7. Lack of visitors mean pygmy goats get extra attention

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    London Zoo and goats

    Pygmy goats at locked down London Zoo are being given extra attention from keepers after they realised the animals were missing being petted by visitors.

    The goats are used to interacting with guests in the children's section of the zoo, and have been waiting at the gate every morning anticipating the arrival of a stream of people.

    But, because the zoo is currently closed to visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, no guests are arriving and their ears were being left unscratched.

    Senior keeper Tara Humphrey said: "We've all been taking it in turns to regularly visit the zoo's pygmy goats at our children's zoo, Animal Adventure, to give them some extra attention.

    "They've been waiting patiently at the gate every day for their usual ear scratches from visitors so we're doing our bit to make it up to them."

    While the zoo is closed to visitors, 50 keepers - around half the total keeper staff - are on site every day to ensure all the animals are well looked after.

    "The Asiatic lions, for example, are lazing in the spring sunshine and seem more focused on rolling around in the scent and spice trails keepers have been laying down," Ms Humphrey said.

  8. London's bridges turn blue to acknowledge carers' 'courage'

    View more on twitter

    Several of London's bridges which span the River Thames were lit blue overnight in support of NHS staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Tower, London, Cannon Street and Southwark bridges are usually all pastel shades as part of the Illuminated River project.

    The organisers said they had changed the usual colour scheme "to acknowledge the courage and dedication of our amazing NHS workers".

    View more on twitter
  9. Watch: Londoners in Clap for Carers tribute

    BBC London

    Video content

    Video caption: Londoners take part in #Clapforcarers

    Londoners took part last night in a "Clap for Carers" tribute, saluting NHS and care workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

    BBC London's Jamie Moreland edited this short video of your clips capturing the scenes from across the capital.

  10. Chiquito calls in administrators putting 1,500 jobs at risk

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    Chiquito

    The owners of Chiquito restaurants have said they intend to appoint administrators, as the business struggles to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

    The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's, said it would shut the majority of Chiquito sites and shut its Food & Fuel chain of pubs in London.

    Around 1,500 jobs are likely to be affected and the move comes less than a week after the company said sales plummeted 12.5 per cent over two weeks.

    Sixty-one Chiquito sites will remain shut while around 20, which are not part of the business getting ready for an administration, will reopen after the lockdown.

    A spokesman said: "Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant impact on trading across the Group.

    "We have conducted a review of the performance of our business divisions, with a particular focus on the expected future cash generation profile of each of our business units.

    "As a result, the Group has taken the very difficult decision to appoint administrators for Food & Fuel Limited and filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator for Chiquito Limited.

    "The decisions have been incredibly difficult and we recognise the significant impact on all of our colleagues that are affected.

    We thank them for their hard work and commitment during these very testing times." Pubs and restaurants have faced a tough week, with the Government announcing their closure, although takeaway services are allowed to continue.

    Marston's, which runs 1,400 pubs across the country, and Mitchells & Butlers, the owner of Toby Carvery and All Bar One, also both warned they were struggling.

  11. Brent allotments to remain open

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Allotments in Brent will remain open for the time being despite fears around the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

    Brent Council confirmed that they would continue to operate but clear guidance has been put in place to keep users safe.

    This includes using hand sanitiser before touching any gates and locks, not sharing tools and observing social distancing by staying at least two metres away from others.

    Regular hand washing is encouraged but visitors were reminded not to use allotment water tanks for this.

    The council added anyone with possible Covid-19 symptoms should not enter the sites and toilets would be locked to help reduce any spread of the virus.

    It explained that the decision to keep allotments open was to provide residents with the chance to get some fresh air and exercise.

  12. 'Nurses always think about society first'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Sharon Bissessar
    Image caption: Sharon Bissessar

    How are London’s nurses coping on the front line of the war against coronavirus?

    One woman who is more qualified to answer that question than anyone is Sharon Bissessar, a senior regional officer for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

    A registered A&E nurse herself, her job is to fight the corner of 15,000 nurses in her North West London patch who are RCN union members.

    Since the outbreak, the country’s media has been scrutinising the Government and asking tough questions about whether NHS staff are themselves getting tested for COVID-19, and getting the protective equipment they need.

    But Ms Bissessar’s message is that despite the many difficulties – from empty supermarkets to fewer trains and buses – nurses remain focused on caring for the sick and “putting society first”.

    Asked whether her members are being tested for the virus, Mr Bissessar wasn’t able to comment on specifics at different hospitals, but she said: “There are inconsistencies across the picture.”

    The 58-year-old from Hammersmith said: “There’s no silver bullet. Part of it is about availability of tests and the scale of it – the number of people who need tests, and trying to spread the resources.

    “The focus has been on testing people who have been symptomatic and who need care. It’s a challenging time and no-one expected to be in this position.”

    Despite facing challenges with access to PPE equipment and testing, Ms Bissessar said her members are “focused on delivering the best care they can for their patients” despite challenging circumstances.

    “It’s inherent in them to think about others first. They have been focusing on the public and providing the best care for patients. If you’re not in the nursing profession it’s hard to imagine that, but nurses always think about society first.”

  13. Cycling banned in Richmond Park 'until further notice'

    Thomas Mackintosh

    BBC London News

    Cycling in Richmond park

    Cycling in Richmond Park will be suspended until further notice due to coronavirus, the Royal Parks has announced.

    The ban will come into force from Saturday 28 March as the park's gates have become too crowded, a spokesman said.

    "It is necessary to suspend all cycling in Richmond Park to protect public safety and ultimately help keep this viral green space open for everyone," he said.

    Cycling will still be allowed in other Royal Parks including Greenwich, Regent's, Hyde and St James' Parks.