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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Live updates for the day

    Thanks for joining us for our ongoing coverage of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the East of England.

    Join us again from 08:00 on Friday.

  2. Vehicle spotted doing more than 150mph

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    If you take advantage of empty roads during the UK lockdown, you will be found out, police are warning.

    Calculations by roads police in Cambridgeshire from footage taken by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) showed this vehicle was travelling at more than 150mph on the A11 through Cambridgeshire.

    Police said the driver was "reported for dangerous driving and excess speed".

    "The world may have changed, but the speed limit and traffic laws remain the same," a spokesman said.

    View more on twitter
  3. Coronavirus clinic to open at Corby Urgent Care Centre

    Sarah Ward

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A new coronavirus clinic will be opening at Corby’s Urgent Care Centre next week.

    It will be the second in the county, joining the facility opened earlier this month at the Waterside Campus in Northampton.

    The clinic is not a walk-in centre and will only be open to those referred by their GP.

    Corby’s Urgent Care Centre

    Places in Kettering, Wellingborough, Daventry and Brackley have also been earmarked as coronavirus clinics, but the Local Resilence Forum – which is coordinating coronavirus efforts in Northamptonshire – said these additional clinics would only be opened if needed.

    Dr Naomi Caldwell, GP cinical lead for NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "The new clinic will run side-by-side with the urgent care service and will be accessed separately so all patients can get the health care they need safely."

  4. Have a happy Ramadan - but stay at home, council urges

    As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is marked around the world from today, Luton Council has reminded all those observing it to stay at home and following government instructions on social distancing.

    Ramandan

    The month-long fasting, prayers and observations of spiritual reflection is due to end on 23 May, followed by Eid, the festival of fast-breaking where family and friends unite to attend special prayers.

    Khtija Malik, councillor with responsibility for public health in the town, said: "Ramadan is an important time for the Muslim faith where we would traditionally come together with family and friends to worship, pray and break the fast at the end of the day.

    "However, we are urging communities to observe this holy month differently, by staying at home to pray, keep iftars limited to those you live with and to only shop for essential basic items as infrequently as possible.

    "Even with these restrictions, Muslims can still enjoy the community spirit that Ramadan provides by connecting with others by phone or online. It’s important we all pull together during this crisis so that we can reduce the spread of the virus, protect the vulnerable and save lives. Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims in the town."

    More advice about how to cope during Ramadan can be found on the council's website.

  5. Cyclist completes epic ride on 'happiness watts'

    Earlier we were telling you about Rebecca Johnson, of Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, one of 80 riders "cycling around the world" from their homes to support frontline healthcare workers.

    Starting at 04:00, she rode for 12 hours and was encouraged by friends watching and supporting her online.

    This was how she looked when she finished her epic ride.

    Rebecca Johnson after completing her ride

    “It was actually really humbling having so many people join me on Zoom and ride with me," said Miss Johnson, 29.

    "Two friends both did over 100 miles. I think I got round on ‘happiness watts’ as I spent the whole time chatting to amazing people."

  6. Kettering Town raise £12,500 from fans to help club finances

    Pete Cooper

    BBC News

    The chairman of Kettering Town said the football club was "not in bad shape", despite the fact there will be no further games this season because of coronavirus.

    David Mahony said after an appeal from the club's presidents, fans had donated more than £12,500 to help the club.

    Latimer Park

    National League clubs, including Kettering and Brackley, have voted to end the regular season at its current point, with promotion and relegation outcomes "under careful consideration".

    It means that Kettering will finish 20th in National League North, and remain in the league.

    Mr Mahony said he was "pleased" as the club had "heavily at retaining our spot" in the division.

    But he said "we do have some sympathy with those at the top of the league" as there is still uncertainty over promotion or whether the league will be voided.

  7. Fire service welcomes return of green waste collections

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue has welcomed the return of garden waste collections in the county as "fantastic news".

    Bonfire

    Bedford, Luton and Central Bedfordshire councils are all resuming collections from next Monday, after cutting back due to staff shortages caused by the virus.

    The fire service said it hopes it would mean less irresponsible burning.

    Bedford's elected mayor, Dave Hodgson, said: "We know how much the garden waste collections are valued, and I am very happy to announce that we are able to bring back this service, although in a limited way to begin with.

    "We know that people may have accumulated green waste during this brief pause, so would ask that you keep composting where you can."

  8. Rainbow house is tribute to family's NHS nurses

    A couple have painted a rainbow on the side of a village house in tribute to their children who work as NHS nurses.

    Former art teacher Ron Nix and his wife Jo painted it on their whitewashed home in Milton, near Cambridge, on Tuesday.

    House with rainbow

    "It took most of the day, but luckily I had all the acrylic colours," said Mr Nix.

    Ron Nix painting a rainbow

    He taught art at Bottisham Village College for 32 years before retiring, and said the rainbow - which has attracted a lot of attention on social media and hoots and waves from passing drivers - was done as a tribute to those working in the NHS.

    They include his daughter, an ICU nurse in Wakefield, and his son, a theatre nurse at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

    The couple's son-in-law and daughter-in-law are also GPs.

    Mr Nix said the rainbow would stay on the house "as long as we are all going through this".

    Ron and Jo Nix
  9. Trial seeks ventilator alternative

    James Paget University Hospital

    A new clinical trial to find alternatives to ventilators in the treatment of coronavirus patients will take place at Norfolk's James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) – the only hospital in the East to take part.

    It will compare the standard care for critically ill patients, which includes intubation and ventilation, with two non-invasive techniques.

    If the two alternatives - continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks driven by oxygen or high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) through the nose - prove as effective, it could reduce the pressure on the NHS to find ventilators and the staff to operate them, both of which are in short supply.

    All three treatments are already commonly used in hospitals, but it was not yet known which is more effective in treating critically ill Covid-19 patients, said the JPUH.

    Dr Venkat Mahadevan, a consultant leading the trial, said it would be “a tremendous boost to find effective, alternative ways to treat patients with Covid-19”.

    The study is being led nationally by a team at Warwick Medical School, supported by the National Institute for Health Research.

  10. What the papers are saying: Beds, Herts and Bucks

    Here's how local newspapers in Beds, Herts and Bucks are reporting the coronavirus pandemic:

    • The Herts Advertiser is reporting that a Hertfordshire GP is keen to emphasise that essential NHS services remain, including dental appointments, remain available to everyone who needs them during the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The Bucks Free Press reports that Buckinghamshire's main NHS body has had more than £100m of debt written off in a bid to help health bosses battle coronavirus.
    • England cricket captain and Yorkshire first team player Joe Root MBE called war veteran and fundraiser Captain Tom Moore to thank him for his inspirational efforts to help raise millions for the NHS, Bedford Today says.
  11. Police praise for empty airport

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    This is a sight you don't see very often: an empty Stansted Airport.

    Essex Police said it was great to see everyone supporting the NHS by "staying at home and saving lives".

    View more on twitter
  12. What the papers are saying: Northamptonshire

    Here's how local newspapers in Northamptonshire are reporting the coronavirus pandemic:

    • The Northants police chief constable has written a letter to thank colleagues’ children for "sharing their parents", the Northants Telegraph reports.
    • The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports that the county's "chef of the year" is making 250 meals a day for Northampton General Hospital from Althorp House.
  13. YouTuber builds NHS-themed course for squirrels

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    What do you do when you've got some time on your hands at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Well, you build an obstacle course for squirrels, of course.

    YouTuber Steve Barley regularly builds courses for our furry rodent friends in his back garden in Hitchin and says his latest NHS-themed construction is dedicated to our "truly heroic medical services".

    As squrrels Dr Drey who specialises in aNUTomy, and NUTritionist Dr Dana Scurry negotiate the "bonkers, medical-themed, washing-line" obstacle course, Mr Barley says their biggest threat is a global pundemic!

    Squirrel obstacle course
  14. Silverstone business begin work on protective equipment for the NHS

    Pete Cooper

    BBC News

    More than 50 companies based in and around Silverstone are coming together to source and manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line NHS workers in Northamptonshire.

    NHS managers have highlighted the need for more PPE, including gloves, goggles face shields and scrubs, during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Silverstone Park

    Roz Bird, commercial director at Silverstone Park, said: "The high-tech engineering and manufacturing capability amongst businesses in the region is world class and we really wanted to do our bit during this crisis.

    "Also, this activity can support businesses with work and jobs by getting them to re-purpose their equipment and so become part of the medical sector’s supply chain in the longer term."

  15. Army congratulates Captain Tom on award

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC News

    The British Army has congratulated fundraiser Captain Tom Moore on his Pride of Britain Award.

    A spokesman for the Yorkshire Regiment said the 99-year-old's award was an "immense achievement" and that officers based from Keighley to Kabul were all "really proud" of him.

    Capt Tom has raised more than £28m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

    View more on instagram
  16. Theatre school beats lockdown with cyber show

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    A theatre school in St Abans has refused to be beaten by lockdown restrictions and put on a cyber show instead.

    Zoomania

    When it was forced to cancel its Easter holiday camp, Best Theatre Arts ran an online academy in which 35 students aged from six to 16, spent the week devising a "strange tale of games, aliens and escape through toilet rolls" complete with song and dance routines, all arranged and performed via video chat app Zoom and appropriately called Zoomania.

    Zoomania

    David Bevan, from Best, said the academy had been aimed at providing "a genuinely creative outlet for children during the lockdown - one that required full participation, co-operation and team communication."

  17. School nurses volunteering on front line

    Sarah Jenkins

    BBC News

    A school in Essex is celebrating its nurses who have volunteered on the front line.

    Felsted School has tweeted about two nurses, Maria and Karen, who are working at Lister Hospital, Stevenage, and Colchester Hospital.

    View more on twitter
  18. What the papers are saying...

    Here's how local newspapers in Cambridgeshire are reporting the coronavirus pandemic:

    • The Cambridge News reports that a new drive-through coronavirus testing site will be set up at the East of England Arena & Events Centre in Peterborough to test NHS staff and other key workers.
    • A young girl who dreams of being a nurse has lifted the spirits of NHS frontline staff with a heartwarming letter and gifts, the Peterborough Telegraph says.
  19. Captain Tom wins Pride of Britain award

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    Captain Tom Moore has won a special Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award for his fundraising walk that has so far raised more than £28m for NHS charities.

    The 99-year-old walked 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, to raise money for NHS Charities Together

    View more on twitter

    He was told about his honour by Carol Vorderman, in a live TV surprise on ITV's Good Morning Britain, who said his "kindness, modesty, utter determination and selflessness embodies all that it is to be a Pride of Britain winner".

    Capt Tom said: "That is absolutely amazing. It’s very difficult for me to believe things like this... I thank you very much because I am very, very humbled at receiving this magnificent award. Thank you all very, very much."

  20. Cyclists ride 'around the world' to support NHS workers

    A Suffolk cyclist is one of 80 riders "cycling around the world" from their homes to support frontline healthcare workers.

    Rebecca Johnson, 29, of Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, is taking part in world record-holder Mark Beaumont's World in a Day in aid of The Sun's Who Cares Wins appeal for the NHS Charities.

    The core team of 80 riders, including Beaumont and paralympians Steve Bate and Mel Nicholls, are all around the globe

    Each rider is completing 240 miles (386km) in a day on their home cycle trainers.

    Rebecca Johnson

    Miss Johnson, who started at 04:00, said she's had a "constant stream of happy faces" joining her virtually as she takes part in the event, including friends from New Zealand, Switzerland and Scotland as well as those from her home county.

    Some also joined her while on their indoor trainers to keep her company while she pedalled.

    It is expected the riders will finish in time for tonight's Clap for Carers at 20:00.