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Live Reporting

Ashitha Nagesh, Jennifer Scott, Hazel Shearing, Victoria King, Paul Seddon, Andreas Illmer, Saira Asher, Anna Jones, Yvette Tan, Frances Mao and Jay Savage

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live page is closing

    We're pausing our live coverage for now, but you can still follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak and other stories on the BBC News website.

    Here are a few key developments from today:

    • Italy reported 427 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its overall toll to 3,405. This means more people have now died after getting the virus there than in China, where it originated.
    • The confirmed number of deaths globally is now more than 9,000, and confirmed cases have risen to more than 222,000.
    • Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, has tested positive. He tweeted that he's "doing well and in good spirits".
    • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged world leaders to work together, warning that if the virus were left to spread unchecked "it would kill millions of people".
    • In the UK, the Queen issued a message to the nation about "coming together to work as one" during this "period of great concern and uncertainty".
    • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country could "turn the tide" on the virus within 12 weeks if people followed official guidance, around the likes of social distancing. But he hasn't gone any further to enforce restrictions on public life in the way that many other countries have.
    • The US State Department issued a Level 4 warning - the highest possible - advising US citizens to avoid all international travel and, for those abroad, to “arrange for immediate return to the United States". The death toll in the US is 157, while the number of cases has risen to 11,274.
    • Cannes Film Festival, due to be held in France in May, has been postponed. Organisers say they are considering new dates from the end of June to the beginning of July.

    Most importantly of all, if you read only one thing, make it this guide to the symptoms of the virus and the ways in which you can minimise your risk of contracting or spreading it.

    You can also sign up for a daily briefing on the pandemic here. It'll be emailed to you each morning.

  2. Canadian foreign minister awaiting test results

    Canada’s Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne has been tested for Covid-19 after experiencing “flu-like symptoms” after returning from abroad.

    He will self-isolate as he awaits results “very shortly”.

    “I will continue to work around the clock to support Canadians,” Champagne said, urging citizens to practice self distancing and “take all necessary precautions to protect each other”.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also in self-isolation after his wife tested positive for the virus, though Trudeau himself has shown no symptoms.

    Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne delivers a speech in Kiev, Ukraine  5 March
    Image caption: Froeign Minister François-Philippe Champagne is awaiting coronavirus test results
  3. Czech government to pay $40bn for workers' wages

    The Czech government has pledged $40 billion (£35 billion) to businesses so they can pay their workers' wages.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the money would be made up of $4bn in aid, and the rest would be loan guarantees, so firms can weather the huge losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Thursday the Czech Republic reported 134 new cases of the illness in 24 hours, bringing its total up to 694.

    All countries are under pressure to try to mitigate the impact of the crisis on their economies and citizens. The UK government is set to announce further measures on Friday.

  4. Army locks down Jordanian capital

    Soldiers sealing off Amman

    From one city to another and soldiers in medical masks have now sealed off Amman from the rest of Jordan as a lockdown comes into force.

    Army checkpoints have been established on main entrances to the capital, as a travel ban came into force that only allows entry to essential goods or people with authorised business.

    Army spokesman Brigadier General Mukhles al Mufleh told state media the measures were "to prevent the spread of the virus".

    Today the number of confirmed cases in Jordan rose by 13 people to 69.

  5. New York City mayor on risk to medical supplies

    More from the US...

    Bill de Blasio says his city is just two to three weeks away from running out of critical medical supplies.

    Three million N-95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, 25 million surgical gowns and 25 million gloves are needed "by early in April", New York's mayor said, "for us to ensure that our healthcare system, public and private, can bear the brunt of the coronavirus crisis."

    The cry for help comes as New York City reports a total of 3,615 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and 22 deaths.

    "This is going to be one of the most difficult moments in New York City history," de Blasio said.

    De Blasio yesterday called upon the US military to intervene in the coronavirus outbreak in his city

    "I want their medical teams, I want their logistical support... the only force in America that can do that effectively and quickly," he said.

  6. Pope Francis leads prayer to end coronavirus

    Following that sad news on the death toll in Italy, Pope Francis has led a televised service from the Vatican this evening to pray for an end to the pandemic.

    Italy's bishops asked Catholics to say the rosary in their homes at 21:00 local time (20:00 GMT) and to put a lighted candle in their windows, as a sign of national unity.

    The request spread on social media after it was announced earlier this week, and many Catholics across the world joined in.

    In a broadcast message before the prayers, Pope Francis said: "In this unprecedented situation, when everything seems to be vacillating, let us help each other remain steady in what really matters."

    Pope Francis leads a rosary
    Pope Francis leads a rosary
    Pope Francis leads a rosary
  7. Latest Newscast now live

    BBC political editor tweets...

    View more on twitter

    The latest episode of the BBC's daily podcast covering the pandemic has just been released. It includes the latest from Italy, where today the death toll surpassed that in China.

  8. What’s the latest in the US?

    US prison

    As the virus continues its spread through all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, the number of confirmed cases in the US has climbed to 11,274. Across the country, 157 people have died, with concentrated clusters on the country’s West Coast - namely Washington state and California - and New York.

    The US State Department has issued a Level 4 warning - the highest possible - advising US citizens to avoid all international travel and, for those abroad, to “arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period”.

    Amid rising panic - and sustained criticism of the administration for its response to the outbreak - President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would rush the development of vaccines and treatments “as fast as it can possibly be done” for Covid-19. He announced earlier this week that human testing on a vaccine trial had begun.

    US lawmakers are moving to pass a $1 trillion - or larger - emergency aid package sought by the White House in order to send $1,200 cheques to American taxpayers, and $2,400 to families. As businesses are forced to shutter, first-time claims for unemployment insurance have surged, crashing government unemployment websites.

  9. Varadkar welcomes UK school closures

    We've just been told that Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have spoken by phone about the crisis. The former has welcomed the UK's decision to close schools.

    The Irish government said the move had brought a "greater closeness" between the positions in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    The two men agreed on the need to "keep in contact and align their actions" in response to the coronavirus pandemic, "in so far as possible".

  10. Question Time back next week at 20:00 GMT

    BBC Question Time has come to an end, but it will continue in its new prime time slot next week.

    For more debate on the issues from tonight's show, listen into BBC Radio 5 Live now for Question Time Extra Time with Adrian Chiles.

  11. Question Time: What will replace school exams?

    BBC Question Time

    The last question tonight is about how qualifications will be awarded to schoolchildren given exams have been cancelled.

    Union chief Frances O'Grady says a solution must be fair to pupils, noting teachers are "desperate" for clear guidance.

    She also calls on the government to make clear who will be defined as a "key worker" and able to carry on sending their children to school.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock says guidance on qualifications will be made available "as fast as we possibly can".

    He says we'll have to wait for tomorrow for news on key workers - but NHS and social care workers, as well as those who make medical devices, will be on the list.

  12. Question Time: How do we stop mass buying?

    BBC Question Time

    Frances O'Grady
    Image caption: Frances O'Grady says it has been like "survival of the fittest" in supermarkets

    The topic of panic buying raises its ugly head on BBC's Question Time next.

    Union chief Frances O'Grady says: "When I looked at some of those supermarket shelves, people sweeping up toilet roll and soap, it is almost like survival of the fittest.

    "When we are scared, we often think of our families first, but as a community, we have to think about our neighbours, workmates, the elderly, and screw our heads on."

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praises supermarkets like Iceland who have introduced "silver hours" to ensure the elderly can come to shop and get supplies.

    But he says measures to stop mass buying "have to be governed by supermarkets" - not by orders through government.

    Instead he appeals to "every single person who is fit and healthy" to "check the door on left, check the door on the right, the door over the road, and in a respectful, community way we will find help for lots of people".

    He concludes: "Everybody can play a part."

    Read more on the steps shops are taking to combat stockpiling. And our business editor Simon Jack explains why supermarkets are drastically cutting their ranges amid the coronavirus crisis.

  13. How many confirmed cases are there in your area?

    Promo image showing UK

    What's happening in your part of the country? We've been tracking all the updates to give you the clearest picture possible.

    Remember, though, that while a total of 3,269 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, the actual number is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000.

  14. 65,000 ex-medics could 'boost' NHS

    After UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock discussed efforts being made to get more essential kit to the NHS front line, we've learned that as many as 65,000 retired doctors and nurses could go back to work to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.

    The NHS has asked former employees who have left in the past three years to re-register with the regulatory bodies and "boost the ranks" of its staff.

    Those who return to work will be able to opt in to a register to fill a range of roles - clinical and non-clinical - based on their skills and how much time they have spent away from work.

    Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: "As the health service gears up to deal with the greatest global health threat in its history, my message to former colleagues is 'Your NHS Needs You'."

  15. Burnham: Government doing least for those who need most

    BBC Question Time

    Andy Burnham
    Image caption: Labour's Andy Burnham asks about help for low income workers

    As we said, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is being questioned about the help for businesses. He's pushed hard by Labour Mayor Andy Burnham ahead of an announcement by the chancellor tomorrow on more support.

    Mr Burnham says he has a lot of sympathy for the government, but they have "taken a lot of measures that sounded good but they have not given all the answers".

    The former minister accuses the government of "doing the least for people who need help the most" - such as those in insecure employment, the self-employed, and those already on benefits out of work.

    "Those people can't follow government advice to self isolate, they have to go into work, they should have been first group to be helped," adds Mr Burnham.

    Mr Hancock says the government changed rules in the Budget just a week ago to help those people, and agrees the government must help businesses to keep people in work "because it is the best way to be ready to bounce back".

    He refuses to reveal what the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce tomorrow when it comes to the amount people are given on statutory sick pay - around £94 per week - but concludes: "Mark my words, we will do everything we can to make sure people are supported through this."

  16. What are your rights to pay if you're at home?

    Question Time has moved on to questions around pay for workers struggling amid the crisis - including the self-employed, those on zero-hours contracts or those forced to stay off to look after family.

    What are your rights to pay if you're at home with your children now schools have closed? Find out the answer to that and other questions about work.

  17. When will NHS staff get tested?

    BBC Question Time

    Back to Question Time and a viewer asks when frontline NHS staff will be tested after lots of complaints to the media by health workers.

    Dr Tom Solomon says it is critical to test NHS workers, but said Public Health England created a test "as soon as they possibly could".

    However, union chief Frances O'Grady says she is concerned by reports from staff not being able to get tested.

    "Health staff and staff in social care are putting their health on the line for us, least they deserve is to get tests," she adds.

    The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Labour's Andy Burnham, says services in his area also don't feel testing is happening fast enough and wonders if "the eye was taken off the ball" by the government.

    But Health Secretary Matt Hancock says tests are increasing everyday.

    He says he has today spent some of his department's cash today on new tests that work more like pregnancy tests - mentioned by the PM earlier - which makes it quicker to get results.

    He adds: "Testing is the way to get a grip on this curve and hopefully, in time, reduce some of the incredibly draconian measures."

    He also says that by next week, every social care provider will have protective equipment.

  18. Evening round-up

    A quick round-up of some of the top coronavirus news stories for you as Question Time carries on:

    And some other interesting or helpful pieces you might like:

  19. Guests sit apart on BBC Question Time

    Question Time

    For the first time in the history of Question Time there is no studio audience because of the social distancing measures currently in place - but the people of Weston-super-Mare have recorded questions to be played in via video link.

    The show's guests are also sitting much further apart than normal to reduce their risk of passing on any infection.