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Live Reporting

Mal Siret, Georgina Rannard, Victoria Bisset, Alex Bysouth, Tom Spender and Tom Gerken

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for now

    We're pausing our live coverage for now, but we'll be back later on Sunday.

    A lot happened on Saturday, as cases of Covid-19 across the globe surpassed 1.1 million and deaths rose above 62,000, here is a round-up of Saturday's key news:

    • In the UK, a five-year-old child was one of 708 people to die, in the highest death toll the country has seen in a single day so far. As hospital admissions have gone up in the Midlands and elsewhere, the head of NHS England said there was a long road ahead and appealed to everyone to remain at home wherever possible
    • During the government's daily briefing, minister Michael Gove described conspiracy theories linking the 5G mobile phone network to the coronavirus as "dangerous nonsense"
    • New York reported a record 630 deaths in 24 hours, as President Donald Trump announced that federal assistance would be focused on areas most in need
    • While the death toll in Italy rose to over 15,000, the head of the country's civil protection signalled some positive news, as the number of patients in intensive care fell for the first time. The daily reported number of deaths has been falling gradually in the past eight days
    • In Spain, 809 people died in the last 24 hours - the first time in three days that the daily death toll has been under 900. Spain's prime minister said the country was "close to passing the peak of infections" but extended lockdown measures until 26 April
    • Meanwhile in France, the number of deaths rose to 7,560
    • In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai announced a two-week lockdown to help confront the virus
  2. Trump and Pence praise healthcare staff

    Mr Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence both praised the contributions of healthcare workers during the pandemic.

    "I have seen such support," Mr Trump said, adding that "people clapping for the fire department, clapping for police, they're like warriors. They're the rock stars".

    Mr Pence agreed, saying: "The stories are incredibly moving about what healthcare workers are doing every day.

    "To hear the stories of healthcare workers who are holding up a phone while someone who is critically ill with coronavirus is saying their last goodbyes to family, and to be with them in those last moments, our healthcare workers are not just doctors or nurses today, they're supplementing for family."

  3. 3M 'will have a hell of a price to pay'

    More from Mr Trump on the situation with mask manufacturer 3M, after he said he would use the Defence Production Act to ensure masks manufactured by the company were supplied to the US.

    "We're very disappointed in 3M," he says. "They can sell to others, but they should be taking care of our country."

    Responding to a question about accusations that the US had committed an act of "modern piracy" by redirecting 200,000 Germany-bound masks for its own use, the president said: "There has been no act of piracy, it's the opposite.

    "3M has not treated our country well, and if they do, great. If they don't, they're going to have a hell of a price to pay."

  4. 'Terrible' action by US Navy captain, says Trump

    The president says he agrees "100%" with the decision of the US Navy to relieve Capt Brett Crozier from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

    Capt Crozier had said in a letter that the Navy was not doing enough to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board his ship.

    Mr Trump said he did not "know much about" the background.

    "I can only tell you this. Here we have one of the greatest ships in the world with thousands and thousands of people, and you had about 120 who were infected.

    "The captain wrote a letter, a five-page letter from a captain, and the letter was all over the place. That's not appropriate."

    He added that he thought the incident "looked terrible" and that the decision to relieve Capt Crozier of his command was the right thing to do.

    "They made their decision, the secretary of defence was involved... he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter. He stopped in Vietnam, a lot of people got off the boat, they came back and they had infection, and I thought it was inappropriate."

  5. Trump: 'I want sports fans back in arenas'

    US President Donald Trump

    President Trump says he had a conference call with sports commissioners across the US on Saturday, naming several people including those in charge of the MLB, NFL and NBA.

    But the president denied reports that he wants stadiums to reopen in August.

    "We need to open our country," he said. "I had an expression, the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. We've got to get our country open. I want fans back in the arenas whenever we're ready, as soon as we can."

    The president said he was unable to put a date on when this might be achieved, only that he thought it would be "sooner rather than later".

    "We’re not going to have to have separation for the rest of our time on this planet, but eventually people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas.

    "I’m not committing to [packing the stadiums in August] but it would be great if we were. People are staying in their homes, they're doing what they know is the right thing to do. It's not very complicated."

    He added that he believed it would be possible to go ahead with the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin on 24 August.

  6. Social distancing is 'making a difference'

    Dr Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has taken to the podium during the task force briefing to once again urge the American public to engage in social distancing.

    "You will be seeing, and we should not be surprised, there are going to be deaths that are going to continue to go up," he said. "But as I mentioned to this group and to the general public multiple times, there really is a cascading of events where you have new cases, hospitalisations, intensive care and deaths."

    Dr Fauci said it was important to remain focused on limiting the number of new cases.

    "Hopefully the kinds of mitigations that we're talking about are going to have an impact. Is the mitigation working? Clearly, in the countries that have implemented very strict kinds of programmes of mitigation, clearly it works.

    "I want to plead to the American public, as sobering and as difficult as it is, what we are doing is making a difference, so we really need to continue to do it."

  7. Americans returned from abroad

    Mr Trump says that 40,000 Americans have been repatriated to the United States after being "literally stuck" abroad.

    The president said the US state department had successfully co-ordinated the return of citizens involving "400 flights in 75 countries".

    "Many of those countries were terrific in helping us, and I appreciate that very much.

    "Some of them I had to call the leaders of the country, most of whom I know, and once I did they snapped like you wouldn't believe. They really helped us," Mr Trump said.

  8. 'Thousands of soldiers' and '180 million masks'

    President Trump says "we're going to be adding a tremendous amount of military, thousands of soldiers, medical workers, professionals," to help deal with the pandemic.

    The military personnel will "soon" be advised of their assignments, he said, adding that "1,000 military personnel" were being deployed to New York City.

    Mr Trump also said that he was employing the Defence Production Act, a federal law instituted in response to the Korean War in 1950, which allows it to requisition materials and facilities - seemingly confirming mask manufacturer 3M's claim that it had been told by the US government not to send masks to Canada or Latin America.

    "Fema [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] has ordered 180 million N95 masks and we're working now with 3M to see if that works out," he said.

    "But we want them to help our country. We need the masks, we don’t want other people getting it... you could call it retaliation."

  9. 'There's going to be a lot of death, unfortunately'

    President Trump says federal assistance will now be focused on areas that need it most.

    "In some cases we are telling governors we cannot go there as we don't think they need it, or someone else needs it," he said.

    "There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be death. We are looking for an obvious focus on the hardest hit regions.

    "Some spring up, they hit you like you got hit by a club."

  10. White House briefing begins

    US President Donald Trump has begun the daily coronavirus task force briefing by expressing "support, solidarity and love for the people of our great country".

    "We're fighting for you and we are enduring all of this together," he says.

  11. Trump briefing delayed

    The daily US coronavirus task force briefing, which was scheduled to start at 20:30 BST, has not yet begun.

    No reason has been given for the delay on official government channels.

    Ahead of the White House briefing, President Trump has been tweeting well-wishes to the youths whose Little League baseball season has also been delayed.

    View more on twitter
  12. Coronavirus pandemic visualised

    European countries with the highest numbers of cases
    Image caption: European countries with the highest numbers of cases

    Since the coronavirus pandemic began, our data and visualisation team has been tracking its spread. The map above shows which European countries currently have the most coronavirus cases - Italy, Spain and Germany are the top three.

    But remember, Germany has fewer deaths, with 1,275 compared to more than 10,000 in Spain and 15,000 in Italy, as shown in the chart below.

    The third group of charts shows the trajectory of the outbreak in four countries - comparing how rapidly the death toll is growing over time.

    The death toll in Italy reached 15,362 on Saturday
    Image caption: The death toll in Italy reached 15,362 on Saturday
    These charts show the trajectory of death tolls over time since the 10th death in each country
    Image caption: These charts show the trajectory of death tolls over time since the 10th death in each country
  13. 5G spreading virus 'a physical and biological impossibility'

    Rachel Schraer

    Health Reporter

    There were plenty of concerns and conspiracies around 5G circulating before the coronavirus outbreak. But these seem to have escalated – with much-shared posts online suggesting a link between the illness and the new mobile phone technology.

    Sars-CoV-2 is a virus that causes the illness Covid-19. Viruses are bits of genetic material coated in protein which infiltrate the cells of living things in order to reproduce. They often originate in animals.

    The genome of this coronavirus has been sequenced so we can see that it looks a lot like viruses that circulate in the bat and pangolin population, suggesting that, like many other viruses, it jumped from animals to humans – and then began to pass from human to human.

    There is no biological mechanism by which 5G - which uses radio waves - could have any bearing on this illness. They are just completely different things.

    Dr Brendan Wren at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine described it as "both a physical and biological impossibility".

  14. NY jail ordered to provide staff with protective gear

    Rikers Island
    Image caption: Rikers Island prison has recorded several cases of coronavirus

    Staff at Rikers Island prison in New York City must be provided with protective equipment, have their temperatures regularly checked for signs of Covid-19 and work in conditions with increased sanitation, a judge has ruled.

    The judgment follows a lawsuit by the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association - a union representing about 9,000 officers - which demanded better protections from the virus.

    In her ruling, state judge Pamela Brown said officers assigned to work in sections housing inmates who are infected with coronavirus, where there are prisoners showing symptoms, or who transport such inmates, must be given N95 level masks.

    Former Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein is an inmate at Rikers Island.

  15. Canada receiving 'millions' of masks from China

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced at his daily press briefing that Canada is due to receive "millions" of masks from China in the next 48 hours.

    "We are working around the clock to get Canada the resources it needs," he said.

    Mr Trudeau added that "items ordered for Quebec", the territory worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Canada, will be included in the shipment.

    "I want to take a moment to thank everyone, whether you're working in a warehouse, flying the plane, or part of the ground crew, for your dedication," he said.

    His comments come a day after major US mask manufacturer 3M said the Trump administration had asked it to stop exporting N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America.

  16. Coming up: Trump to give US update

    US President Donald Trump is due to present the daily coronavirus task force briefing at 2030 BST.

    It comes with news that:

    • The number of cases in the US has risen to over 278,000, with more than 7,000 deaths
    • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he plans to sign an executive order allowing medical students who are about to graduate to begin practising now
    • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday recommended that people wear face masks - or coverings - when going out in public
    • Mr Trump said at his press briefing on Friday that he would not be wearing a face mask despite it being recommended, because it would be "odd" to wear one in the Oval Office when greeting world leaders
  17. 'Cyber attacks target hospitals fighting virus'

    Hospitals on the frontline of fighting the coronavirus pandemic are facing a large increase in attempted cyber-attacks, the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has warned.

    The agency said that criminals are using software to hold medical centres digitally hostage and prevent them accessing files and systems until a ransom is paid.

    Interpol added that emails are primarily being used to spread the ransomware, and that it is collecting a list of suspicious Internet domains.

  18. Italy's Lombardy residents required to wear masks

    Residents in the northern Italian region of Lombardy will now be required to wear protective masks or cover their faces when they go outside.

    The new measure comes into effect on Sunday and will last until 13 April.

    The ordinance from the region's President Attilio Fontana follows similar guidelines in other northern regions, Veneto and Alto Adige, where residents must wear masks when shopping in stores and at markets.

    The whole of Italy is in lockdown, but Lombardy - the epicentre of the virus in Europe - has passed particularly tight restrictions on movement and business.

  19. Striking coronavirus images from the past day

    Palestinian couple Ammar and Baraa show off their rings before getting married near Hebron, West Bank
    Image caption: Palestinian couple Ammar and Baraa show off their rings before getting married near Hebron, West Bank

    The global pandemic has brought us many remarkable images - from photos of the world's busiest spots abandoned to ordinary events turned upside-down by measures to control the virus. Here are some of the most eye-catching pictures from Saturday:

    A day of remembrance was held in China to honour victims of Covid-19 on the annual Tomb Sweeping Day that remembers the dead
    Image caption: A day of remembrance was held in China to honour victims of Covid-19 on the annual Tomb Sweeping Day that remembers the dead
    A new field hospital is under construction near Golokhvastovo, Moscow in Russia
    Image caption: A new field hospital is under construction near Golokhvastovo, Moscow in Russia
    Medics clap to show gratitude to health workers in Spain on a day when the country had its lowest death toll for a week
    Image caption: Medics clap to show gratitude to health workers in Spain on a day when the country recorded its lowest death toll for a week
    Normally crowded Chinatown in London is quiet on a weekend when the government instructed people to stay home
    Image caption: The normally crowded Chinatown in London is quiet on a weekend when the government instructed people to stay home
    Images of crowds are surprising now when we are used to seeing empty city streets - this picture is from Sweden, which has not introduced a lockdown
    Image caption: Images of crowds are surprising now when we are used to seeing empty city streets - this picture is from Sweden, which has not introduced a lockdown
  20. Army cracks down on notorious Romanian town

    Stephen McGrath, Romania

    A soldier wearing a protective face masks watches the traffic in the Union Square in Bucharest, Romania
    Image caption: A soldier stands in the centre of Bucharest (file pic)

    Special forces have been deployed to enforce a strict lockdown of Romania’s notorious town of Tandarei, known for its links to human-trafficking gangs and organised crime.

    Reports have emerged of parties and large gatherings taking place as many ignored restrictions on movement in the south-eastern town.

    In recent weeks, around 800 overseas workers are reported to have returned to Tandarei, from countries hit hard by the virus - such as Italy, Spain, and Germany - raising fears of the town becoming another coronavirus hotspot.

    The first hotspot outside the capital, Bucharest, was Suceava in the north-east, which saw the closure of its largest hospital after scores of medical staff tested positive for coronavirus.

    So far seven people who tested positive in Tandarei have died, including a 39-year-old man who reportedly had no underlying health conditions.

    In Romania, 3,613 people are confirmed infected and 146 people in total have died.