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Live Reporting

Edited by Jasmine Taylor-Coleman

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage

    We're pausing our coverage here, but before we go, here's a recap of some of the day's top stories:

    • The International Labour Organization warns that 1.5bn workers may have their livelihoods destroyed, especially those in the informal economy
    • And finally, some light relief from the animals enjoying this quieter world, including some friendlier-than-usual dolphins in Istanbul

    Thank you for joining us. Today's live coverage was brought to you by Tessa Wong, Saira Asher, Jaroslav Lukov, Frances Mao, Krutika Pathi, Owen Amos, Andreas Ilmer, Yvette Tan, Paul Seddon, Gavin Stamp, Sarah Collerton, Sophie Williams, Georgina Rannard, Gary Rose, Claudia Allen, Sean Fanning, Jasmine Taylor-Coleman, Deirdre Finnerty, Neil Johnston, Jonathan Jurejko and Becky Morton.

  2. US inmate dies after giving birth on a ventilator

    Andrea Circle Bear, a US federal prison inmate who gave birth while she was on a ventilator, has died of Covid-19.

    Bear, 30, died on 28 April while serving a 26-month sentence for a drug charge in South Dakota. She is thought to be the first federal female inmate to have died with coronavirus in the US.

    The US prisons bureau did not provide an update on the health of Circle Bear's baby.

    Her death marks the 30th coronavirus-related death of federal inmates across the country.

    At least 1,751 inmates have been moved from prisons to home confinement amid concerns of virus spread. However, Circle Bear did not appear to have been considered a priority for early release.

    With an estimated 2.3 million people behind bars, the US has a greater proportion of imprisoned citizens than any other country.

    Read the story here.

  3. Latest from Canada

    On Wednesday, Canadians pondered safety in the meat industry, while a new report shed light on the sad outcomes of a health-care system with a one-track mind.

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he did not want to pit worker safety against the food supply. "The priority for us is both things," he said. On Tuesday, Donald Trump declared that meatpacking plants must stay open, despite concerns over worker safety
    • Later, a Cargill meat-processing plant responsible for Canada's largest outbreak announced it would re-open
    • Mr Trudeau met with parliament to try and push through a C$9bn ($6.5bn, £5.2bn) student aid package for university students
    • A report says that at least 35 Canadians have died because of coronavirus-related delays to coronary surgery. Thousands of surgeries have been cancelled or delayed to make room for a surge in coronavirus patients in hospitals
    • Covid-19 has killed 3,097 people in Canada, with almost 80% of deaths occurring in long-term care and seniors homes
  4. My son's asthmatic killer doesn't deserve to die in jail

    Picture of Alejo Hunau
    Image caption: Alejo Hunau was murdered in his apartment in 2004

    A woman in Argentina has written to authorities in support of releasing her son's killer from prison during the coronavirus pandemic, recognising that his asthma puts him at risk.

    Silvia Ontivero previously contacted magistrates in February, calling for his parole request to be rejected. However, she said the current crisis made her think again.

    "I have had rage. I have had hate. But I have never wished him dead," she wrote in an open letter.

    There have been riots in prisons across the country in recent weeks, amid fears that the virus could spread fast within the overcrowded and poorly sanitised spaces.

  5. 'They risk their lives just to cut my hair'

    Barber shops, tattoo parlours, beaches and restaurants are reopening in Georgia as the governor leads the nation in lifting its coronavirus restrictions.

    BBC Newsnight's David Grossman travelled across the southern US state to see what life looks like as the state emerges from economic hibernation - a "great big experiment".

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: This is what reopening in US looks like
  6. Captain Tom to celebrate 100th birthday

    Captain Tom Moore

    Captain Tom Moore, who has raised almost £30m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden, will celebrate his 100th birthday on Thursday.

    The 99-year-old's incredible exploits have captured the hearts of the nation and his efforts will be recognised on his landmark day with an RAF flypast.

    Captain Tom is already assured of having a number one single in the UK charts when he turns 100 after his collaboration with Michael Ball hit the number one spot last Friday.

    Dame Vera Lynn, who Captain Tom saw perform during World War Two, has paid tribute to his achievements.

    She said: "Many congratulations on not only your 100th birthday, but also on achieving such a wonderful success in raising millions for the NHS. Everyone is very proud of you."

  7. Record daily rise in cases in South Africa

    Lockdown regulations were introduced in South Africa on 27 March
    Image caption: Lockdown regulations were introduced in South Africa on 27 March

    South Africa has recorded its largest daily rise in the number of coronavirus cases, the health department has tweeted.

    Another 354 infections were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,350. It's a 73% increase on the previous day, officials said.

    And a further 10 people have died, bringing the total there to 103.

    One of the people who died was a nurse from the Western Cape, where 30 Cuban doctors are being sent to help medics.

    The arrival of the Cuban doctors has angered some who argue that unemployed local medics should have been given priority for jobs.

    After Egypt, South Africa is the worst-affected country in Africa.

  8. US top doctor optimistic about possible treatment

    Dr Anthony Fauci
    Image caption: US top doctor Anthony Fauci says he is optimistic about a potential virus treatment

    Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious-disease expert, says he is optimistic about early results of a trial examining an experimental treatment for coronavirus.

    The drug, remdesivir, is an anti-viral that was initially developed as a treatment for Ebola.

    "The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Dr Fauci said.

    Early data shows that the treatment improves recovery for patients from 15 to 11 days, Dr Fauci said. These results may not "seem like a knockout", he added, but "it has proven that a drug can block the virus".

    The trial was run by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and has not yet been published.

    Dr Fauci's announcement came as the Lancet medical journal published the details of another remdesivir trial in China.

    This trial showed the drug did not improve outcomes, although it was not completed.

    You can read more about the use of remdesivir from the BBC's Health and Science Correspondent James Gallagher.

  9. Coronavirus - latest headlines from around the world

    Graphic showing US economy

    Economies take a hit while death tolls sadly continue to rise in some countries. Here's a look at the latest global developments.

    • The US economy suffered its most severe contraction in more than a decade in the first quarter of the year, as the country introduced lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus. The world's largest economy sank at an annual rate of 4.8%, according to official figures
    • In China, where restrictions were in place for much of the quarter, the economy shrank by 6.8% while Germany said its economy could shrink by a record 6.3% this year
    • Germany has extended a warning against global travel until 14 June
    • The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK has passed 26,000, as official figures include deaths in the community, such as in care homes, for the first time
    • Half of the world's workers are in danger of having their livelihoods destroyed by the pandemic, a United Nations agency has warned. The International Labour Organisation's says the livelihoods of 1.6 billion informal workers are threatened by the virus
    • Authorities in a Spanish coastal resort have apologised after spraying a beach with bleach in an attempt to protect children from coronavirus
  10. BBC's Huw Edwards believes he had coronavirus

    Huw Edwards often reads the six and ten'o'clock news in the UK
    Image caption: Huw Edwards often reads the six and ten'o'clock news in the UK

    Our viewers in the UK may have noticed that newsreader Huw Edwards wasn't on our screens for a while in March.

    On coming back to work, he said he'd been treated for pneumonia and took a period of rest.

    His doctor was "totally convinced it was Covid-19" but he wasn't tested, the presenter wrote in a Welsh-language magazine.

    Read more here.

  11. TV presenter pauses home-made programme

    Many of you know how difficult working from home can be - and it has been no different for television presenter Steph McGovern.

    She has been presenting The Steph Show - a recently-launched daily lunchtime show on Channel 4 - from her living room in North Yorkshire.

    Now she is pausing the programme because she wants to give her family their "home back".

    Channel 4 director of programmes Ian Katz added: "I think we have stretched the patience of the neighbours a bit too far and had to take it off."

    View more on twitter
  12. Facemasks could lead to 'cavalier' behaviour, warns UK minister

    In the latest in the debate over whether people in the UK should wear facemasks in public, a minister has said the government is worried people might act in a "cavalier" way.

    Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said some people might think that wearing a mask "protects themselves, as distinct to protecting others".

    However, he did say the government would keep its advice under review.

    Previously, the chief scientific officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, has said the evidence relating to masks helping prevent transmission was "quite weak".

    Woman wearing facemask in London
  13. Russia extends entry ban for foreigners

    President Putin extended the lockdown in Russia on Tuesday
    Image caption: President Putin extended the lockdown in Russia on Tuesday

    Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has has extended a ban on foreigners entering Russia until the Covid-19 pandemic is contained. The ban would have expired on Friday.

    Exceptions will be made for some visitors, such as foreigners entering Russia to set up or service imported equipment, Mishustin said.

    Russia has reported 108 Covid-19 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 972.

    The total number of cases reported by the Russian authorities since the start of the outbreak stands at 99,399.

  14. Yemen reports five more cases amid fears of undetected spread

    A woman begs for money with her children on a street in Aden, Yemen (27 April 2020)
    Image caption: Some 24 million Yemenis - 80% of the population - rely on humanitarian aid

    The authorities in Yemen have reported five new Covid-19 cases, a day after the United Nations warned that there was a very real probability the coronavirus was “circulating undetected and unmitigated within communities” in the war-torn country.

    Previously, only a single infection had been detected - in a port official at al-Shihr, in the south-eastern province of Hadramawt, almost four weeks ago. But health workers were reportedly unable to track down “patient zero” to help prevent an outbreak.

    The new cases were reported on Wednesday in the second city of Aden, some 540km (335 miles) west of al-Shihr.

    Aid workers have said an outbreak of Covid-19 in Yemen could be particularly devastating.

    More than five years of civil war have badly degraded the country’s health service, leaving it desperately ill-equipped to cope with Covid-19.

    The UN says 10 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine, while 18 million people do not have direct access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene - limiting their ability to wash their hands.

  15. Switzerland to re-open 'sooner than expected'

    Imogen Foulkes

    BBC News, Geneva

    A woman wears a mask inside an opticians in Switzerland

    Switzerland is to re-open all shops, restaurants, bars, and museums from 11 May.

    The decision, which came sooner than expected, was taken, the government said, because the number of coronavirus cases and the number of hospitalisations was falling faster than expected.

    Switzerland has had fewer than 250 cases of the virus per day for the last ten days. Its intensive care units have had space throughout the epidemic.

    That is enough for the government to allow impatient businesses, especially bars and restaurants, to re-open.

    The reopening of schools on 11 May has already been announced.

    But the Swiss health minister warned this is not a return to normal: there will be no standing at bars, restaurant tables are limited to four people, with a distance of two metres between tables.

    The ban on large gatherings remains.

    At the same time countrywide tracing will begin, with quarantine orders for virus cases and all their contacts.

    Some Swiss will breathe a sigh of relief at this decision, others, remembering how fast the virus took off in Switzerland, may fear the relaxation is too soon.

  16. Tom Hanks donates his blood for coronavirus research

    Donating plasma is as easy as taking a nap, says actor Tom Hanks
    Image caption: Donating plasma is as easy as taking a nap, says actor Tom Hanks

    When much-loved Hollywood actor Tom Hanks fell ill with coronavirus in early March, it was a sign for many that this virus was real.

    Fortunately he and his wife, Rita Wilson, felt better after a couple of weeks and a hospital visit in Australia where Hanks was filming.

    Now he has tweeted pictures of donating his plasma to be used in coronavirus research. It's as easy as taking a nap, he says.

    Scientists hope that the blood of people who're recovered from Covid-19 has enough anti-bodies to help treat current patients.

    You can read about UK research into the potential therapy here.

    Last week the actor wrote a letter to a boy called Corona who was being bullied about his name.

    View more on twitter
  17. Hospital chaplain: 'To hold a hand can be powerful'

    BBC OS

    Video content

    Video caption: Lindsay van Dijk is a humanist chaplain in the UK

    Lindsay van Dijk works as a humanist chaplain for hospitals in the UK, providing spiritual and emotional care to patients and their families.

    She's continued her work throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and told us what it's been like being with patients in their final moments.

    "I have held hands with people, with gloves, who were dying," Lindsay says. "Touch is a very important thing, especially when people are about to die and to hold a hand can be quite powerful."

  18. Analysis: Ministers under pressure to support UK care sector

    Jessica Parker

    BBC political correspondent

    The news of the birth of a healthy baby boy for UK PM Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds today elicited congratulations from across the political spectrum - a positive headline amid all those difficult, tragic and daunting ones.

    Perhaps in a sign of the times, the prime minister was back at work within hours.

    But today it fell to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deliver the sombre news that more than 26,000 people have died in the UK, with deaths inside and outside hospitals merged in the same total.

    Despite the stark figures, Downing Street has resisted suggestions that the care sector was neglected as the government machine worked to ensure that the NHS could cope.

    And it’s true to say that the care sector is a more disparate system than the health service, with settings run by a variety of local authorities, companies and charities - not to mention those who receive care in their own homes.

    Regardless, ministers are now under significant pressure to reach, support and help those people whom some say have been forgotten.

    That’s the immediate challenge.

    But a longer-term question may be whether the adult social care sector finally gets the far-reaching reforms that have been promised by politicians for years.

  19. Could Wetherspoons reopen in June?

    All of Wetherspoons 850 UK pubs were closed in March after the government introduced new measures to try to stop the spread of coronavirus

    While enjoying a drink in a bar or restaurant still seems like a distant prospect for people in the UK, pub chain Wetherspoons has said it plans to reopen its pubs and hotels in June.

    Bosses said they hope to benefit from the chain having larger pubs premises than its rivals.

    "Wetherspoon pubs are substantially larger than average, and most have outside facilities. The company believes these factors are likely to assist if social distancing measures apply," said a statement.

    Wetherspoons has 850 pubs in the UK which have been closed since the government introduced new measures in March to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    The government has not yet outlined any plans to ease lockdown restrictions for pubs and restaurants.

  20. Too much focus on 'personal soap opera' of PM - former spin doctor

    Alastair Campbell

    Former director of communications to Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, said he congratulated Boris Johnson on the birth of his baby boy but he should have taken part in Prime Minister's Questions earlier today.

    Speaking to the BBC, Mr Campbell said he was not "mean-spirited" but it was important to "keep our perspective on the scale of the challenge" the UK was facing, citing the latest death figures in care homes and BA job losses.

    He said there had been "too much of a focus on this almost like a personal soap opera, rather than one of the biggest national catastrophes that we've seen in our lifetime".

    He added that he was worried the media coverage, mostly by newspapers, would be "disproportionate" and that it was possible to wish Mr Johnson well but "they’re not the Royal Family".