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Manchester celebs in 'stay at home' video reminder

Well-known Manchester personalities have joined with front line workers and community members to urge people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The video includes messages from sports stars, actors and musicians.

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Easter warning after 600 illegal parties shut down

Greater Manchester Police has warned people not to breach lockdown rules over Easter after it had to break up 660 parties last weekend.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said "each and every one of us need take this seriously".

Map of 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches
GMP
There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between Saturday and Tuesday

There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between Saturday and Tuesday, the force said.

That included 494 house parties - some with DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles - and 166 street parties.

One woman in Bury became the first person in Greater Manchester to be charged under the Coronavirus Act 2020 after police had to repeatedly shut down one of the parties.

The force also had to deal with 122 different groups gathering to play sports, 173 more gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
BBC
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins urged people to take the guidelines seriously

We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period, however it is vital that we follow the government guidelines.

The single most important action we can take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to save lives.

Chief Constable Ian HopkinsGreater Manchester Police

Garden memorial for Bolton schoolgirl

A memorial garden is being set up to honour a seven-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in a park.

Emily Jones
GMP

Emily Jones, who was a pupil at Markland Hill Primary School, Bolton, was killed by a woman in Queen's Park last month.

Head teacher Louise Close said staff were "blown away" people had pledged more than £11,000 for the memorial.

Emily's friends are helping design the garden and "have had some amazing ideas", she added.

Ms Close said due to the coronavirus pandemic some ways of honouring Emily had not been possible.

Barbecue found on 34th floor of Manchester's Beetham Tower

Firefighters called to the 34th floor of a skyscraper in Manchester were amazed to find a lit barbecue.

Beetham Tower
Getty Images/ Universal Images Group

Six fire engines and an aerial platform were sent to Beetham Tower on Deansgate at about 20:00 BST on Tuesday after a member of the public reported seeing "the flickering of flames".

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said luckily "no harm was done" by the barbecue, which had been ignited on an enclosed balcony.

"Fire safety advice" was given.

Coronavirus: Afternoon update

Lockdown to be extended?

As the initial three-week restriction on daily life nears an end,ministers are considering an extension. In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has already said the lockdown will continue.

Are minorities hardest hit?

Amid suggestions the virus is having a disproportionate impact on people from ethnic minority backgrounds, our Reality Check team examines the data.

Police talking to a woman sitting on grass
Reuters
With a warm bank holiday forecast, the British public are being urged to stay at home

Calls for international unity

Italy's prime minister says the EU must act together to help its worst-hit countries, or risk falling apart. And the World Health Organization's boss calls for "unity" in the face of criticism from US President Donald Trump.

Don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

And remember the warnings about trying not to touch your face. Tap here for tips on how to avoid doing it.

Manchester's famous worker bee features in special message for NHS

A special message to the NHS has been painted on the road leading to the new Nightingale Hospital in Manchester by the city's highway maintenance team.

The words "Thank You NHS" and a picture of a Manchester worker bee have been painted on the approach to the converted Manchester Central convention centre which is due to open as a hospital by the end of the week.

Work started on 28 March and the hospital will be able to provide treatment for up to 750 coronavirus patients.

'Thank You NHS' message and bee painted on road in Manchester
@t1gertess

The worker bee is a symbol of Manchester which dates back to the industrial revolution when workers were busy and productive.

It was also used as a symbol to show unity in the city after 22 people were killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena terror attack.

Premier League players club together to raise cash for NHS

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is leading the #PlayersTogether initiative to raise funds for the NHS.

The "collective initiative" will to help generate funds for the NHS and distribute them "where they are needed most" and "help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline".

Jordan Henderson posted this message on his Twitter page:

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock "warmly welcomed" the "big-hearted decision".

Police officer dies after coronavirus diagnosis

A Greater Manchester Police officer has died after contracting coronavirus.

GMP building with flag
GMP

The female staff officer, who had worked in the force's intelligence bureau for many years, died earlier this week, the region's deputy mayor for policing, Beverley Hughes, said.

It is believed to be the first coronavirus-related death within GMP.

The news came in a briefing by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham following a meeting of the region's emergency response committee on Wednesday.

Special meals for the housebound is one way the Jewish community is coping with lockdown
Special Passover meals are being provided for those who are isolated at home due to coronavirus.

Terror suspect unable to attend court due to 'self-isolation'

A terror suspect accused of plotting to fight against so-called Islamic State was unable to attend his latest court hearing because he is "self-isolating".

Former soldier Daniel Burke from Manchester is being held in custody after being charged with three terrorism offences.

Old Bailey
PA Media

His case was brought before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

But the 32-year-old was unable to appear via video link from prison as he is self-isolating due to the virus pandemic, the court heard.

The defendant, who allegedly expressed a desire to travel to Syria to fight for Kurdish militia, was charged in December last year after being stopped at a port.

Manchester Arena bomb plotter's murder sentencing postponed

The sentencing of Hashem Abedi, who was found guilty of murdering the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena bombing, has been postponed amid the virus outbreak.

Hashem Abedi
GMP

The brother of bomber Salman Abedi had been due to be sentenced on 23 and 24 April at the Old Bailey.

Parties in the case have been informed that the date needed to be changed due to the travel restrictions in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The sentencing date will be reviewed at the end of the month, the court said.

Family pay tribute to 'witty and humble' Ronald Brown

The family of a man who died in a road traffic collision in Trafford have paid tribute to a "loyal and loving dad, son, brother and friend".

Ronald Brown
Family photo

Ronald Brown, 56, died at the scene of a road traffic collision on Seymour Grove on Saturday.

Paying tribute to his family said:

He would give the shirt off his back to help anyone in need, and his positive nature touched everyone he met.

He was witty and humble, but also determined and motivated. He would always take the time to encourage us in our various endeavours, and provide support whenever we needed it.

Message from Wuhan: 'Please learn from our mistakes'

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic originated, is finally lifting its 11-week quarantine as infections and deaths have tailed off.

As they emerge from their long lockdown, residents share the lessons they've learned from the outbreak, and offer encouraging words to the rest of the world.

Video by Meiqing Guan from BBC Chinese, and Grace Tsoi.

Coronavirus: 'Please learn from Wuhan's mistakes'

Inside Manchester's Nightingale Hospital

The BBC has been given a glimpse inside a new temporary hospital in Manchester which will treat coronavirus patients.

Manchester Central convention centre has been converted into NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, and is due to open by the end of the week.

Work started on 28 March and the hospital will be able to provide treatment for up to 750 coronavirus patients.

The first of the government's emergency field hospitals, in London's ExCel centre, opened last week.

Blackpool attractions to go virtual for Easter

Visitor attractions in Blackpool will go virtual for the bank holiday weekend to encourage people to stay at home - with a series of live streams and other online offerings planned.

Blackpool promenade
Getty Images

The council's tourism department Visit Blackpool said people will be able to take a look behind-the-scenes at the illuminations, follow a video tour of the Grand Theatre and take virtual rides at the Pleasure Beach theme park.

A spokesman for Visit Blackpool said:

Easter 2020 is going to be very different; very quiet and that’s the way we need to keep it.

But just because you can’t come to Blackpool for Easter doesn’t mean we can’t bring Blackpool to you.”

Mental health hotline for NHS staff

BBC News Health

The NHS is launching a hotline to support and advise healthcare staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurse cleaning hands
Getty Images

Volunteers from charities including Hospice UK, the Samaritans and Shout, will listen to concerns and offer psychological support.

The phone line will be open between 07:00 and 23:00 every day, while the text service will be available around the clock.

The phone number is 0300 131 7000 or staff can text FRONTLINE to 85258.

Man fleeing police runs into glass bus shelter

This was the unfortunate scene after a man fleeing police ran straight into a glass panel at a bus stop, leaving him riddled in cuts and bruises.

The 29-year-old had been spitting and abusing officers before attempting to escape.

He received first aid treatment before being taken into custody for "tea and biscuits with the Sgt", Greater Manchester Police tweeted.

Police clear up glass from bus stop
@GMPCityCentre
Manchester Central conference centre has been converted into a new hospital
Manchester Central convention centre has been converted into a field hospital for Covid-19 patients.

Manchester attack survivors apply for role in inquiry

Some survivors of the Manchester bombing are making a bid for a role in the public inquiry into the attack.

Manchester Arena attack victims
Family handouts

Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a suicide bomb as fans left an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds more on 22 May 2017.

More than 50 survivors applied to be "core participants" at a preliminary inquiry hearing at Manchester Town Hall.

The inquiry has been postponed until September due to the Covid-19 crisis.

NHS volunteers to start receiving tasks

People who volunteered to support the NHS in England during the coronavirus crisis are being given details of what tasks they can do to help.

Man loading bags into van
PA Media

More than 750,000 people signed up to join the "volunteer army" - three times the government's original target - to help relieve pressure on the NHS.

They will support 2.5 million people who are considered at risk.

The volunteers may have to deliver food and medicines, drive patients to appointments and phone the isolated.

Wythenshawe Hospital closes paediatric emergency department

A Greater Manchester hospital is closing its paediatric emergency department to free up more space during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wythenshawe Hospital
Getty Images

Wythenshawe Hospital said children who require emergency care should be taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital instead.

A hospital spokesman said the temporary measure was taken amid the "increased need for critical care" at Wythenshawe.

The hospital's A&E department remains open for adult admissions.

The spokesman added: “It is extremely important that children are not taken to the Wythenshawe Hospital emergency department during this time.”

Widnes ice rink to become temporary mortuary

The ice rink in Widnes is being converted into a temporary mortuary as the region braces for more coronavirus deaths.

Halton Council has hired the Planet Ice rink at The Hive as a "precautionary measure" as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise, a spokesman said.

Planet Ice in Widnes
Google

The rink has been identified as a “temporary body storage area” should extra mortuary space be required, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It is not clear how many bodies the rink could hold.

It is the second UK ice rink to be taken over for use as a temporary mortuary after Planet Ice in Milton Keynes was converted last week.

There have been 642 deaths from coronavirus in hospitals across the North West to date, with 17 of those occurring at Warrington and Halton Hospitals.

Manchester football teams work with city's foodbanks

Manchester City and Manchester United are supporting several local initiatives to reduce the impact of coronavirus in the region.

The two clubs, working through their charitable foundations, donated £50,000 to support 19 foodbanks in the area through the Trussell Trust, as well as giving 350 hot meals to various regional charities.

Manchester United has also packaged 30,000 items of food that were left in Old Trafford’s bars, kiosks and kitchens to give to hospitals and food banks.

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Murder hunt begins eight months after attack

A murder investigation has begun into the death of a man eight months after he was attacked at his home in Rochdale.

Stephen Rimmer
GMP

Stephen Rimmer was taken to Royal Oldham Hospital with “serious facial injuries” he sustained on Culvert Street on 21 August.

The 42-year-old never recovered consciousness after being placed in an induced coma and died in March.

A post-mortem examination concluded that there were links between the injuries and his death.

Manchester Universities work together to produce NHS safety gear

The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University are using 3D printing capabilities to make facemask headbands for front line NHS staff.

The University of Manchester
Google

The University of Manchester confirmed it has about 50 printers across its campus, and aims to make 500 headbands per week, while MMU aims to produce 1,000 headbands per week in its 3D printing hub.

Professor Craig Bank at MMU said:

We will be producing parts for face shields that will be sent out, disinfected and assembled by hospital staff.

This approved process will allow NHS staff to be protected as they fight this deadly virus.

The bands are transported to Salford Royal Hospital where they are assembled and given to NHS staff.

Universities have also donated their own PPE, with the University of Manchester donating 47,660 pairs of gloves and 200 goggles.

Charts show coronavirus deaths by region

These charts compiled by the BBC News data unit show how England's regions compare in terms of deaths from the virus.

Liverpool, Morecambe and Manchester NHS Trusts have all recorded over 50 deaths among patients with Covid-19.

NOTE: These figures run up to 5 April.

Covid-19 deaths chart
BBC
Covid-19 NHS Trusts breakdown
BBC

North West coronavirus deaths: Stats offer more context

Here are some interesting statistics which have been released from the Office of National Statistics, showing a little bit more context surrounding deaths from coronavirus in the region.

The data includes every single death from all causes, as well as hospital fatalities linked to Covid-19.

One thing to bear in mind is it takes at least five days for most deaths to be certified by a doctor, registered and the data processed, meaning the figures are always slightly out of date.

This is the breakdown for the North West week ending 27 March 2020:

  • All deaths in the North West region in this week totalled 1,548
  • The number of COVID-19 deaths in this week was 60
  • NOTE: The population of the region is 7,292,093. It is the third most populated region of the country behind the South West and London
NHS call centre
Getty Images

Also, the report states if a death certificate mentions Covid-19 it will not always be the main cause of death, but may be a contributory factor.

To be a confirmed case someone of course has to have been tested, which usually takes place in hospital.

Currently, there are not enough tests to check how many people in the community are infected, or how many deaths there are linked to Covid-19.

You can read more about coronavirus hospital deaths here

Town halls consider council tax payment help

Vulnerable people and those most affected by the coronavirus outbreak are being offered help to pay their council tax.

Small plastic buildings on a council tax bill
Getty Images

Support ranges from deferred payments to discounts for those on low incomes.

A petition on the Parliament website calling for council tax to be scrapped during the duration of the crisis has attracted almost 100,000 signatures.

One council said it would be impossible to keep public services going if relief was applied "across the board".

Man charged over Rochdale rape

A man has been charged after a woman was raped in Rochdale.

The Esplanade, Rochdale
Google
The Esplanade, Rochdale

The victim was attacked in The Esplanade in the early hours of 3 September last year.

A 22-year-old of no fixed address has been charged with rape, assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 30 April.

Detective spared jail due to coronavirus

A detective who tried to groom four women who were victims of crimes has avoided jail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stuart Lunt
PA Media
Stuart Lunt was an officer with Lancashire Constabulary

Stuart Lunt was based in Chorley and admitted misconduct in a public office in February at Liverpool Crown Court.

Lunt, 36, of Greaves Close, Wigan was sentenced to 18 months in jail suspended for two years and 250 hours.

Judge David Aubrey said Lunt would have been jailed but for the exceptional circumstances currently being experienced.

Pep Guardiola's mother dies after contracting coronavirus

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's mother, Dolors Sala Carrio, has died aged 82 in Barcelona after contracting coronavirus.

Pep Guardiola
Getty Images

How to care for someone with Covid-19 at home

We all know the government guidelines by now - anyone with mild coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate at home for at least seven days.

But how should you help care for someone with the virus? The BBC's Laura Foster explains more.

Manchester boxing charity helps feed children

A boxing charity is helping to ensure children in Manchester are fed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maverick Stars is working to combine boxing training and nutrition to combat hunger, inactivity and isolation in disadvantaged areas.

Maverick Stars Ambassadors [L-R]: Nigel Travis, Danny Wright, Aqib Fiaz, Eric Noi, Thomas McDonagh
Maverick Stars
Maverick Stars Ambassadors [L-R]: Nigel Travis, Danny Wright, Aqib Fiaz, Eric Noi, Thomas McDonagh

Although boxing gyms are currently closed due to the pandemic, coaches are still making sure their young members are receiving food packages and training advice.

The latest Maverick Stars initiative is supported by mental health and homeless charities Manchester Mind and Back on Track Manchester.

Any boxing clubs interested in taking part are asked to visit the Maverick Stars website.

Council's 'real life heroes' praised for Covid-19 support

Trafford Council leader Andrew Western has thanked the local authority's "dedicated staff" for their work in delivering essential services.

He said: “These are the real life heroes in our society as we face one of the most difficult public health challenges this country has ever seen.”

A dedicated helpline has launched to support self-isolating residents in Trafford and provide help with shopping as well as general support and advice.

For more advice on help and support visit the Trafford Community Response webpage.

'Stay at home' plea as Easter holiday starts

People are being warned to stay away from England's beauty spots amid the coronavirus lockdown, despite expected warm weather as Easter looms.

Group near Snake Pass enjoying a picnic
Derbyshire Police
Last week, Derbyshire Police found a group near Snake Pass enjoying a picnic

Pleas have been issued from the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District down to the south coast.

Despite a "dramatic reduction" in tourist visits already, the restrictions remain in place.

In the Peak District, the message is that even if the sun comes out people should not travel.

Manchester music stars to stream live during pandemic

A free live streaming service showcasing Manchester's top DJs and other artists during the coronavirus pandemic has launched.

Solardo
BBC

The founder of the cancelled Parklife festival set up the channel to keep the city's much-lauded music scene alive while clubs are closed.

Ex-Hacienda DJ Graeme Park and poet Lemn Sissay will be among those performing.

Organiser Sacha Lord said he was "overwhelmed" by the support.

Thieves raid elderly woman's Oldham home

Thieves tricked a 92-year-old woman into believing her neighbour had died of coronavirus so they could raid her home.

Grasmere Road in Oldham
Google

They knocked on her door in Oldham, Greater Manchester, lied about the death and offered to clean the house.

They presented themselves as a "helping hand" police said, but they stole a purse, money and jewellery.

Ch Insp Trevor Harrison, from Greater Manchester Police, described it as an appalling crime.

The victim was not injured, but was left "understandably distraught" by the theft in Grasmere Road.