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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  May 19, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the ukjumps to its highest level in almost 2a years. the figures for april, the first full month of lockdown, show a 70% rise in claims, as the chancellor warns that unemployment will rise sharply. it is not obvious there will be an immediate bounce back as it takes time for people to get back to the habits that they had. the extent of the impact on human life has become clearer today — with 55,000 excess deaths recorded in the uk since the start of march. more than 11,000 people have died in care homes in britain during that time — as the goverment‘s criticised for not acting fast enough. 0ne positive effect of lockdown — the biggest fall
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in carbon emissions around the world ever recorded. i'm taking it, hydroxychloroquine. surprise and consternation as president trump reveals he's taking a maleria drug to protect against coronavirus — despite no evidence it works. and how new technology is being used to help medics keep their distance. and coming up in the sport on bbc news. there has been six positive tests for coronavirus from three premier league clubs as the top flight prepares to resume injune. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the chancellor has warned that there's no guarantee the economy will bounce back immediately when restrictions are lifted.
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and he said there could be long—term scarring on the economy, even once businesses are able to reopen fully again. his comments came as new figures showed the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the uk last month soared to its highest level in almost 2a years. the office for national statistics says 2.1 million people claimed benefits last month. it shot up by more than 856,000, the biggest ever month—on—month jump, a rise of almost 70%. it's the clearest sign yet of the terrible toll that coronavirus is having onjobs, one which is set to deepen in the coming months. the total number of people reported to have died with coronavirus in the last 2a hours is 545. it means the official number of people across the uk who are known to have died with the virus is 35,341. here's our economics editor, faisal islam. they are not cutting jobs at this
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west midlands fittings factory for shops and libraries, just like the officialjobs numbers. but only 12 workers, one third of employees, are manufacturing the now in demand protective screens. the other 26 workers remain on the payroll, officially employed but at home with wages paid by the taxpayer. when you look at the alternatives, which is like redundancy or being laid off, then being on furlough is a really good thing. it gives business an opportunity to carry on with its workforce. the boss is grateful and unemployment has been kept down. the furlough scheme has really worked well for us. and if it wasn't for that, i don't know where we would be. the government's crisis jobs scheme have concentrated tens of billions into controlling unemployment but official jobs numbers will soon catch up with the pandemic crisis reality all round us. and other figures today did show how hard thejobs market has been hit. the 865,000 extra people claiming
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jobless benefits in april was a record monthly increase taking the claimant count forjobseeker‘s allowance and universal credit to 2.1 million. the highest for 2h years. in some regions nearly doubling. the number ofjob vacancies tumbled by a quarterly record of 170,000 to 637,000. so it will be harder to get a job. emma had been on furlough but last week she was told she had lost herjob as an office worker at an essex construction firm and is finding getting a new one difficult. to be receiving a letter to say i have been selected to be redundant is awful. petrifying. sorry, i can't help but get emotional about that. just thinking about it. i tried searching forjobs, i've applied for tens if not hundreds of positions online. but due to being an office worker there's no offices open,
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no interviews being taken at the moment. it's a struggle to try and find something. across the economy thousands ofjobs that were furloughed, for example at the cafe rouge restaurant chain, are now under threat. hundreds have been lost at retailer debenhams and also in the transport sector at british airways and at the ferry company p&0. the government acknowledged a significant rise in unemployment cannot be avoided. i will not be able to protect every job in business and we are seeing that already in the data are no doubt there is more hardship to come. this lockdown is having a significant impact on the economy and we are likely to face a severe recession the likes of which we have not seen. the opposition said more needed to be done, especially for younger workers. we still have to be aware that the costs tend to fall on younger people, notjust because people have lost theirjobs but because they have not been able to move into the workforce.
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benefit numbers are surging and vacancies tumbling, just how far unemployment will shoot up is for 110w unemployment will shoot up is for now been limited by the government paying the wages of one out of three workers. that is a bridge for the livelihoods of 10 million people will not last. and now the chancellor whose schemes are built around the idea of a rapid bounce backin around the idea of a rapid bounce back in the economy says it is not obvious that that will occur. the pandemic has caused a globaljobs catastrophe even when lockdown is lifted it is when support is with john that the real picture will emerge. there has been a significant increase in applicants for universal credit. all happening so suddenly. for some who are now looking for work, it's the first time they have had to make a claim as michael buchanan reports
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cani can ijust can i just confirm can ijust confirm what your first job was? anotherjob loss and another person in need further in the last few weeks leslie piercy has spoken tojust the last few weeks leslie piercy has spoken to just about everyone. drivers, lots of restaurants and businesses, shopkeepers, particularly restaurants businesses, shopkeepers, particularly restau ra nts a nd businesses, shopkeepers, particularly restaurants and cafe is a lot of taxi drivers. some have lost minimum wage jobs a lot of taxi drivers. some have lost minimum wagejobs and others six—figure salaries. lost minimum wagejobs and others six-figure salaries. a lot of people like stop progress want to go back into stockbroking because it is quite a high paid job. but some of those people are having to rethink their career as well. one particular gentleman i had had a very well—paid job and so did his wife and he went to become a night porter at a hotel. leslie worked at a job centre in hertfordshire, it normally processes 60 benefit claims per week but
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recently they have been dealing with several thousand. helen collier has only worked here for three months, forced immediately to help the unfamiliar navigate the benefit system. i do think people who have been made redundant and have been long—standing employees are confused as they've never made a claim before and they are always the hardest but i feel they are the ones you know you're doing something good to help them. they're usually around 50,000 claims per week for universal credit but look at the impact of the lockdown. for two weeks claims running at ten times normal levels, 1.5 million applications in total in just one month. my mindset has never been to go on benefits, i've just struggled and worked my way through it. carl is a boxing coach has no way to train and he turned to universal credit for help, the first time that he has been on benefits in decades. to me there was no option
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so decades. to me there was no option soido decades. to me there was no option so i do not feel guilty, ifeel i'm eligible for it and working my way sincerely how to get out of it when it is over. the data today revealed the largest rise in applications in the largest rise in applications in the south—west of england with the areas crucial tourist industry badly hit. and all hands on deck approach has allowed universal credit to cope with the surge in demand, most claimants have been thankful and hoping that the welfare system is a helping hand in a time of need and not a permanent, harder way of living. the extent of the terrible toll that this virus is having on human life also became clearer today. it's two and a half months now since the first person died of coronavirus in the uk. normally in that 10 week period — you'd expect on average around 100,000 people to die. the latest figures suggest there've been an extra 55,000 deaths in the uk during that time this year — all of them directly or indirectly
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related to coronavirus. just over 41,000 people definitely died with it — that was what was recorded on their death certificates. the latest figures show more than 11,500 people in care homes have died from coronavirus since the beginning of march. from rugby, our correspondent alex forsyth reports. the scale of this pandemic is becoming increasingly clear. the number of deaths, still growing, although the rate at least now slowing. behind every figure, a face, every statistic, a human story. of those who've died so far, more than a quarter were in care homes. this family run home in warwickshire had an outbreak last month. 0ne resident did die, but staff were able to control the spread of the virus, although managers say they had little government guidance or support. at that point, the measures weren't in place to protect the residents and the staff. the testing wasn't there, and we were very lucky, for management and staff,
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that it wasn't a lot worse. what about now, have things improved? i haven't seen much of a difference at the moment. we've really made our own decisions and we still really haven't had much more from the government as to what else we should be doing. here, they're still waiting for all staff and residents to be tested, still saying support is too slow, concerns echoed by care leaders addressing mps this morning, who raised questions about testing, ppe and the national strategy. our focus at the start of this pandemic was clearly the nhs, and there was not a recognition in either the planning process that happened in 2016 or indeed in this current pandemic, at the very start of it, that the most vulnerable people were in care homes. some of our problems around transmission, no doubt, are relating to ppe, and very sadly, some of the deaths, too. this has been a health pandemic, and what we haven't felt in the care sector is that we've had a health response. the health secretary again today defended the government's approach.
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despite claims to the contrary, he again said he had put a protective ring around care homes. from the start, we worked hard to protect those in social care. in early march, we put £3.2 billion into social care, half through the nhs and half through local authorities, and we've repeatedly set out and strengthened guidance for infection control and support. across the country, the care system is complex, made up of local, national, public and private elements. the government has put more money and measures in place in recent weeks, but the criticism is still that the support is not always getting where it's needed quickly, and now some care providers say they are under financial pressure. this care home in north yorkshire is one of four where the owner, who is also a representative for the sector, says money is increasingly tight. with extra costs from coronavirus and empty beds. we calculate that we're going to be around £100,000 short in income,
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and that is the difference between our surviving and not surviving. the issue is, we've got the nhs run nationally, local authorities running locally, that's why we've got a problem with ppe, testing and finances, it's all a mess, basically. we need to make sure we plan and have it centrally, in my view, centrally organised. this crisis has exposed issues in a sector that has long been under strain. the calls now are notjust for continued short—term support, but a longer term solution, too. alex forsyth, bbc news. the number of coronavirus tests carried out since the beginning of the outbreak has been inadequate, according to a group of mps. despite a recent surge in daily tests and the expansion of eligibility, the commons science and technology committee have criticised the government for failing to ramp up testing sooner. ministers have defended their strategy, saying that during the early period, it was right to prioritise those in hospital over community cases, as sophie hutchinson reports. a mobile testing centre in cornwall.
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the government has now promised eve ryo ne over the government has now promised everyone over the age of five with symptoms of covid—19 will now be tested. but today mps on the science and technology committee were highly critical saying that testing capacity had not been increased early or boldly enough. back in mid—march this was the message from the world health organisation. we have a simple message for all countries. test, test, test. but three days before the uk announced it had stopped testing all suspected cases in the community. we will pivot all testing capacity to identifying people in hospitals who have got symptoms so we can pick them up early. in a letter to the prime minister mps said that they believed a lack of testing capacity had driven the government strategy. they criticised public health england forfailing they criticised public health england for failing to provide the scientific evidence used when deciding not to bring in mass testing. they said the cost of the
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ongoing lockdown was vastly greater then the cost of rolling out large—scale testing and that by not regularly testing hospital staff and ca re regularly testing hospital staff and care workers vulnerable people had been put at risk. many care homes say they are still struggling to get all the tests that they need to ensure that staff are not infectious. we have been affected by it and seem to be coming through the west now but i think problems with the lack of testing was obvious as the lack of testing was obvious as the national picture shows. it is not safe and how they say they will roll it out to fibrils and everyone in the country, i do not think they have the capacity and we would rather have honesty from the government. at the briefing today the environment secretary defended the environment secretary defended the government testing strategy. so you would greet your strategy has been based on capacity instead of the science? we were building it rapidly from a very early stage and
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we have not got to the point this week that we can offer testing to anyone over the age of five with symptoms and that will be critical in terms of developing that track and trace capability. ministers say they've recruited more than 20,000 contact tracers to identify infections and hotspots of the virus that one told the bbc that the tracker app was not yet working and will not go live until thursday. clearly there are ongoing challenges to the government testing strategy. 0ur chief political correspondent, vicki young, is in westminster. we've heard a lot of criticism over the government's handling of testing and care homes — how have they responded to that? this is about what went wrong and who might be to blame, but it's also about learning lessons and making sure it does not happen again, particularly i think what has happened in care homes. listening to
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some of those who have worked in the sector, you can hear their anger and frustration. they have said for a long time that they think that the health service and the care sector need to be much more integrated. we have heard that from various governments for years and years and it simply hasn't happened, and i think this epidemic really has exposed some of the flaws in the system. of course, the government is grappling with unprecedented times, but i think now, that long—term aspiration, to integrate health and social care, has really become a very, very urgent problem that ministers are going to have to deal with. vicki young, thank you. this pandemic has had a positive effect on the environment. the biggest ever fall in the amount of carbon released into the world's atmosphere has been recorded over the past few months. at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, scientists discovered that daily emissions around the world dropped by more than 17%. the biggest fall was in china, which saw a drop in emissions of 24%. here in the uk, the reduction was 13%. but scientists are warning that this "extreme" reduction in greenhouse gas emissions could be temporary.
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here's our science editor, david shukman. all over the world, some stunning transformations, from choked streets in india becoming calmer and easier to breathe in, to the most famous landmark in china suddenly looking clearer. to the centre of paris, often polluted, now quieter and cleaner. the fight against the virus hasn't slowed down many economies, at huge cost. but it has also done wonders for the air and for the carbon emissions that are heating up the planet. a drop in traffic is a major part of that. here in the uk and globally. lower demand for electricity is also making a difference. along with the grounding of planes. fewer flights difference. along with the grounding of planes. fewerflights means difference. along with the grounding of planes. fewer flights means less carbon released into the air. it's a pattern seen around the world. the light and the shade here, the bigger the decline in emissions. in some
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countries, up again, but still a huge change. the fall in emissions, 1796, huge change. the fall in emissions, 17%, is enormous, we haven't experienced something like this before, as far as we can tell. it is driven by changes in road transport. now that china is out of lockdown, traffic there is building up, so emissions are rising once again. the carbon cut is not permanent. 0n emissions are rising once again. the carbon cut is not permanent. on some key roads, the traffic is starting to come back a bit as the lockdown is eased. but the impact of the different restrictions on the environment has been really striking. not only are those carbon emissions down, the quality of the air has got a lot better. different types of pollution have fallen dramatically. so, as the economy recovers , dramatically. so, as the economy recovers, will we see a return to the toxic haze hanging over our cities? experts in our pollution hope the crisis has shown what's possible. a very unfortunate natural experiment but it does really show
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us experiment but it does really show us that by changing the vehicles on our road, reducing the vehicles on our road, reducing the vehicles on our roads, or changing over to electric vehicles, we can immediately reduce air pollution, which is a very, very important message. many cities are now trying to encourage more cycling and walking, to help keep people safe from the disease and also to reduce pollution. their hope is that amid the nightmare of the virus, a greener future can be created. david shukman, bbc news. president trump has been criticised by medical experts after revealing that he is taking a drug to protect himself against coronavirus that is usually used to treat malaria. regulators in the us have warned that there's no evidence that it provides any protection from covid—19 — in fact it may cause heart problems. it comes as the president called the world health organization a "puppet of beijing", saying it had failed to hold china to account for the coronavirus outbreak. nick bryant reports.
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the white house is one of the most heavily protected buildings on the planet. guarded by secret service agents, ready to take a bullet for the president. but in the midst of this viral onslaught, can they protect donald trump from himself? last night, he happily made a stunning admission, that to fend off the coronavirus, he is taking an anti—malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, that his own government has warned against using for covid—19, out of fear of the fatal consequences. i am taking it, hydroxychloroquine. right now. a couple of weeks ago, i started taking it. because i think it's good, i've heard a lot of good stories. and if it's not good, i'll tell you right. i'm not going to get hurt by it. it's been around for 40 yea rs. hurt by it. it's been around for 40 years. this was the astonished response on fox news, a network that is ordinarily the president's cheerleader channel. if you are a risky population here, and you are
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taking this as a preventative treatment, toward off the virus, or ina treatment, toward off the virus, or in a worst—case scenario, you're dealing with the virus, and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you. i cannot stress enough, this will kill you. butjust hours later, this stunning doctor's note from the president's white house physician. it noted that after numerous discussions with mr trump for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks. all of this is donald trump doubled down on his threat to halt us funding of the world health organization, which has been meeting virtually in geneva. the us president has bemoaned its repeated missteps, but its director—general defended the global body. for all our differences, we are one human race. and we are stronger together. many medical experts say it's notjust
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the damage that donald trump could cause himself by taking this antimalarial drug, it's the example he's setting for others. in the midst of a crisis that's already claimed more than 90,000 lives, they fear the president is dispensing dangerous and potentially fatal medical advice. nick bryant, dangerous and potentially fatal medicaladvice. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. a teenager who was shot dead in blackburn has been described as "the perfect 19—year—old" and a role model for other studets. aya hachem was walking to a supermarket on sunday afternoon when shots were fired from a passing car. three men have been arrested. 0ur north of england correspondent judith moritz reports. aya hachem came to blackburn as a child seeking asylum. her family saw it as a place of promise and safety, but she was killed on its streets. the teenager was walking to the shops on sunday afternoon when a gun was fired from a car driving past. aya was not the intended target, but she was in the bullets path and she stood no chance.
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she died soon afterwards. in herfew years in blackburn, aya made a big impact, giving back to the community which had helped her. she volunteered for charities which support children and those working with asylum seekers and refugees, and every part of this town took her to its heart. she's been praised by the catholic, methodist and muslim communities, and described as a role model. aya made her most remarkable progress at school, starting with nothing and working her way up to study law at university. we were really, really proud of her, because, arriving with little english, she in her year group made the most progress in the whole year, and we celebrated that, not only within our school community, but within blackburn with darwen, and we used her as an example of what was possible. she was kind, she was caring, she was compassionate. she was a friend to everybody.
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three men in their 30s have been arrested on suspicion of murder. aya's parents say they're devastated and determined to bring those responsible to justice. judith moritz, bbc news, blackburn. easyj et has easyjet has apologised to nearly 10 million customers after their details were accessed during a cyber attack. the airline said some customers had had their credit card details stolen but there was no evidence that they had fallen victim to fraud. easyjet is investigating the security breach. when someone dies here in the uk, the local council will step in and arrange their funeral if the family can't afford it or if there are no family or friends. they‘ re called public health funerals and there were 4,000 last year. but undertakers believe the number will be much higher now. 0ur correspondent angus crawford was given rare permission to attend one.
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a finaljourney... there is a very visceral fear i think in everyone about ending up alone. ..for albert roy sadler. links to family and friends, long broken, so no want long broken, so no—one to follow the hearse. it causes you to look back and think, "well, why, how did things end up this way?" only one mourner today — christina, from the council. people who might otherwise have been with us here today, roy's family and friends, are absent, and so it falls to us few here to pay our respects and to bid farewell to him. relatives, out of touch for years, care home staff in isolation. so, its left to strangers to say goodbye. he was born in october 1937, shortly before the second world war, but roy's was a tough childhood, and in fact he never got to know his mum, who passed away...
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the actualjob is to arrange the funeral, but a funeral is a farewell and it is a summing up. we have to have something to say — it would be too sad not to. so, christina set to work trying to find loved ones, building a picture of the man and his life. they do come into your affection, little snapshots of their personality, that you think, oh, i would have liked them. you know, and so, you're not going along just with a lanyard on as a council worker, tapping your hand, going, "when is this finishing so i can go to lunch?" you're going to a funeral of someone you kind of know. i have at every single funeral, i have to say, cried. emotions do get hard when you walk into the chapel and you notice very briefly that no one's there. the funeral director, too. grief may touch her work every day, but these services are especially difficult. we're all human. i would like to think that if any of my family members or friends
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was in these circumstances, that a funeral director looking after their funeral would feel as passionately as we do. these are real people. they all had a life, or have a life, have a history, have a story. there is great poignancy in the fact that he has no friends or family here to mourn him. if relatives are untraceable, or simply can't afford to pay, often, the local council will step in. in fact, across the uk, last year, there were more than 4,000 public health funerals. but the warning is that the devastating impact of covid may mean many more in the months to come. on a personal level, i suppose there is almost sometimes a warning that, you know, don't take things for granted. things can go wrong, so, treasure those people who mean a lot to you, keep them close, and make sure your life doesn't go that way.
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would you please stand for the words of commendation and committal? it's nice to have got to know you — sadly not when you were alive, but you seem like a nice man and i hope we did you proud at the end. "amazing grace" plays. for albert roy sadler, the journey ends. but thanks to christina, it doesn't end alone. # was blind, but now i see. keeping medical staff as safe as possible from the virus in hospitals is key. now, new technoloy is being tried out on the covid wards of one london hospital. it means doctors really can keep their distance, as fergus walsh explains. can we have a look at john's x—ray, please? this is a ward round with a difference. those hand gestures are controlling a mixed reality headset. the doctor can bring
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up x—rays and scans. thank you very much. and the rest of the medical team can stay in a non—covid area, sharing a live feed of everything that he sees. it allows me to get up—to—date information from the rest of the team, even though they're not next to me. initially it felt a little bit bizarre and a bit odd. but actually if i compared it to the ppe and the visors and the goggles that i was wearing beforehand, it's probably more comfortable and to be honest, i forget that i'm wearing it most of the time. john fell off a roof and fractured his spine. he was only found to have covid—19 after being admitted to hospital. his complex injuries require lots of expert input. itjust seems quite a good thing that you can have all those amount of people in the same room in one person, when there's this contagious thing that no—one knows the beginnings and the ends of it. they're not only saving me, i'm not
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passing anything onto anyone,


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