BBC News with subtitle | 22 Mar 2020 | Normal speed | 5 Minutes Listening English

this is the Global News podcast from the
BBC World Service I’m Alex Ritson and in the early hours of Sunday the 22nd of
March these are our main stories it’s early reports another big increase in
the number of deaths of people with the corona virus the US Congress is working
on a rescue package to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic
Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach closes as the number of people in Australia
infected with the virus passes 1,000 also in this podcast people in China
finally are able to head outdoors after being locked at home for more than a
month and star-crossed lovers on either side of the quarantine line whose
wordless courtship spanned the river until she came no longer escapism in the
form of poetry first to Italy military vehicles in Bergamo taking
coffins of the Dead to crematoria and cemeteries the death toll from the
coronavirus is rising fast 793 in the last 24 hours
it’s by far the worst single day total worldwide since the pandemic began up by
more than a quarter on the previous worst figure which was announced on
Friday Danny Aberhart is our regional editor for
Europe this is up a quarter already on the figure that bitterly posted
yesterday Friday and which itself was a unwanted record for the number of people
to die in 24 hours and it’s it was scarcely credible to think you know one
of the italy’s richest region lombardi accounts for about 2 in 3 of these
deaths over the last 24 hours it’s being the epicenter since the start of the
outbreak in Italy and continues to be so and it doesn’t seem it to show any sign
of slowing it’s mainly hitting elderly people earlier Italy was citing that the
average age was 81 and I’m not quite sure what the current figure is but it’s
definitely people over 80 people with respiratory problems you’ve seen lots of
people with problems their breathing and there are a lack of things like
ventilators so that is all compounding the problem what are the authorities
saying well the authorities are trying desperately to halt the curve they’ve
introduced new restrictions so a number of things were introduced today these
include things like park closures they’re also stopping people going away
to second homes holiday homes trying to escape areas that might be affected and
they’ve also been launched an appeal for more medics now this is one element of
the story that is going well there’s been a huge amount of solidarity shown
they were appealing for 300 medics and they’ve had more than 3,500 doctors and
more by the hour apparently applying to volunteer to help out in the worst
affected regions is help coming in from outside there is some for example
there’s been an American charity has set up a hospital near Cremona with
intensive care beds as I say there’s an acute shortage of intensive care beds
about 7% of all the cases are in Italy our need intensive care and
they plan to expand that now whether we say we see a more concerted appeal by
the Italian authorities to bring in help from outside we’ll wait and see Durney
Aberhart members of the united states congress are spending the weekend
negotiating the details of a rescue package that could exceed one trillion
dollars of extra government spending the money is intended to shore up the
American economy in the face of the economic deep freeze likely to be caused
by the corona virus pandemic correspondent Barbara Platt Asha is in
Washington there is some difference between the Democrats and the
Republicans the Democrats for example I want to make sure it’s not a bailout for
corporations they wanted to make sure that the the regular people benefit
there also would like some more attention paid to helping out the
healthcare industry and having more of an expansion of unemployment insurance
but there is a fair amount of agreement on some of the basics which is billions
of dollars and loan guarantees to businesses and industries to keep people
on the payroll getting the paychecks keeping the paychecks flowing is a real
priority and they’re also just discussing one-time payments of up to
$1,200 for many Americans and there have been some optimistic noises coming out
from both sides of the aisle at the the vote has been set tentatively now for
Monday is it clear how the money is going to be used well that is what
they’re discussing but certainly there are going to be billions of dollars in
loan guarantees to small businesses also to Airlines and other industries that
have been hit quite quite hard there are going to be these one-time payments
apparently perhaps maybe two time payments to two Americans just to give
them some cash that they need and to keep the economy moving and there is
some discussion about other other benefits for the for the health care
industry so that’s the main focus of how the money will be spent and it’s it’s
we’re talking about a trillion dollar package although White House officials
have said the overall impact of it might end up being up to two trillion dollars
so it’s a really really big deal they’re talking about it’s something that
President Trump has called going big and Barbara just how all-encompassing is
the shutdown in the US now nearly one in four Americans at this point have been
told to stay home unless they absolutely need to go out to buy food or medicine
or to exercise for example but businesses in five different states
having the most populous including California and New York have been shut
down essentially small businesses as well as bigger ones and the they’ve gone
essentially to as you need to as you need to go out and this is because
there’s a real concern that the healthcare systems will be overwhelmed
here in the same way they have been in Europe governors have been saying we
want to spread the spread the impact of the virus out over a number of months so
that we can cope worth cope with it and the governor of New York said we are
talking about a number of months this is not going to be something this is not
going to be a number of weeks over Plaza in Washington Britain has now joined
much of mainland Europe in shutting down everyday life though it’s still behind
countries like France Spain and Italy late on Friday afternoon the British
prime minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs restaurants and leisure facilities
to close after people had ignored requests to stay away fallen terally bar
owner roy van der Wiel described the swift reaction to the new measures as a
promise that came off the TV we had probably about 10 15 phone calls there
cancelled table bookings Duffy’s dinners and everything really it
was sort of quite a shock there happens a quake our reporter Stephanie Prentice
has been out and about to get a sense of what life is like in Britain today I’m
standing on Oxford Street in central London usually one of the busiest
shopping streets in the world on a bright sunny Saturday it would be
crammed with people shopping eating drinking sitting outside today walking
up and down it it’s almost completely deserted there’s one coffee chain open
one pharmacy and apart from that all the shops had their shutters down there’s
very little traffic the people I have seen on the streets aren’t shopping they
seem to be walking quickly from one place
another a lot of more wearing masks and a lot more wearing gloves some of the
people I’ve seen even seem to be cautious about walking too close to each
other I’ve seen people avoiding each other usually around half a million
people come to here daily even last weekend it was fairly busy and today the
situation has completely changed this almost deserted street is a reflection
of a situation unfolding across the capital as Prime Minister Boris Johnson
advises people to avoid social contact just down the road from where I’m
standing famous tourist destinations like Leicester Square and Trafalgar
Square are also extremely quiet they still seem to be a few tourists milling
around but mostly the pavements benches and monuments are deserted
Stephanie Prentice Oliver Conway asked our political correspondent Rob Watson
about the thinking behind the government’s latest plans I think there
are three things really Oliver I think the first is that the British government
would already consider these measures pretty draconian I think the second is
that the government wants to leave room for more tightening if there’s and if
that’s needed and I think thirdly Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a he’s got
libertarian instincts I think he finds all of this incredibly difficult getting
the government to tell people what to do so give us a sense of what life is
likely to be like until these restrictions are lifted and how long
that could be well I think our colleagues staff as Stephanie was
incredibly eloquent in describing one aspect of it that’s just that the first
one is the way in which Britain just looks different I mean you just go
anywhere and it’s deserted this is a rich country where people love for
service industry people love going out buying stuff going to bars so all of
that is gone so it looks different I think the second element is what you
might call the sort of societal emotional one where people are at home
with each other and goodness only knows how they’re all getting on with each
other Oliver then the third one is the economic effects I mean this is nothing
but what has been seen like this never mind peacetime in wartime where the
government has actually just closed down vast chunks of the economy with who
knows what consequences in the short medium and long term and what are we
expecting from the government next they’re going to review this every month
yes they’re going to review these arrangements on a monthly basis the
level of the isolation but I think if he if you had to say what is the gun we’re
going to do in the next few days I would see number one sort out that the details
the practical details of these economic rescue plan that they announced and just
keep their fingers crossed that this isolation will stop the National Health
Service from going under Rob Watson South Korea’s Prime Minister has called
for places where people gather in large numbers to suspend their activities for
15 days to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in Hong Kong the chief
executive has warned of a potentially large-scale outbreak because of citizens
returning from overseas our asia-pacific editor Celia Hatton says the territory
had seemed to be bringing the virus under control civil servants had even
been sent back to work they’d been told that they could stop working from home
they could return to the offices they did so on March the second but now the
chief executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam has said that they are at the highest
risk of mass community outbreak in two months and she’s now ordering civil
servants to work from home again and they’re appealing to people not to
ignore home quarantine orders so effectively they don’t want anyone to
relax and think that this outbreak is over meanwhile unrest has broken out in
jails in Sri Lanka and India because of fears among prisoners over the virus
officials in Pakistan have also taken action to try to reduce overcrowding at
least two people were killed during a riot at a prison in central Sri Lanka
our south asia regional editor embarrassin Atta Rajan reports Sri
Lankan officials said some prisoners try to escape
prompting officers to open fire at the jail in the city of Anuradha para they
say the situation has now been brought under control in India security
officials fired tear gas to control violence at the main prison in the
eastern city of Kolkata hundreds of prisoners threw stones and ransacked
furniture demanding the release due to the virus a judge at the Islamabad High
Court on Friday ordered the release on bail of remain prisoners facing minor
charges from the overcrowded ideale jail as a precautionary measure against the
contagious embarrassin at erosion the sweeping
white sands of Bondi is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches a magnet
for surfers sunbathers and tourists but the police have been forcing them to
leave after the government ordered a temporary closure as part of efforts to
contain the corona virus which has now infected more than a thousand people in
Australia these two live close to the beach but said they accepted a clampdown
was needed we saw the Italian Tang saying to the
French German and Spanish don’t do the mistake we’re doing take the right
measures ASAP to stop the spread and here we are in Sydney just still
enjoying our beautiful beaches and not necessarily you know staying at home
well I don’t surf no if you surf and gonna be a big deal for a lot of people
to come down here every day so one George shares is president of surf
lifesaving New South Wales which oversees volunteer lifeguards on Bondi
Julie and Marshall asked him how many people would have been on the beach when
it was closed I’d probably be suggesting at this time there would be over 3,000
people on bondi beach gosh because that’s some way above isn’t it the
Australian government guidelines of five hundred people gathering yeah that’s
correct so you and your colleagues had to set about clearing the beach did you
face much resistance yes how in consultation today with the emergency
services and local councils we made a call with our volunteer lifesavers to
enact a safety stance and that was that we would engage with the local services
and withdraw full of patrolling services in an act day a standby service
patrolling back in the surf club so you’re basically saying that by
withdrawing your services as lifeguards it was no longer really tenable for for
people to use the beach yes what we did was we engage with local local councils
and police and indicated that we would operate on a surveillance patrol which
led to the engagement of police and lifeguards and
lifesavers clearing the beach this afternoon and as I say did they meet
much resistance no the public were quite Ambika ball to the approach is made by
the council lifeguards and the lifesavers in clearing the beach and is
it empty now yes it is the beach was closed and tape was put across all of
the access areas to the beach I mean how do you feel about that I mean obviously
there are these guidelines about social distancing but you know there’s a
counter-argument about people’s mental and physical well-being which clearly
served by being able to be out on a beach like Bondi yeah look certainly
agree but ultimately the decisions that were made today were made in terms of
ensuring that our volunteer members remained safe and well and as and as
soon as that became evident that they were going to be at risk it’s important
for us to ensure that our members are safe and secure and if that you know in
terms of the public being unable to access and you know engage in the safe
public distance engagement that is required by the government then we have
no other option to enact the way that we have today so what do you and other
volunteer lifeguards going to be doing from now on we’ll maintain it’s a
day-by-day engagement and as our lifesavers encounter increased numbers
across other beaches that if those numbers do go above 500 then we’ll enact
the same policies that we’ve connected today George shares of surf lifesaving
New South Wales in the last edition of our podcast we spoke to two people self
isolating in Toronto who are apt to go on their first ever virtual dates a
queen oh and Trisha had never seen or spoken to each other before they were
introduced through an Instagram page designed to bring people together
virtually during the corona virus pandemic I caught up with the Queen Oh
to see how the date had gone and he told me the whole experience had been a
surprise not only when I go out one day I was actually going on four dates and
each of them were about ten minutes long there was a cohort of eight of us well
technically seven I took three guys and four girls so I didn’t know that were
all gonna be you know dating each other and going on a little conversation but
regardless a really good time for dates for the price of what does that mean it
was four times better I mean in the times of quarantine I think it might
have been four times better because you know any human interaction outside of
the normal is is somewhat interesting and exciting the date you were expecting
to have was with Trisha how did things go with her you know it was actually a
really a really fun date I had a conversation about her because I know
that you guys interviewed her as well so you know that was an instant bonding
moment where we talked about how we felt about the interview / worried nervous
etc so that was a very easy transition into like its needs it was fluid
conversation with her she is extremely good and so easy to talk to so that I’m
not sure if things will go and further from there but regardless you know it’s
it was in the phone and jovial conversation and I think she’s an
absolutely sweet girl yeah because this was quarantined and speed-dating so if
Trisha didn’t work out for a long-term relationship how about the other three
the other three were we’re good I think Trisha and another girl were the ones
that I really clicked with so we’ll see where this goes perhaps you know perhaps
there might be a future for us but if not it’s all as well how does it feel to
go on a virtual quarantine date what I will say is that I think it’s like the
social interaction that I needed and it’s been really fun
feels weird to go on a date with someone absolutely random and like to just you
know go out there with no information about the other person just be like
alright let’s see what we can figure out do you think you’ll meet any of your
dates in real life in the future yeah I honestly think I might
I will definitely add them on Instagram regardless and chat about you know the
car the situation that happened and how how funny it was and you know when all
this is over maybe when I grab coffee with one or two of them
and see where it goes and we did try to contact Tricia for an interview but she
was out hiking what does that say about the date still
to come delecia nakama vids can be seen running
up and down his balcony whose length is all of seven meters that meant more than
six thousand there and banks to complete the marathon a French man takes extreme
measures to stay fit during the self-isolation lockdown after several
days with no home grown infections many in China are starting to believe that
the coronavirus emergency could be under control at least for the time being so
with the weather turning warm people who have been stuck indoors for over a month
and a half finally heading outdoors to go for a
walk and breathe in some fresh air our China correspondent Stephen MacDonald
reports from Beijing where the population is hoping this really is the
light that they can see at the end of the tunnel if you want to take Beijing’s
pulse one of the best ways to do it is jump on a bicycle and see things from
street level well riding along on this beautiful
sunny afternoon you can’t help but feel just a little bit positive about the
situation in this city sun’s out people are going for a walk you can see
parents holding their children’s hands couples everybody still has masks on
though so people know this isn’t over yet but certainly the feeling is much
different than it was a few weeks ago you can Canadian July you can look
around summer in there and think a woman with a young child tells me that
they had been afraid to go out but that this is changed with infections down and
now mostly coming from overseas rivals a meter on top of the hill that jingshan
park looking down over the Forbidden City 22 the park you have to wear a mask
there are corona virus warning messages being played over loudspeakers here
they’re telling people to keep their masks on and to maintain a distance of
one and a half meters from one another if this doesn’t seem to have dampened
the spirits of those who’ve walked up a hill to take in the big blue sky vistas
over the heart of the old Imperial City what a difference this is to sitting at
home and watching television how’d your meal another woman nearby
says it’s been months since she’s been outside and that the air is nice and
fresh adding to see everyone bringing up their kids makes you feel good but we
have to be careful on that last point I asked if she feels afraid outdoors no
she feels safe really safe in Beijing like most of China residents weren’t
forced to stay at home during the weeks when coronavirus infections were
exploding people remained indoors because they feared getting sick and
because they believed it was the right thing to do in Wuhan however it was a
different story in the city where the corona virus outbreak started for the
past six weeks living home has been prohibited but now even there the
government has announced residents can start going outside for a walk you can’t
stray far from where you live but it’s better than being cooped up inside if
China’s official figures are to be believed there’s been a remarkable
slowing of the spread of this disease here and most locals will tell you that
even the scale of this country’s economic shutdown this isn’t surprising
we have confidence in the Chinese government a young woman tells me
we’ve already controlled it says a friend yes we have the first woman says
now let’s see how you control is overseas we follow the man they’re
walking with ads many places across the country there are now no new infections
it’s controlled he says he believes that in a couple of weeks or a month it’ll be
over here China’s population of 1.4 billion people
will be hoping that’s the case they’ve been dealing with this crisis since late
January however the authorities appear genuinely concerned that travelers from
overseas including Chinese citizens could still bring the disease back into
this country risking a renewed outbreak this reason they’re only easing off
restrictions on people’s movements one stage at a time and watching to see if
this disease is really as under control as many seem to think it is Stephen
McDonald in Beijing the UN estimates that some 850 million youngsters roughly
half the world’s school and university population are now having to stay at
home for the youngest in particular it’s a confusing and worrying time so what
should parents tell them here are some tips from degraaf’s Mensa presenter of
the BBC’s news programme for kids news round I think for us one of the
most important things to do is to make sure we’re sort of stripping such a big
story to the bare bones so we try to explain stories in the most simple way
possible and whilst we’re doing this we try really hard not to use any alarmist
language because you’ve got to remember our audience goes from the ages of six
to twelve and that in itself is a bit of a challenge because a six year olds
understanding of things can be quite different to a 12 year olds
understanding of things but then I think for us one of the most important things
to remember is that when you’re at that stage in life a story like the
coronavirus can be terrifying like the thought and prospect of people falling
ill and some people dying like it can be a lot for a child to take in
then also we really try not to use any language that may scare them and also
try to look at any reassuring angles of a story so anytime you get any bit of
positive news we do try to really let them know like hey like there is good
stuff happening as well but also we never sugarcoat things because yes this
is something that is relatively awful and it’s causing lots of sort of pain
and suffering amongst families and communities so we we can’t shy away from
the fact they is a dangerous illness but we never try Shoko – we definitely try
to reassure though – craftsman’s BBC News round presenter the governing body
of American athletics has joined calls for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed
because of the pandemic Alex cap stick reports the Olympic flame arrived in
Japan last week and a torch relay is set to start on Thursday but there are
serious question marks over whether it will reach Tokyo on July the 24th US
track and field is the latest sports organization in a growing list opposed
to the games going ahead on schedule they say it’s not fair on the athletes
whose preparations have been wrecked by the pandemic u.s. swimming has made a
similar plea alongside Olympic leaders in Norway and Brazil but the influential
US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has so far resisted backing calls for a
cancellation Alex Kap stick coronavirus has led to mass shutdowns in football
the European Football Championship Euro 2020 has been postponed for 12 months
and the English Premier League has been suspended but the shutdown isn’t just
affecting top footballers last Wednesday evening I played my last game for the
foreseeable future with my local club the South London Football Network it all
may not be lost thanks to the FIFA computer game SL Evans chief coach Rico
sakali was miserable about closing the pitch so one word to describe it is
gutted that’s fair that’s fair that’s that’s the feeling I got when I saw
everyone for the last time on Wednesday evening but you’ve come up with an idea
to try and keep everyone involved tell me about it
there’s two sides to it first of all there’s a challenge on how we’re going
to complete the league’s in grassroots football and my idea was for every team
to put forward their best FIFA player and for them to represent their team and
to complete all the league’s in that way because as you know the cups have been
left the league’s have been left they’re not gonna be completed unless there’s a
miracle and the second part is I’ve got a lot of players here at the South Llano
football Network that I just twiddling their thumbs at home I don’t know if
you’ve seen the toilet paper challenge have you seen that tell me more
where they have to keep up the toilet paper there’s many times and then share
it on Twitter there’s a craze going around now so all I’m doing is I’m
seeing my players twiddling their thumbs and playing the toilet paper challenge
so what I’ve suggested is we can set up a league and we can just have
tournaments every night in order to fulfill their football fix because
nobody will be playing five days a week that’s right and one last question Rico
any advice for footballers around the world who are trying to keep up their
levels of fitness in these times do you remember that drill where I made you
guys tap on the football yeah yeah with your hands but with your feet yeah so a
couple of hundred of those a few times a day could be a star but I do agree with
the whole social distancing thing at the moment we just need to do our bit so we
can play the beautiful game that we all love again the chief coach of the South
London Football Network Rico sakali a Frenchman who wanted to keep fit and
relieve the stress of being confined to his apartment because if the pandemic
has run a marathon on his balcony Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield has this
report in a web video he made of his exploit Alisha nakama bits can be seen
running up and down his balcony whose length is all of 7 metres that meant
more than 6,000 there and banks to complete the
marathon with all that terming it was not going to be a fast time and in the
end it took him six hours and 48 minutes the aim he said was to take some of the
stress out of the isolation also to show support for france’s hard-pressed
doctors and nurses but above all to demonstrate that being cooped up for
weeks on end in an upper floor apartment doesn’t have to be a bar to keeping fit
you schofield in our new socially distant lives culture has taken a severe
hit with theatres cinemas and music venues shut but maybe you found comfort
in books well the UK’s national poet Simon Armitage says poetry is by
definition concealing and on Saturday released this new work it recalls an
event that happened in 1665 during the infamous plague called the Black Death
when residents in the English village of M voluntarily quarantined themselves to
make sure that no one else would catch the disease lockdown and I couldn’t
escape the waking dream of infected fleas in the warp and weft of soggy
cloth by the tailor’s hath in ye oldie iam then couldn’t on see the boundary
stone that cockeyed dice with its six dark holes thimbles brimming with
vinegar wine purging the plagued coins which brought to mind the sorry story of
Emmet’s it all and rollin tore star-crossed lovers on either side of
the quarantine line it was wordless courtship spanned the river till she
came no longer but slept again and dreamt this time of the exiled yaksha
sending word to his lost wife on a passing cloud a cloud that followed an
earthly map of camel trails and cattle tracks streams like necklaces fan tailed
peacocks painted elephants embroidered bedspreads of meadows and
Edge’s bamboo forests and snow hatted peaks waterfalls creeks the hieroglyphs
of wide winged cranes and the glistening lotus flower after rain the air
hypnotically see through rare the journey a ponderous one at times long
and slow but necessarily so the uk’s poet laureate Simon Armitage and that’s
all from us for now but they’ll be an updated version of the Global News
podcast later if you want to comment on this edition all the topics covered in
it you can send us an email the address is global podcast at BBC dot co dot uk’
I’m Alex Ritson until next time goodbye

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