welcome to bbc news. my name is mike embley. our top stories: yemen's latest battle. after years of civil war and hunger, how does a country fight a pandemic with little medical care and almost no testing? the number of coronavirus infections in the us passes 3 million, with at least 133,000 deaths. but the white house is pushing hard to reopen schools. in australia, melbourne begins a second lockdown in response to a new spike in covid infections and queensland says it's going to close the border with victoria within 2a hours. serbian police clash with demonstrators in belgrade. a second night of protests against renewed coronavirus restrictions.
hello to you. it is so often called the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and then it gets worse. in yemen, united nations aid agencies are warning they still have nowhere near the resources needed to fight the looming threat of famine in a country already ravaged by five years of war and disease, now struggling with a surge in coronavirus deaths. with the medical system already devastated, covid—19 is spreading virtually unchecked. nawal al—maghafi has been speaking to those bearing the brunt of yemen's latest crisis. there are no daily briefings about covid—19 in yemen... allahu akbar. all: allahu akbar. ..no accurate statistics, and barely any tests. but every day, there are the dead, buried quietly in the early hours
of the morning. among the buried on that day in sana'a was mohammed al—kuhlani. a few weeks ago, we spoke to him and his friends as they worryingly followed the pandemic news. translation: if the virus reaches yemen, they won't be able to count the dead. yemenis mix a lot. we need to raise awareness. we need to teach people how to keep safe at home. the disease was already spreading silently throughout homes in yemen, including mohammed's. his family said his death was of a respiratory infection. it had all the hallmarks of coronavirus. now, we've learnt that mohammed's father and several members of the family have lost their lives with the same symptoms. this is his cousin days before he died. none of the deaths have been reported as coronavirus—related. six years of war has destroyed
half of the country's health system in the conflict between the houthis and a saudi/uae—led coalition, supported by the uk and the us. i met dr ashwag on several milestones during the yemeni conflict, during the famine, cholera and now covid—i9. the suffering only gets worse, she says. translation: i go to people with hand sanitiser and i tell them to stay at home. they tell me, "doctor, don't scare us with the disease. we're dying of hunger anyway, we need to eat. what options do we have?" it's a tragic situation. it is coronavirus or hunger. protective gear is not a priority for a population where two—thirds don't know where their next meal is coming from. and the international community, distracted with its own crisis, is turning its back. a un fundraising summit raised only half the amount needed
to keep its life—saving programmes running. for months, there have been warnings of coronavirus sweeping silently in yemen. now the pandemic is here and is exacting its deadly toll unchecked. nawal al—maghafi, bbc news. us vice president mike pence says the us has recorded more than three million coronavirus infections, more than any other country. to put that in international context, it's significantly higher than brazil and russia, which have recorded the second and third—most cases. and it means the us alone has recorded more infections than both asia and the entire european continent, which were once global centres for the virus. of course this figure doesn't take into account differences in testing rates. yet the president is pushing to
reopen schools, threatening to withdraw funding for those who do not. here was mike pence speaking at the coronavirus task force briefing. at this point, we have tested more than 39 million americans. among those, more than 3 million americans have tested positive and more than 1.3 million americans have recovered. sadly, more than 133,000 americans have lost their lives, and our sympathies are with all of the impacted families. while we mourn with those who mourn, because of what the american people have done, because of the extraordinary work of our healthcare workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady. drjason bae is medical director of prealize health and is working in urgent care in northern california. he worked previously on covid wards in new york. i asked him if the true figures for cases and deaths are likely to be even higher.
the testing rates are definitely going up but we also know that there are many patients who are actually not getting tested. despite the high numbers and what we know is, the testing positivity rates are actually going up at the same time, which suggests there are many more infections that are out there, than we are seeing from our confirmed numbers. why is this and what you expect the picture to be going forward now? it's not very surprising that these surges are happening across the united states. in many states, the economy really started opening before we had a good control of the virus. and we didn't really have infrastructure in place to detect and control new outbreaks. so as states reopened and people start to hang out more, you are expected to see more cases spring up in different parts of the country.
in terms of what to expect, unfortunately, what we know is that after the new cases and infections, usually the hospitalisation follows. and my friends in texas are saying their hospital capacity will reach the maximum capacity very, very soon and i expect that death numbers will also rise. i would not be surprised at all if the numbers in the us surpassed 3,000 per day by august. and how does what you are seeing in california compare with what you saw in new york? so right now, fortunately, we do have enough capacity in northern california where i am practising. and the rate of increase has not been too bad but if the rate continues, rate of hospitalisation continues
at this rate, we may reach a capacity at some point pretty soon as well. so much of this, it seems, quite apart from testing, seems to come down to the way that masks and distancing have become such an issue and that the politicians seem to be at odds with the scientists, with the medics. i think it's been very, very fortunate how this has really become a political issue more than a public health issue. and i think what we know is that universal masking and wearing masks in public places and social distancing really does work well, and we can see the examples of asian countries that have recorded really less than 300 deaths, in the case of south korea. so i think we should really kind of go back to the basics of wearing a mask and social distancing to really get this pandemic under a control.
you've seen all this in great detail firsthand. with your colleagues, how are you all? are you hopeless with the way this is going? yeah, so there's definitely a sense of exasperation, of really feeling like some of our politicians and leaders not really understanding the challenges and just the tragedy that's happening in front of our eyes. but also at the same time, i remain hopeful because i think the conversation around masks are really moving forward from hey, should we wear a mask to hey, let's all wear a mask and this is really important. and i think as people are really understanding and seeing people with covid—i9 in their friends and families, i'm hopeful that people really take this seriously and we will be able to control this pandemic for it's too late.
drjason bae. he is currently working in california, previously he was working in new york. brazil's president says he's confident he'll survive coronavirus because he's taking the anti—malarial drug hydroxychloroquine — a treatment plan that has no proven success when used to tackle covid—i9. mr bolsonaro has spent months downplaying the severity of the pandemic as thousands have died in his country. he tested positive this week. 0ur south america correspondent katy watson reports from sao paulo. social distancing, no thanks. masks, preferably not. jair bolsonaro is a leader who's never much cared for health guidelines, dismissing them every step of the way. but when it comes to unproven drugs to tackle the virus, it's the only horse he's backed. 0n the day he got covid—i9, jair bolsonaro posted this video of him taking the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine. he said he was feeling much better and over the weekend so it must be working.
it's an honour to give that to you. like his friend up north, jair bolsonaro doesn't care if the drug isn't recommended for covid—i9, nor that there could be serious health risks for people who take it when they don't need it. it works for him, he says, so he promotes it. and pharmacies here have felt the impact. ever since the president first touted the drug and its benefits, medication more often used in brazil to fight malaria in the amazon or for those skin conditions like lupus, demand has soared. authorities had to introduce prescription for the drugs to try and control them. translation: we had lots of people looking for it, manyjust wanted to stock up at home, but we don't allow that. even so, there was such a big demand for it. the price of the drug has gone up as well, there has been a huge boom. while jair bolsonaro is made sure the drugs can be offered
to patients with even the mildest symptoms, many health professionals say it's a dangerous path to go down. they are telling me, people come to the emergency room asking for the drug before we even examine the person. this is how this message has penetrated, is another virus, is an information virus, that has penetrated and synchronised millions of people to believe that there is a silver bullet when we all know there is not. the newspapers say it all: jair bolsonaro minimised the pandemic, encouraged social contact and is now ill. throughout this crisis, he's fought against measures that others have introduced to keep people safe. he's watered down a law on wearing face masks and is even pushing to open the economy as soon as possible. sick or not, he's singing the same tune — for now. in the middle of a pandemic, the health ministry has been sidelined.
two health ministers, both doctors, have gone, because they backed global health recommendations. the man now in charge temporarily is an army general whose biggest move so far has been to get the military to boost production of hydroxychloroquine. but those who back the president repeat his mantra that people need to work and that the collateral damage of the virus cannot become bigger than the disease itself. a lot of people talk about science, science, science. but science means medicine, medical science, it means social science as well. so we have to have all those things together. because a solution that's perfect for europe, maybe it's not the best solution for brazil. maybe we need to find a solution in the middle between them. the problem is, brazil's president is coming up with his own solutions that few people believe in. the country is in the middle of a crisis and it feels like little is being done. katy watson, bbc
news, in sao paulo. elsewhere in latin america, mexico has seen a huge surge with close to 7,000 new cases. a new daily record. there are fears right across the continent that healthcare systems are on the brink of collapse. freya cole starts this report in peru's capital city. rallying outside their workplace, these nurses in peru say their life is at risk. they‘ re demanding better protection from the virus which has so far claimed more than 10,000 lives across the country. translation: many of my colleagues have become ill and there is no special monitoring of their cases. the families of these nurses have also fallen ill. there is no protective equipment, no food vouchers, no transportation for medical staff. elsewhere in peru's capital city, police used water cannons to disperse crowds. they too feel local hospitals are on the brink of collapse. this is a snapshot of one field
unit in huanuco in central peru. cases are skyrocketing in mexico. it's a new daily record, and hospitals are not coping. the doctors who are treating patients are also getting ill. we've been waiting for hours, but many of the doctors cannot work because they have symptoms. this is a snapshot of one field unit in central peru. patients are crowded in, relying on oxygen to breathe. nurses in bolivia also have grave concerns. the virus is on the rise, and they say there is nowhere near enough protection. translation: we need the authorities to come to the hospital with tests for all of us workers because we don't know who is infected and who isn't. some of my colleagues already have symptoms. in colombia, strict lockdowns
are taking place along the caribbean coast. the port capital, barranquilla, has reported more deaths than the capital city, but local doctors fear many people are dying at home, the silent victims of a virus which remains out of control. freya cole, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: six kids, lots of homework, butjust one phone. how a new project in the uk is helping get digital devices to those in need. central london has been rocked by a series of terrorist attacks. police say there have been many casualties, and there is growing speculation that al-qaeda was responsible. germany will be the hosts of the 2006 football world cup. they've pipped the favourites, south africa, by a single vote. in south africa, the
possibility of losing hadn't even been contemplated, and celebration parties were cancelled. a man entered the palace through a downstairs window and made his way to the queen's private bedroom. then he asked herfor a cigarette, and on the pretext of arranging for some to be brought, she summoned a footman on duty, who took the man away. one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. education is the only solution. applause this is bbc news. the latest headlines: after years of civil war — yemen faces a crippling fight against the covid pandemic, with little medical care and almost no testing.
the number of coronavirus cases in the united states has passed three million — with over 130,000 american fatalities — but the white house is pushing hard to re—open schools. australia's second largest city melbourne is back under lockdown, thanks to a recent spike in virus infections. five million people have been ordered to stay home except for essentials such as shopping, unavoidable work or caregiving. wednesday was the third day in a row that the state of victoria recorded more than 100 cases. australia's overall covid numbers are comparatively small, nearly 9000 cases. that's less than california recorded in one single day this week. but australian authorities say they are determined to stop the spread going any further. abc news reporter, steven schubert spoke to me from melbourne a short time ago. today is the first day of this new stage of lockdown just for melbourne. so unlike when australia was last in lockdown,
when the whole country really was all in it together, this time it's just melbourne, and there are police road checks at the outskirts of melbourne stopping people coming in. now, we understand that they are providing some leniency today, for the first day, so if you show up at the road check and you don't have a valid excuse, you are being turned around. but they're saying that window of leniency is closing, and it won't be long until you're issued with fines, and that fine is a$1,600 so it would definitely sting. 0n the towers behind me, on the front there, this is unprecedented in australia. this is a hard lockdown. these people haven't been allowed to leave their homes at all since sunday, so hopefully there will be some news for them today. the state government here in victoria is saying that the testing is now complete in the towers, and they will be having some news about the easing of those restrictions fairly soon. seeing some pushback, i think, steven, especially from people in public housing, that they seem to be seeing
more of police than health workers or social workers. concern, ithink, about the way this lockdown is being implemented. yes, certainly at the start, mike. i was here on monday, which was the first full day of the lockdown, and the police presence here was enormous. the state government here was talking about how they had 500 police on every shift monitoring the towers here and another site in north melbourne, which is not far away from where i am. now, that works out to one police officer for every six residents. and the police were the first on the scene here, not health workers, not social workers, so there was some criticism for that. and we have to keep in mind too that the make—up of the people in these towers are largely immigrant families, people who don't speak english as theirfirst language, people who might have an inherent distrust in police or government authorities due to where they've come from. so yes, some pretty strong criticism when this was set up, but i have to say, the police numbers are much
lower here today. whether that's indicative that the lockdown may be easing, we will have to wait until this afternoon australian time to find out. in serbia there now won't be a return to full lockdown this weekend despite the daily surge in covid—related cases. the country's president has changed his mind after a second day of anti—government protests against the reintroduction of lockdown measures. paul hawkins has more. more anger on the streets of the capital belgrade. for a second note, there were clashes between police and protesters. translation: our government is simply looking after its own interest. the people arejust collateral damage. translation: stupidity, literacy, arrogance, thievery, aggression. serbia went back
five centuries under this president. feelings here are still running high even though the president changed his mind earlier in the day and said there would be no full lockdown this weekend. translation: the crisis staff think there is room to do something else and thatis room to do something else and that is why they would probably make a decision tomorrow to tighten the measures but without imposing a curfew. i wa nt to without imposing a curfew. i want to tell the citizens of serbia that i am against it and i believe the only solution is to impose a ban on movement. i'm asking people to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus because today is our second worst day in terms of the number of infected that we have had. that brings the total number of infections to 17000
in serbia. they say the initial lockdown was lifted to early to hold parliamentary elections which were won by his party. translation: irresponsible behaviour of the regime towards human health is the reason for the spread of the coronavirus, all with the aim of holding false elections. we demand that a new depoliticised crisis staff who people will trust is appointed. we demand that police commanders be held accountable for the police brutality used on citizens protesting against another cu rfew. protesting against another curfew. so no full lockdown for 110w curfew. so no full lockdown for now but whether it appears as the protesters remains to be seen. for many children in lockdown, going to school has meant going online. but in the uk, around 700,000 students have missed out on schoolwork, because they don't own a computer or even have internet access. a new programme is trying to change that, by getting donated computer equipment to those who need it most, as fiona lamdin reports. homeschooling. can i borrow your phone, please, mum?
thank you. this family in swindon, like thousands, having to learn without a computer. it takes forever, and it stresses you out, and then ijust end up giving up and not doing it. do you feel like you're falling behind? yeah, a lot. because i'm not getting as much help as i should be. i just can't, like, focus properly. and it — sometimes it crashes. i'm finding it very, very stressful, and to be honest, sometimes i find it too much, so ijust don't do any work at all. and it's a similar story for 14—year—old charlie, who is in foster care. he is doing his gcses next year. i'm worrying a lot about going back to school, having detentions after detentions for not doing the work. but what we've seen is an exaggeration due to covid. nick runs 31 schools, and has 2,500 students who don't have a computer at home. across the uk, hundreds of thousands of young people are disadvantaged digitally. they're disadvantaged emotionally, financially, socially.
but the it divide has grown bigger as a result of covid. but now, people are donating the computers, laptops and tablets they no longer need. is that a dinosaur? the holgate family were also struggling — six children, all sharing mum's phone. but a donated tablet has helped. what difference has it made having another device in the house? we've been able to do our — like, loads of homework. and we've been sharing — like, sharing better. whereas before, i think they were falling behind a little bit, but now they're on track. daddy! the government says it is committed to reopening schools in september, but many families are worried that by then, the gap will be too big. fiona lamdin, bbc news. much more for you on all the news, national and
international, any time on the bbc news website and on our twitter feeds. thank you so much for watching. hello again. there were two very different types of weather across the uk during wednesday. it's a similar setup as we go into thursday. in the south, we've got lots of low cloud. this was borth on cardigan bay during wednesday afternoon. to the north of that, we've got a showery regime, much more sunshine around. and the divider is this area of low pressure. so keeping all parts unsettled, but it's been bringing in heavy and persistent rain during the course of wednesday night. and that heaviest rain — yes, it will be clearing out of the way, but it leaves a legacy of those weather fronts — misty, low cloud. it's pretty humid, as well, with that by the front across the southern half of the country a tad chillierfurther north. but lots of misty, low cloud,
hill and coastal fog to clear first thing. 0r certainly the rain clears, but that misty, low cloud is likely to hang around for much of the day. so dull and overcast, damp and dreary, and very little changes. of course, it won't be raining all day. there'll be some drier slots, as we had during the day on wednesday, and it's still quite warm — 19—20 degrees, generally speaking. we might see some of the brighter skies filter into the north of england later. just the odd shower for northern ireland, with some sunny spells. sunny spells across scotland. but given the light winds, when the showers develop, they could become heavy and thundery and slow—moving. so quite a lot of rain falling in a shortish space of time from those thunderstorms. but equally, either side of them, plenty of sunshine. and those will translate into clearer skies as we go through thursday night, as those thunderstorms rumble out. and that clearer weather is gradually filtering southwards. so not quite as humid through the night ahead, more comfortable for sleeping. more sunshine, therefore, on offer as we go into friday. but a brisker wind, and that wind comes down from the north—west,
and it will make it feel cooler, and notably so in the south, although there'll be more sunshine to compensate. but equally, as you can see, lots of showers. they'll be heavy, as well, running southwards on that north—westerly breeze. they do tend to dampen down in activity towards the west later. why? because we've got the azores high moving in, and that's with us for the weekend, just with the risk or the chance of more rain coming into the north—west of the uk come sunday. so for many, we're lifting our temperatures a little, as well, with more sunshine and lighter winds across the south. in the north, still predominantly dry, butjust potentially some rain in the north—west later.
this is bbc news — the headlines: the united nations has warned that its aid agencies don't have the resources they need to fight the looming threat of famine in yemen, ravaged by five years of conflict and disease, and now struggling with the coronavirus spreading virtually unchecked. coronavirus infections in the united states have passed 3 million, significantly more than any other country. cases have risen by more than 60,000 in one day. there have been at least 133,000 american deaths from covid—19. but the trump administration is pushing hard to reopen schools. the president has threatened to withdraw funding from schools which do not. 5 million people in australia's second—largest city, melbourne have been ordered to stay home for six weeks, because of a major spike in coronavirus infection. queensland is closing its borders to residents of victoria or anyone who has recently been to the state.