welcome to bbc news. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the president of brazil, jair bolsonaro, tests positive for coronavirus. in a country ravaged by the disease, he has consistently played it down. the who gave this response. no country is immune and no country is safe and no individual can be safe, but having said this, we wish his excellency, the president, well. the world health organization says it can't rule out that covid—19 can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air millions in melbourne are ordered back into lockdown for six weeks — there are police checks at the state border between victoria and new south wales.
and we hearfrom one american family how they are coping with a death from covid—19. hello and welcome. he's been tested before and it's come back negative, but now on the fourth procedure, brazil's president has tested positive for coronavirus. jair bolsonaro has spent months downplaying the severity of the virus, in a country that has the second highest number of covid—19 cases and deaths in the world, after the us. he is now taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug he and president trump have promoted but which is unproven as a treatment for the disease. this from our south america correspondent katy watson. brazil's graveyards, a testament to the country's crisis. every day, more tombs are filled, every burial another number in the country's shocking statistics.
tens of thousands of people are falling ill every day, numbers that jair bolsonaro has often dismissed, but now he is one of them. the president went on television to announce the test results. for once, wearing a mask, but leaving very little distance between him and journalists as he shared his experience of the virus. translation: it started on sunday with a certain feeling of unwell that worsened during the day on monday, with malaise, tiredness, a bit of muscle pain and a fever that reached 38 degrees. i did a scan at the armed forces hospital here and my lungs were clear. as he bid farewell, the mask came off. not even covid—19 will make him change his ways. jair bolsonaro is a man who thrives on controversy, meeting supporters and rubbishing global health guidelines from the very beginning.
he fired two health ministers because he disagreed with their medical advice which followed that of the world health organization. today, the health body sent best wishes for a speedy recovery. we are all potentially exposed to this virus. the virus doesn't really know who we are. whether we're prince or pauper, we are equally vulnerable. and i think what it really highlights is our collective vulnerability to this disease. and brazil is more vulnerable than most. the death toll is soaring, but shops, bars and restaurants are reopening. it's what jair bolsonaro has wanted from the very start, the economy back up and running. for so long, jair bolsonaro has tried to brush off this virus. the irony that he has now caught it has not been missed in brazil today. translation: i think he's going to get better. he has the best doctors and the best hospitals. i hope he's well.
translation: bolsonaro has spoke about not catching it and he caught it. it's not just a little flu like he was talking about. this was the fourth test jair bolsonaro had taken for covid—i9. he had a scare early on in the crisis, when he paid a visit to donald trump and several members of his presidential team fell ill. the us president took a test shortly afterwards. the two men have much in common, playing down the virus and leading countries that are now suffering the most. brazil, most famous for its beaches, is becoming infamous for these much darker times. katy watson, bbc news, sao paulo. well, president bolsanoro has been dismissive of coronavirus, but brazil and south america are now the areas of the world that most worry public health officials. our science editor david shukman has this report. a desperate scene in a graveyard in bolivia. a charity uses a digger to bury the dead because too many
people are dying for the authorities to cope. the family of a victim watches on from a safe distance. in peru, there are long queues to get medical help. the country has one of the highest numbers of cases anywhere in the world and it is amongst the least able to handle them. this woman worries that so many are sick they are having to wait outside the hospital. "it's very scary", she says. health experts are now becoming seriously alarmed about what's happening in latin america. of the countries with the largest number of cases, four are in latin america — brazil is number two after the united states. and bear in mind that these are going to be massive underestimates of the true scale because in so many regions there's very little testing going on. there is a similar pattern with the death toll. of the countries with the largest losses, three are in latin america and all the signs are that things are going in the wrong direction.
one reason is overcrowding in the favelas, the slums, where social distancing isn't possible, adding to a worsening global picture. there have now been 11.4 million cases of covid—i9 and more than 535,000 lives have been lost. the outbreak is accelerating and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic. and politics is key. the brazilian president wants growth and freedom, not lockdowns and masks. anotherfactor in an escalating crisis. david shukman, bbc news. as the us posts a new daily record of coronavirus cases, at least 60,209, the white house has moved officially to withdraw the united states from the world health organization. so the us is breaking ties with the body responsible
for global public health at the peak of a pandemic. president trump has frequently criticised the un agency. i asked our north america correspondent david willis when all this will take effect? in a yearfrom now, it will take effect, mike, and that of course is after the presidential election which is due to take place in november this year. hence the presumptive democratic rival to president trump, joe biden, has come out to say that he will reverse this decision if elected and he will make sure that america remains part of the world health organization. criticism of the decision has come from other leading democrats, including robert menendez who is the leading democrat on the senate foreign relations committee. he said the move leaves americans sick and america alone, and the president of the un foundation elizabeth cousens called the decision shortsighted and dangerous and said it would undermine
the global effort to beat the coronavirus. that's the strange thing of all this, mike, the timing coming just as the united states is poised to announce 3 million cases of the coronavirus here in the united states. if it happens, david, i think it would be a massive blow to the who. it's already seriously underfunded. i think its budget is less than one new york health district and the us is the biggest single contributor. as you say, all this at a time when coronavirus is threatening to overwhelm health facilities in some us states? that's right and we're hearing today of 10,000 plus cases over the last 2a hours in the state of texas alone, that's a new record high. florida, also arizona, california, all showing surges in the coronavirus pandemic, in the number of cases. president trump continuing to insist that the situation is under control.
but to go back to your point about funding for the who, absolutely, the united states is by far the biggest financial contributor, more than $400 million a year. the trump administration says that money will be diverted into other public health initiatives, but it raises questions, the us withdrawal, about the long—term financial viability, some are saying, of the who itself, not to mention the projects regarding public health that it is currently undertaking. let's get some of the day's other news. thousands of protesters have clashed with riot police in the serbian capital, over a weekend curfew announced in belgrade, the government's response to a rise in virus infections. crowds stormed the parliament building, demanding the resignation of the president. they accuse him of mishandling the crisis. the government lifted restrictions ahead of an election in june, which was won by his party.
the uk will resume selling arms to saudi arabia — ministers have decided the country isn't deliberately violating international law with strikes in neighbouring yemen. campaigners have criticised the move — they managed to get the trade blocked in the high court last year. the war in yemen has killed thousands of civilians in the past five years. it is often described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. tom meighan, former lead singer of the british rock band kasabian, has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. he has admitted assaulting his formerfiancee. a court heard how vikki ager was left with a head injury and bruising by a prolonged attack. victim support groups say the sentence is too lenient. he's now been sacked by the band. the genetic variation of the novel coronavirus now dominating the world is infecting human cells more readily than the original that emerged in china, according to new studies. the research suggests the mutation replicates faster,
which means it may be more transmissible. we're joined from new york by professor neville sanjana who is a geneticist at the new york genome centre, and also new york university. professor, thank you very much for your time and it is good to talk to you. all viruses mutate, don't they? why is this significant? that is exactly right. all viruses do mutate. the reason why this is a worry, this mutation today, is that it isa this mutation today, is that it is a mutation in this by pro team, the thing that sticks out from the virus and gives coronavirus its name. it is the coronavirus its name. it is the corona and the reason this particular mutation is worrying is that we and others have found in laboratories that this mutated form of the virus more readily in fact many different types of human cells. 50 the new mutation has a strong spike that does not break when it
tries to infiltrate cells? that isa tries to infiltrate cells? that is a good summary. we looked at many different possible mechanisms for why this is and it is still not completely clear as to how this very small change in this bike protein leads to this increase in infectivity but the increase is unmistakable. so we looked at cells from the lung, from the liver, from the colon. many different human cell types and across all the cells we looked at, we consistently saw between at, we consistently saw between a two and eight fold increase in infection. that is not a small number, that is quite a large increase. increasingly we are seeing research suggest this is not so much anymore a respiratory disease, something that attacks the lungs in particular, but it is becoming vascular, attacking all parts of the body that rely on find blood vessels. what other particular moves in this virus that concern you most? this is a big unknown right now which
is why we made some efforts not just to test, when we look to see the original strength of the virus and the one with the mutation, we did notjust test on one cell type, we looked at many cell types because we are worried that the virus does not just infect one organ, in fact, one of the hallmarks of covid—19, one of the first symptoms that people often report is a loss of smell. and that tells us the virus is likely getting into the olfactory neurons that are involved in smell but it is not just neurons but many other subtypes in the body and i think this is an active area right now to really understand how not all cells are impacted in quickly and how is their treatment that needs to be different depending on where the virus moves within the body. i suppose it is not much comfort virus becomes too deadly advise out because it has no more host left, do you
think we will find a way eventually to live with this? that is a really good question. i think this is kind of natural selection in action. the virus, if it is too deadly, it is unable to spread and there are many viruses that are spread, the common cold, hiv is another virus that can spread that are perhaps not as deadly as coronavirus. so this virus does seem to have found a perfect middle region where it is both quite deadly but maybe not too deadly or it relies on a lot of asymptomatic spreaders, or super spreaders while still being, you know, having a tremendous impact in causing a global pandemic. i don't know if that is a comfort but it is interesting and it is useful. thank you very much. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we take a look at how one us family is mourning its loss after a death in the
family from covid—19. 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 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. the 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: the brazilian president has tested positive for covid—19, but jair bolsonaro insists he feels fine. the world health organization says it can't rule out that coronavirus may be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air. australia's second most populous city is heading back into lockdown. after a record spike in cases, five million people in melbourne and an area just north will be required to stay at home for the next six weeks other than for necessities including going to work, shopping for essentials or care—giving. the new measures come into effect later today and will be strictly enforced by police with the help
of the australian defence force. here's victorian premier, daniel andrews, speaking a short time ago. if we all work together over these next six weeks, as painful and frustrating and difficult as that will be, we will be able to get to the other side of this stay—at—home period. we'll able to then recommence are opening up a cautious way, we will be able to repair the damage to the economy that this virus is doing and along the way, we'll be able to support those who need that support, whether it be businesses, families, individuals or indeed communities. this is, as i said, not the situation that anybody wanted to be in, but it is the reality that we must confront. to do otherwise is to pretend that this isn't real, to pretend that we have other options. the best public health advice is to take these steps. that's very well considered
advice, the decision to take these steps is not an easy one, it's not taken lightly, but it is the most appropriate response to again take control of the virus, drive down case numbers and get to the point where we can recommence that opening up. danielandrews there, the premier of victoria. the us immigration agency has announced that foreign students will not be allowed to stay in the country if their universities move all their courses online. students are being told they will have to transfer to a college which provides classroom teaching or leave the united states. aparna gopalan is a phd student at harvard. she's in chicago at the moment. thank you for talking to us. this sounds like a disaster for you and many people, at least a disaster for your studies. absolutely, yeah. as we have heard about this news, it has been just really disturbing. there is a lot of chaos in the international student community, trying to figure out what is going to happen next.
to you know what is going to happen to you and many other people? that would be the worst case scenario. there are several avenues that we know are being pursued and we're to pursue both with the university and with our unions, to try to put a stay on this thing. this reminds us of the muslim band and other decisions this government has made which were tell —— challenged in court. this is our only hope but there are no guarantees. i think you have lived in the us for eight yea rs have lived in the us for eight years or so? where will you go? what will you do? that is precisely it. many of us phd stu d e nts precisely it. many of us phd students are long citizens of the year it —— long documents of the us. there is nothing to go back to, there is not really a home for that we have established homes here and lives and research, our work is here so i actuallyjust can't imagine what would happen. on top of everything else, there isa top of everything else, there is a coronavirus and borders
are closed internationally so it does make a very tough situation to be in. and i suppose you could be a loss to the united states. you teach a lot. there are around 5000 national students at harvard —— international students, many in the graduate programme, many of whom teach was not that is an essential labour that we do for the university and the university couldn't function without upgrading the papers for them and dealing with undergraduates in small groups soi undergraduates in small groups so i can't imagine the university even being able to cope with that loss. very briefly, if you don't mind, are you getting much support, you and others, from the universities? i believe support is forthcoming but none has been offered quite yet. they are still trying to figure out what the various ways this can be navigated, whether through legal challenges or through creating different types of
courses that international stu d e nts courses that international students can enrolling. so i am expecting support from harvard. but we have only had a department level statements of solidarity ‘s, so far we haven't had a university wide announcement. thank you so much. the director of the fbi has described chinese spying and other covert operations as the greatest long—term threat to the future of the united states. in washington, christopher wray said the chinese government had orchestrated a campaign to steal business secrets and undermine the american way of life. here's our north america editorjohn sopel. china, the chinese communist party, believes it's in a generational fight to surpass our country in economic and technological leadership. china is engaged in a whole—of—state effort to become the world's only superpower by any means necessary.
the containers were found last month when police cracked in corrected phones used by criminals. messages were found which revealed the identities of potential victims and included photos of the containers and dentist chair with belts attached to the arm. dutch authorities released this footage of the raid just before the converted containers could be used. they said potential victims were taken into custody. at least 130,000 people have died in the united states since the pandemic began. that means more than 130,000 families mourning, but often with no way to grieve. even with lockdowns easing, funerals and other mass gatherings are difficult. jane o'brien met one mother and daughter who recently lost a loved one, to see how they're coping. the monotony of lockdown is amplified by grief. christine and her daughter, sam, have experienced loss before.
christine's husband was killed ina carcrash when sam was a baby. but this is different. grieving right now is, it's not the same as any other time. we're stuck in a moment. like, it doesn't feel like time is moving. after a ten—day illness, christine's mother died from covid — the family unable to share her last moments. we didn't have a normalfuneral. my mother was religious, she was catholic. we had to let people watch from a link, if they wanted to tune into the service. we were allowed ten people, and we couldn't be near each other. we were all in separate pews. you know, my daughter and i were able to sit together, but i couldn't be with my siblings, i couldn't hug my siblings. at the cemetery, we were separated. that's not normal. nothing is normal in the time of covid.
sacred rituals and even the process of grieving have been distorted by social distancing and quarantine. i think under normal conditions, pre—covid, you would have things that kept you busy. that's gone. i'm not working, she's now out of school. there's nothing really to do, other than be alone with your thoughts most of the day. like, there are times when i find myself up in my room reading, drawing, just watching tv, and ijust start crying. and i think about why i'm crying. this is a different type of quarantine for us. most people are dealing with this the same way, just sitting at home, running to the grocery store every now and then. but it's different because we've had something extra, like, thrown in there with the whole stew, in a way. with so many people experiencing grief and isolation, experts fear a mental health crisis could be on the horizon.
it takes time to adjust to the new normal. especially when you don't know what it is, but so many people, in their trauma and their loss, do not know what the new normal looks like until they start living in it. but if we can adapt that life can be ok, even if it's different, i think we won't be damaged. but if we keep holding on to what used to be, i think it'll be incredibly damaging. we won't be able to move forward. going back to school, if we go back, like, they might be joking about it, they might be saying, "quarantine was stupid. " i did suffer a lot, and they may not have. just like with 9/11, it'll be something people talk about for years and decades, and it'll never go away. so ijust feel like this is always going to be what i remember. and it's going to be hard. jane o'brien, bbc news. there is much more for you any time on the bbc website or on
our twitter feeds. thank you so much for watching. hello. well, we've got another dose of rain on the way for wednesday. it's more southern parts of the uk that will get the rain. now, this is the satellite picture. notice it's actually a conveyor belt of cloud that's stretching from the north sea across the uk, ireland and out into the atlantic, and out here in the central north atlantic, not that it is of any huge significance, but this is actually an old tropical storm that's just feeding in warmth and moisture into this band of cloud and rain that is going to gradually slip across the country from west to east. there is also a lot of mild air to the south, in fact, 15 degrees, that is the early morning temperature on wednesday, whereas in the glens of scotland early on wednesday it could be close to freezing in a few areas.
so remember that cloud stretching out into the atlantic, it is kind of spreading across the uk, certainly some rain around at times for wales, the midlands, southern england, eventually into east anglia and the south—east. but i think much of yorkshire, northern ireland and scotland are in for a bright day, with just a few showers. that trend continues into thursday. it's more southern parts of the country that get the cloud and the outbreaks of rain, so i think for some of us, once again, not a pretty picture, but it's not going to be cold. 20 degrees in london, fresher in scotland with the sunshine, where temperatures will be between 1a and 18 celsius. on friday, there is a weather front out in the north sea. it's actually a low pressure, with its weather fronts, and it will be close enough to drive our weather. i think showers for the north—east of england, certainly through yorkshire and into east anglia, and a bit of a breeze as well. the wind is actually coming out of the north—west on friday, so it could feel a little on the chilly side in some north—western areas. the best of the weather,
i suspect, across western wales and the south, as well as the south—west, on friday. now, here's the good news. high pressure is expected to build towards the weekend. not particularly hot weather heading our way with this high pressure, i think it willjust be pleasantly warm with some sunny spells. so here's the outlook for saturday and sunday. temperatures mostly in the high teens across more northern parts of the country, whereas further south it will probably get up to the low or maybe the mid—20s. that's it, bye—bye.
this is bbc news, the headlines: the president of brazil has tested positive for coronavirus. jair bolsonaro has insisted his symptoms are mild and says he's feeling fine. in a country with the world's second highest number of virus cases and deaths, he's long played down the danger, claiming covid—19 is like a little flu. the trump administration has formally notified the united nations that it's withdrawing the us from the world health organisation. it's due to leave on the 6th ofjuly next year. and melbourne in australia is back in lockdown for six weeks because of a reported spike in covid infections. police are stopping drivers from crossing the border between victoria and new south wales. at the uk's high court, the hollywood actorjohnny depp is suing the sun newspaper
for calling him a ‘wife beater‘. now on bbc news, panorama looks at cancer care during the coronavirus crisis. i'm deborah james and, for the past three years, my cancer treatment has been keeping me alive — even during covid—19. but not everyone has been given that chance. dear mr hancock, i am appealing to you regarding life—saving treatment. best case is two years. i am upset and i am devastated. the impact of the pandemic on people with cancer has been enormous. cancelled drug trials, cancelled radiotherapy, chemotherapy cancelled. tonight, on panorama, i want to find out what the real