Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries and more than 200,000 deaths.
The United States alone has more than one million confirmed cases – four times as many as any other country.
This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.
How many cases and deaths have there been?
The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
It is spreading rapidly in many countries and the number of deaths is still climbing.
Note: The map and table in this page uses a different source for figures for France from that used by Johns Hopkins University which results in a slightly lower overall total.
The US has by far the largest number of cases, with more than one million confirmed infections, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 60,000 fatalities, it also has the world’s highest death toll.
Italy, the UK, Spain and France – the worst-hit European countries – have all recorded more than 20,000 deaths.
In China, the official death toll is approaching 5,000 from about 84,000 confirmed cases. Numbers for deaths jumped on 17 April after what officials called “a statistical review” and critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.
Note: The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average
The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.
More than three million people are known to have been infected worldwide, but the true figure is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.
While the US and much of Europe has been hit hard by the virus, some countries have managed to avoid similar death tolls.
New Zealand, for instance, says it has effectively eliminated the threat for now after fewer than 1,500 cases and just 19 deaths.
The country brought in some of the toughest restrictions in the world on travel and activity early on in the pandemic but is now relaxing some of these. This week some non-essential businesses will be reopening but most people will still have to stay at home and avoid all social interactions.
While some countries are beginning to ease restrictions, others are only now starting to impose them as cases and deaths begin to rise.
Across Latin America, where many economies are already struggling and millions live on what they can earn day-to-day, there are concerns about the strain the growing number of virus cases could put on health care systems. Of particular concern are Ecuador and Brazil.
Ecuador has already seen its health system collapse – thousands have died from the virus and other conditions that could not be treated because of the crisis. While Brazil has also seen a steep rise in both cases and deaths, with every state in South America’s largest country affected.
Across the world, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – are estimated to be living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency.
Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund saying the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The UN World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.
Europe beginning to ease lockdown measures
The four worst-hit countries in Europe are Italy, the UK, Spain and France – all of which have recorded at least 20,000 deaths.
However, all four countries appear to have passed through the peak of the virus now and the number of reported cases and deaths is falling in each.
Germany and Belgium also recorded a relatively high number of deaths and are now seeing those numbers decrease, though as Belgium has a far smaller population than Germany the number of deaths per capita there has been higher.
How countries across Europe are deciding to move out of lockdown varies, with the EU saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to lifting containment measures.
Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. Children there under the age of 14 are now allowed to leave their homes for an hour a day, after six weeks in lockdown.
In Italy, certain shops and factories have been allowed to reopen and the prime minister says further measures will be eased from 4 May.
In France, the prime minister said this week that non-essential shops and markets will open their doors again from 11 May, but not bars and restaurants. Schools will also be reopened gradually.
Other European countries easing restrictions include Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany, where children’s play areas and museums have been told they can reopen and church services can resume, under strict social distancing and hygiene rules.
In the UK, where there have been more than 170,000 confirmed cases and at least 26,000 deaths, lockdown measures are still in full effect. The prime minister has promised a “comprehensive plan” in the next week on how the government will get the country moving again.
New York remains epicentre of US outbreak
With more than one million cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The country has also recorded more than 60,000 deaths.
The state of New York has been particularly badly affected, with 18,000 deaths in New York City alone, but Governor Andrew Cuomo says the toll “seems to be on a gentle decline”.
Mr Cuomo has suggested some parts of his state could begin to reopen after the current stay-at-home order expires on 15 May.
At one point, more than 90% of the US population was under mandatory lockdown orders, but President Trump has stated that he will not be renewing his government’s social distancing guidelines once they expire on Thursday and some states have already begun to lift restrictions.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have all allowed some businesses to reopen in recent days following official unemployment figures that showed more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.
But public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity could spark a fresh surge of infections just as the number of new cases is beginning to ease off.
White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr Deborah Birx has said social distancing should remain the norm “through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases”.
A man has been charged with murder after a fatal stabbing near the luxury department store Harrods.
Mohammed Abdullah Al Araimi, 20, died at the scene near the Knightsbridge store on 5 December 2019.
Badir Rahim Alnazi, of no fixed address, was charged with murder, attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.
The 23-year-old is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.
Millions of commuters will have to pay an average of 2.7% more for train tickets from today.
The rise, announced by industry body the Rail Delivery Group in November, is lower than the 3.1% increase at the start of last year.
Train companies say it is the third year in a row that average fares have been held below RPI – the inflation measure on which rises are based.
But many commuters face an increase of more than £100 for annual passes.
In Wales, fares have bucked the trend of rising prices in England and Scotland, with an average fall of 1% this year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government was committed to “putting passengers first”, by funding trials for flexible fares, for example.
He said he planned to tackle the “fragmented” system and had begun the process to end the franchise for Northern Rail, whose performance was “completely unacceptable”.
“You can judge me on this at the end of the year,” he told BBC Breakfast. “These changes are going to take time but I think people will see things moving in the right direction.”
But Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said the rise showed passengers were “once again paying more for less under the Tories”.
Independent watchdog Transport Focus says fewer than half of train journeys (47%) are rated as satisfactory value for money by passengers.
The watchdog’s director, David Sidebottom, said: “After a year of pretty poor performance in some areas, passengers just want a consistent day-to-day service they can rely on and a better chance of getting a seat.”
He encouraged passengers to claim compensation for eligible delays in order to “offset” the cost of fare rises.
Some annual passes go up by more than £100
£132Reading to London. Total £4,736
£118Gloucester to Birmingham. Total £4,356
£116Glasgow to Edinburgh. Total £4,200
However, Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for Rail Delivery Group, said rail companies were investing in improving journeys while holding fare increases below inflation.
He said 2020 will see 1,000 extra weekly services and 1,000 more carriages added to Britain’s rail fleet.
“There is a record level of investment going into the railway at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“For people who do suffer from poor punctuality in areas of the country, that could be for a variety of different reasons, we apologise. We are looking at trying to make punctuality much better across the board,” he said.
Official statistics show that just over one in three trains failed to arrive on time in July, August and September 2019, although that figure was an improvement on the previous year.
About 40% of annual rail price rises are regulated by governments in England, Scotland and Wales. They are pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for the previous July. Other fare rises are decided by train companies.
RPI inflation was 2.8% last year.
But RPI inflation is generally higher than the most widely watched measure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
Passenger groups have repeatedly called for the system to be changed since RPI inflation was abandoned by the UK Statistics Authority as a national statistic in 2013.
Emily Yates, a freelance writer from Brighton who co-founded the Association of British Commuters, said the annual rises feel like “Groundhog Day” and a “complete charade”.
“Every year, we ask for a fares freeze, the government says no, and the rail industry defends the decision,” she said.
Protests will be held against the fare increase on Thursday, including a demonstration outside London King’s Cross station.
The rallies come as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) releases research suggesting fares have risen by twice as much as wages in the last 10 years.
The TUC said someone earning an average salary in the UK would have to spend 16% of their wages for a season ticket from Chelmsford to London (£511 a month), but similar commutes would cost 2% of the average salary in France, and 4% in Germany and Belgium.
A second man has been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of two men within hours of each other.
The first victim was found in the boot of a car near Scratchwood Park, Barnet, on 19 December, while a second man was discovered by officers in Hogg Lane, Elstree on 20 December.
On Christmas Day, Besnik Berisha, 42, of Martock Gardens, Friern Barnet, was charged with two counts of murder.
Kaziku Tuwisana, 31, of no fixed address, faces the same charges.
Mr Berisha is due before Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The Met Police has asked drivers who “may have caught something that could prove massively important” on dash-cam footage to contact them.
A mother who suffered a miscarriage and then weeks later lost her job has called for a change in employment law.
Amy McKeown, 39, from Hampstead in north London, was off work for 10 weeks in 2006 after her 12-week scan found her baby had no heartbeat.
Three weeks later, her employer told her she was being made redundant.
Ms McKeown was not protected under maternity law from discrimination as the legal and medical worlds define pregnancy differently.
“From the moment the baby dies you are legally not pregnant whereas in the medical world you are considered pregnant until you go into labour and give birth to a baby – whether that baby is alive or dead,” Ms McKeown said.
“There’s a mismatch between what pregnancy is and that means there’s a mismatch between what the end of a pregnancy is.”
The redundancy was part of “a strategic decision” as her firm exited an area of the business.
Following her redundancy, Ms McKeown, who had given birth to a healthy daughter before her miscarriage, was shocked to realise women were not protected under maternity law, which currently protects mothers against maternity discrimination for two weeks after the pregnancy ends.
“When women find themselves in these situations, they’re often unwell – physically, mentally. In my situation you’re grieving a loss of a child, it’s at that point when women are at their most vulnerable that we need protections and that’s when they’re not there,” she said.
Commenting on the potential for discrimination, Joeli Brearley, from Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation that aims to tackle discrimination against mothers and promote the rights of women, said: “Employees will tell employers that they’ve had a miscarriage and then their employers of course realise they have an intention of having a baby.
“But because they’ve had a miscarriage they’re not protected from discrimination.
“So from the point they mention they had a miscarriage, the employer starts to think they’ll be a problem, a burden, and they start to find ways of pushing them out of their jobs.”
A government commissioned report found one in nine women had been fired or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child or were treated so badly they felt forced out.
The government is in the process of introducing a law to protect women from being made redundant for six months after their pregnancy ends.
The Department of Work and Pensions has been contacted for a comment.
Voting is under way to decide who will represent London’s 73 parliamentary seats.
Londoners will decide the fate of hundreds of parliamentary candidates including the prime minister and leader of the Labour Party.
Registered voters will be able to cast their ballots from 07:00 to 22:00 GMT.
Labour represented 46 seats in the city going into the 2019 General Election. The Conservative had 20 London MPs while Liberal Democrats had four.
The BBC, like other broadcasters, is not allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open. More details around electoral law and our BBC code of practice is explained here.
Minicab drivers in London will only be able to gain required qualifications at official centres after a cheating scandal was exposed by the BBC.
Drivers could previously sit mandatory exams at Transport for London (TfL) centres or authorised private schools and colleges to get a licence.
TfL said all licences gained from colleges where cheating occurred had been revoked.
As part of the cab application process, drivers must sit a topographical exam and an English test at one of eight official TfL testing centres.
Evidence of these exams can also be accepted via other qualifications including BTecs, which are usually taken at numerous private colleges and centres around the UK.
Some employees at one of these colleges – Vista Training Solutions in Newham, east London – offered to take the tests for several BBC researchers for £500 per BTec.
After the cheating was exposed, TfL carried out an “urgent review” of every licence gained through qualifications passed at private colleges.
It has now revoked those of 143 drivers who had gained them through Vista Training Solutions while another 209 licence applications made by people who passed their qualifications through the college have also been rejected.
The transport authority added that no evidence of “fraudulent activity” had been found at any other private colleges but from February, qualifications will only be allowed to be gained from one of TfL’s eight testing centres.
“The most robust and relevant topographical tests are our own assessments,” said Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging.
In a statement Ofqual, which regulates tests taken at private colleges, said it took “all allegations of qualifications fraud extremely seriously”.
Vista Training Solutions previously said it was “devastated to learn that such malpractice took place” and apologised “unreservedly”.
Arsenal have identified Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a potential replacement for Unai Emery if the Gunners decide to sack the Spaniard.
Head coach Emery is under pressure after a winless run of six matches across all competitions.
Arsenal have only won four of 13 Premier League games this season.
BBC Sport understands that if Emery is sacked and Nuno is allowed to speak to Arsenal, then the Portuguese would be a strong contender to take over.
Nuno said it would be “disrespectful” to talk about being linked with Arsenal when asked in a news conference before his side’s Europa League tie against Braga on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t ever mention an issue which is not a reality,” he said. “Speaking about a job which has a manager would be disrespectful and I will not do so.”
Emery said he still has the full support of the club, having been warned results must improve while being offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy earlier this month.
“Really the club is supporting me,” he said. “I feel the club, everyone responsible in that area, is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot.
“I feel strong with that support and know my responsibility to come back and change that situation.”
The former Sevilla and Paris St-Germain boss added he is only focused on “today and tomorrow” as he prepares for his side’s Europa League match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
“My job is to prepare for the match, to show the best performance in front of our supporters,” he said.
Arsenal go into Thursday’s game top of Group F, four points clear of both their German opponents and Standard Liege.
On Sunday, a number of Arsenal fan groups called for “urgent action” over the “state of things” at the club.
“My focus is only today and tomorrow, to do all the things that we have worked on here at the training ground,” Emery added.
“We know our supporters were disappointed by the draw against Southampton, but we have the perfect chance to reconnect with our supporters.
“Our wish is that every supporter tomorrow helps the team, we need them.”
Arsenal are also eight points adrift of the top four and 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Young people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME) have described how they feel the 2019 general election has failed so far to take on their views or represent them.
Students at London’s Westminster Kingsway College talked about the issues they care about and the changes they would like to see in politics.
Video by Jamie Moreland
London blogger The Gentle Author has been photographing the changing face of London, focusing on what is known as “facadism”, the practice of destroying everything apart from the front wall and constructing a new building behind it.
Here, we present a few pictures from the series and the story of the buildings that once stood.
National Provincial Bank, Threadneedle Street, City of London, EC2
This Grade I listed building was designed by John Gibson as London’s largest banking hall, in 1863-65, with figures along the roofline representing locations where the bank did business including:
Above the arched windows, eight sculpted panels of heroic allegorical scenes represent the achievements of mankind:
- the arts
The Cock & Hoop, Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, E1
Thomas Lloyd is recorded as this pub’s first landlord, in 1805.
After it closed for good, in 1908, the building was incorporated into the Providence Row Night Refuge and, in 2006, converted into student housing for the London School of Economics.
London Fruit & Wool Exchange, Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1
This building was designed by Sydney Perks, in 1927, as a state-of-the-art auction room with a roof that simulated sunlight on cloudy days, parquet floors, careful detailing and significant craft elements throughout.
Since the fruit and vegetable market left Spitalfields, in 1991, it has housed many small independent local businesses.
The tenant of the new development is an international legal corporation.
465 Caledonian Road, Islington, N7
Mallett, Porter & Dowd built this handsome warehouse for their business, in 1874.
Redevelopment by University College London for student housing was turned down by Islington Council, citing inadequate daylight, due to the windows of the new building not aligning with those in the facade.
But this judgement was later overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.
And the development won Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup for 2013.
College East, Toynbee Hall, Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, E1
Designed by Elijah Hoole, this part of the Toynbee Hall campus, built in 1884-85, was demolished and facaded for the construction of Attlee House, which was completed in 1971 but itself demolished in 2016.
It will next front Gatsby Apartments, a development of flats for the commercial market.
Former Unitarian Chapel, Stamford Street, Blackfriars, SE1
Designed in 1821 by Charles Parker, the architect of Hoare’s Bank, in the Strand, this chapel was demolished in the 1960s apart from the portico and part of the ground floor, which stood in front of a car park for many years.
The Grade II listed Doric hexastyle portico is topped by a triglyph frieze and a pediment.
Its central door has a shouldered architrave and iron gates.
The Spotted Dog, 38 High Road, Willesden, NW10
The Spotted Dog was described as “a well accustomed public house” in 1792, by which time it was at least 30 years old.
In the 19th Century, it was famous for its pleasure gardens and in the 1920s housed a dancehall.
18 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1
Decorative brick inlay on the Berwick Street elevation declares this facade was built in 1886.
Originally a bakery, it became Central Chemists in 1950 when the ground floor and basement premises were acquired by Gertrude Kramer.
Michael Moss acquired the pharmacy and freehold to the building from Mrs Kramer in the 1970s and enlarged it to include 85-86 Berwick Street in the late 1980s, naming it Broadwick Pharmacy.
Richard Piercy bought the shop in 1990 and ran it as Zest Pharmacy until 2016.
In recent memory, the upper parts of the building were used as offices by music, film and voice-over businesses.
All photographs © The Gentle Author from the book The Creeping Plague of Ghastly Facadism.