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20 March 2020 00:48

Michael Jackson Wade Robson Bergerac

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Coronavirus: BBC Question Time guests sit apart for social distancing

Following a dramatic launch and helicopter chase in Manchester, the fugitives are pursued across the UK by an elite team of hunters, drawn from some of the world's best investigators and led by former Scotland Yard detective Chief Peter Bleksley. Taking part in 2020's season are childhood sweethearts Jess and Ella, best friends Rob and Ben, 78-year-old retiree Mervyn, known as 'Titch', businessness woman Toni, Wigan couple Dan R and Hayley and on-off couple Frankie and Dan. FIONA Bruce is back hosting an hour of Question Time on BBC One tonight, March 19, from Weston-super-Mare without a studio audience, as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. Health Secretary Matt Honcock is on the panel as the outbreak of the coronavirus is expected to take centre stage - here is who is on tonight's show, which airs at 8pm. 5 Matt Hancock has been the health secretary since 2018 Credit: Alamy Live News Matt Hancock, 41, became the health secretary in 2018 under former prime minister Theresa May. 5 Andy Burnham is the mayor of Greater Manchester Credit: �2016 Under licence to London News Pictures +44 208 088 1155 [email protected] Tom Solomon is a professor of Neurology and director of theInstitute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool. 5 Frances O'Grady is the first woman general secretary of the British Trades Union Congress Credit: PA:Press Association Frances O'Grady is the general secretary of the British Trades Union Congress.

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5 Angela Hartnett is expected to represent restaurants, bars and pubs which will be affected by the government's call for social distancing Credit: Getty Images - Getty Sitting feet apart, the panellists on tonight's Question Time took no chances as they followed 'social distancing' guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak. And for the first time, the BBC debate show - broadcast from the Somerset seaside town of Weston-super-Mare - was filmed without a studio audience. Instead, the programme asked viewers to send in questions on social media, and featured a group of panellists sitting without the usual Question Time desk. The BBC's Question Time tonight featured (From left) National Institute for Health Research chair of neurology Tom Solomon, TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, host Fiona Bruce, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and chef Angela Hartnett Host Fiona Bruce was joined by TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham. Also on the hour-long programme from 8pm tonight was chef Angela Hartnett and National Institute for Health Research chair of neurology Tom Solomon.

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During the show, Mr Hancock announced that 2.6million masks and 10,000 bottles of hand sanitiser have been shipped to the UK in the past 24 hours. 'Overnight we're going to get 150 hospitals the next pack of protective equipment that they need,' Mr Hancock said. During the show, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that 2.6million masks and 10,000 bottles of hand sanitiser have been shipped to the UK in the past 24 hours Mr Hancock also admitted he could not live on statutory sick pay, but suggested an improvement could come with fresh measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis. The Cabinet minister bluntly dismissed the prospect with a 'no' when he was asked on BBC's Question Time if he could get by on the sum of £94.25 per week. But he suggested more on the subject could come when Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes a further announcement on financial measures to tackle the economic fallout from the pandemic tomorrow.

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The BBC programme asked viewers to send in questions on social media, and featured a group of panellists sitting without the usual desk - spaced out either side of Fiona Bruce (pictured) Mr Hancock also tried to allay doctors' fears that they are lacking the protective equipment and ventilators they needed to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Mr Hancock said a 'massive effort' was under way to deliver personal protective equipment to NHS staff and social care providers. 'I can tell you that over the last 24 hours we've shipped 2.6 million masks, 10,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, and we have a growing effort to get that equipment to the frontline,' he said. 'Overnight we're going to get 150 hospitals the next pack of protective equipment that they need. The Cabinet minister assured that the Government has had an 'amazing response' to a call-out for manufacturers to turn their efforts to make ventilators, which are seen as essential to saving lives from Covid-19.

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BBC announces coronavirus 'wartime mode' revamp with health advice on The One Show, virtual church services, school programming for pupils... The BBC has announced a raft of programming changes for the coronavirus crisis, including health advice on The One Show and virtual church services. The broadcaster, which has suspended filming of Eastenders and other top dramas, will also add boxsets to the iPlayer including Spooks, The Missing and French and Saunders. BBC director general Tony Hall said the national broadcaster had a 'special role to play at this time of national need.' The One Show will be 'a consumer programme show for all aspects of the crisis,' including 'health and wellbeing advice, keeping fit and healthy eating tips'. Health Check UK Live, on BBC One daytime, will 'directly address the concerns of viewers who are in isolation, offering tips on how to keep healthy and happy at home'.

Question Time will move to an 8pm slot on BBC One and will proceed without a studio audience The BBC will also launch 'a virtual church service on Sunday mornings across local radio in England, led initially by the Archbishop of Canterbury'. The corporation said, in a statement on EastEnders, that 'in light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice. 'We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England,' it said. 'We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible.' It said that 'filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice.' 'The continued transmission of both soaps is a priority to all of us at ITV and to our audiences who enjoy the show,' it said. 'Whilst carefully adhering to the latest health advice from the Government and Public Health England, our production teams are continuing to film episodes in Manchester and Leeds. 'With this change of transmission pattern it will ensure we have great new soap episodes coming to air every weekday night until at least the early summer.' BBC chief Lord Hall said 'there will be disruption to our output along the way' but the broadcaster said BBC Breakfast, the One, Six and Ten (O'Clock news) are a priority. In January, the BBC announced cuts to Newsnight, 5Live and other news output, leading to around 450 job losses. A drug maker recently doubled the price of chloroquine — but in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it's cutting it in half WASHINGTON — A company that makes a medication increasingly touted as a promising coronavirus treatment, known as chloroquine, doubled the drug's price in late 2019 — but says it has now cut the price in half, to its original level, in response to the pandemic. Rising Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based drug company, hiked the price of its chloroquine phosphate tablets 98% between December 2019 and January 2020, according to data provided to STAT by the publishing and analytics company Elsevier, from roughly $3.87 to $7.66 for a 250-milligram tablet. The price hikes, however, came months before the coronavirus outbreak morphed into a global pandemic, and well before physicians and scientists came to believe chloroquine might prove an effective treatment. In the past two weeks, Rising Pharmaceuticals slashed the price in half as interest in the drug — normally used as an antimalarial — erupted. Baeringer stressed that despite the newfound interest, Rising Pharmaceuticals is not marketing the drug as a Covid-19 treatment. Baeringer said the initial price increases came after the company "made significant investments in ramping up capacity," and were a response to the "small and rapidly declining volume in the market." The company first hiked the price of a 50-pill bottle of 250-milligram tablets to $383.08 in December 2019, according to the Elsevier database. Rising Pharmaceuticals' price cut also comes as the drug giant Bayer announced it would donate 3 million tablets of chloroquine phosphate to the U.S. government. And in early December, the company agreed to pay $3 million in restitution for conspiring to fix the price of a blood pressure drug between 2014 and 2015 — part of a long-running, 44-state investigation of generic drug industry price-fixing.

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