tv BBC News at Ten BBC News January 29, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
tonight at ten — the eu introduces new controls to give member states the power to stop coronavirus vaccines from being exported to countries — including the uk. and in a move sparking fury, the eu has overridden part of the brexit deal to stop the vaccine getting to into britain through northern ireland. well, you know, ithink it's quite incredible. it's an act of aggression, actually. less than a month into us leaving the european union we see them act in this unilateral way. tonight the prime minister is drawn into the row — he has spoken to the eu commission president and expressed his grave concerns over the potential impact on the exports of the vaccines. another covid vaccine — the second in 2a hours — proves effective after major trials. the janssen jab is effective at preventing serious illness.
a government expert says it's a big step forward. it means that we can spread the vaccine around, it means that we can really start to impact on this pandemic notjust here but right the way across the world. some primary school children in wales could be back in the classroom after half term, if infection rates continue to fall. and the trailblazing african—american actress cicely tyson has died at the age of 96. and coming up in sport on bbc news, dina asher—smith makes a winning return to international athletics as she storms to 60—metre victory at the world indoor tour event in germany. good evening. the prime minister says the european union must "urgently clarify its intentions" over its decision to temporarily
override part of the brexit deal as the row intensifies with astrazeneca over a shortfall in supplies. the eu has introduced new controls giving member states the power to block exports of the coronavirus vaccine to countries including the uk — should they want to. under the brexit deal, all products should be exported from the eu to northern ireland without checks. but by overriding part of it — the eu is ensuring the uk wouldn't get supplies through a back door. it has sparked fury in northern ireland. the first minister arlene foster called the eu's move "an incredible act of hostility". here's our brussels correspondent nick beake. throughout the week, this post—brexit battle between the eu and a british—based vaccine—maker has been intensifying. tonight, it became much more political. european countries are demanding that astrazeneca delivers all the jabs they ordered, even if it means taking them from the uk supply.
it all hangs on the contract the two sides signed that's now been released, although with some parts blacked out. astrazeneca says it agreed to make a "best reasonable effort". the eu insists it was a legally—binding promise. and so it's now announced if it doesn't get all the supplies it asked for, it could block covid vaccines leaving europe, those heading for some countries including the uk. we have to be very clear, and we have said it many times before. we are not protecting ourselves against any specific country, and we're not in competition or in a race against any country. the only race we're in is against this virus. but to make sure vaccines don't enter mainland britain through northern ireland, which remains in the eu single market for goods, brussels has overridden part of the brexit deal, a move denounced by northern ireland's first minister. we have the european union
triggering article 16 in relation to a vaccine, — triggering article 16 in relation to a vaccine, a vaccine which is there to save _ a vaccine, a vaccine which is there to save lives, _ a vaccine, a vaccine which is there to save lives, so it's an incredible state _ to save lives, so it's an incredible state of _ to save lives, so it's an incredible state of affairs but it shows to me that all_ state of affairs but it shows to me that all of— state of affairs but it shows to me that all of their words around protecting northern ireland, protecting northern ireland, protecting the belfast agreement, were just that, words. and downing street sa s were just that, words. and downing street says it's _ were just that, words. and downing street says it's urgently _ were just that, words. and downing street says it's urgently seeking - were just that, words. and downing street says it's urgently seeking an | street says it's urgently seeking an explanation from brussels and would not expect a friend and ally to disrupt its vaccine arrangement. the european union is taking a really tough line in this covid row but at the same time it's facing heavy criticism for the slowness of its vaccination roll—out. it's much slower than the uk's fots. throughout this pandemic brussels has insisted all 27 countries need to work together when it comes to getting hold ofjabs. so far, it's not worked well. because this is a rare sight in cities like madrid. thousands of other vaccine appointments have had to be postponed. there have been delays with the belgian made pfizerjab too. on the day europe's medicines
regulator approved the astrazeneca vaccine the company said it was ready to ship millions ofjabs to europe and was topping up its supply from other parts of the world. downing street has insisted the delivery of jabs downing street has insisted the delivery ofjabs in all parts of the uk will not be affected by this deepening row. i’m uk will not be affected by this deepening row.— uk will not be affected by this deepening row. i'm not going to comment on _ deepening row. i'm not going to comment on the _ deepening row. i'm not going to comment on the eu _ deepening row. i'm not going to comment on the eu was - deepening row. i'm not going to comment on the eu was my - deepening row. i'm not going to| comment on the eu was my own discussions with those manufacturers. what we need to focus on is making sure that uk residents and the nhs here gets the vaccines that's required and as i say, we are confident we will be receiving what we expected in the days and weeks ahead. , ., ., , ., ahead. this morning a senior eumpean _ ahead. this morning a senior european official— ahead. this morning a senior european official accused - ahead. this morning a senior. european official accused boris johnson's government of wanting to start a vaccine war. tonight, the very same charges being levelled at the eu. nick beake, bbc news, brussels. ina in a moment will speak to emma vardy in northern ireland but first let's speak to katya adler in brussels. this row is escalating tonight.
borisjohnson has spoken to the eu commission president. boris johnson has spoken to the eu commission president.— boris johnson has spoken to the eu commission president. that's right, so - hie, commission president. that's right, sohie, he commission president. that's right, sephie. he has- _ commission president. that's right, sophie, he has. the _ commission president. that's right, sophie, he has. the european - sophie, he has. the european commission president has spoken to the taoiseach, the irish prime minister as well. it's quite extraordinary, the language around a northern ireland tonight butjust before speaking to you i've heard from an eu source that actually the commission is going to backtrack. it's not going to suspend part of the irish protocol, part of that brexit agreement that we spent so long talking about, how the commission was insisting on every letter and word of that agreement being respected. privately i'm being told it's being recognised here that suggesting to do that was actually a misjudgment and an error and i think itjust goes to show the chaos here at the moment surrounding the eu's vaccine roll—out. because even with those extra sort of permissions needed for vaccine exports out of the eu that we were hearing their about from nick, the eu is risking alienating other allies like japan,
canada, australia, that could be affected by those export restrictions and it's not enough to say that, yes, ok, we know that pharmaceutical companies are not delivering the numbers of vaccines and the time they promised to the eu and the time they promised to the eu and the time they promised to the eu and the eu sees this as an emergency situation, it wants to claw back some of those vaccines, but the finger of blame is also pointing by eu governments by now that the european commission itself, accusing the commission ofjust being too slow to agree vaccine contracts, of approving vaccines themselves and yes, now with those vaccine delays you have eu voters who are anxious about their future, they want answers and they want action. catcher, thank you. —— katya adler, thank you. emma vardy in belfast that will come as a huge relief if the eu does backtrack? it that will come as a huge relief if the eu does backtrack?- that will come as a huge relief if the eu does backtrack? it will be welcomed on _ the eu does backtrack? it will be welcomed on all— the eu does backtrack? it will be welcomed on all sides _ the eu does backtrack? it will be welcomed on all sides because i the eu does backtrack? it will be - welcomed on all sides because there was great _ welcomed on all sides because there was great concern all round with the dup, _ was great concern all round with the dup, sinh— was great concern all round with the dup, sinn fein and the irish government seemingly all very much taken _ government seemingly all very much taken by— government seemingly all very much taken by surprise on this and that's
because _ taken by surprise on this and that's because what it would have done is effectively — because what it would have done is effectively create a border on the island _ effectively create a border on the island of — effectively create a border on the island of ireland when it came to vaccihes— island of ireland when it came to vaccines and that was the sacrosanct thing _ vaccines and that was the sacrosanct thing that— vaccines and that was the sacrosanct thing that was to be avoided in all the brexit— thing that was to be avoided in all the brexit negotiations under brexit arrangements that the eu had pushed so hard _ arrangements that the eu had pushed so hard for _ arrangements that the eu had pushed so hard for. so the eu sort of changing _ so hard for. so the eu sort of changing course tonight, stepping back from — changing course tonight, stepping back from this, just shows how sensitive — back from this, just shows how sensitive these things can be in northerh— sensitive these things can be in northern ireland, the kind of reaction _ northern ireland, the kind of reaction that they can provoke here. but you _ reaction that they can provoke here. but you know, still a point of principle _ but you know, still a point of principle is still at stake here because _ principle is still at stake here because there's a lot of people in northern— because there's a lot of people in northern ireland very unhappy with the brexit— northern ireland very unhappy with the brexit arrangements because of the brexit arrangements because of the disruption to trade it causes in terms _ the disruption to trade it causes in terms of— the disruption to trade it causes in terms of getting goods over the irish terms of getting goods over the irish sea — terms of getting goods over the irish sea so they will be some unionists— irish sea so they will be some unionists pushing very hard for the uk government to say look, override parts _ uk government to say look, override parts of— uk government to say look, override parts of the — uk government to say look, override parts of the brexit deal on our side that you _ parts of the brexit deal on our side that you don't like because if the eu was— that you don't like because if the eu was prepared to do it then why can't _ eu was prepared to do it then why can't we? — eu was prepared to do it then why can't we? ., ., , ., ., _, can't we? emma vardy and katya adler, can't we? emma vardy and katya adler. thank— can't we? emma vardy and katya adler, thank you _ can't we? emma vardy and katya adler, thank you both. _ a second vaccine has shown to be effective in major trials in just 2a hours.
the latest is the janssen vaccine. it's 66% effective overall and only needs a single dose. and crucially it's 85% effective against severe disease. last night novavax announced uk trials had shown its vaccine to be 89% effective. and crucially that vaccine protects against the new, more contagious uk variant. if approved, the uk has millions of doses of both vaccines on order, though they wouldn't be available until later in the year. our medical editor fergus walsh reports. covid vaccine trials keep delivering results beyond all expectations. these volunteers in southampton are among tens of thousands worldwide testing the vaccine from janssen, part of the pharmaceutical giantjohnson & johnson which will produce one billion doses of its jab this year. we have a single—shot vaccine which can protect very highly, 85%, against severe disease and complete protection against death
and hospitalisation after day 28, and that's a finding across the world, in all the regions, independent of age and independent of strain. the results from the us biotech novavax are nothing short of spectacular. this site in london, part of a uk—wide trial, which showed the vaccine offered strong protection, even against the contagious new variant, first identified in kent. it's very significant because we were able to show that the vaccine works well against both the old, the original strain and the new strain. it had 96% efficacy against the original covid—19 strain and yet it still had 86% efficacy against the variant strain. so how do they work? the novavax jab uses proteins from the surface spike of coronavirus and combine these with a chemical booster or adjuvant. the janssen vaccine puts the gene
for the spike protein into a harmless virus, a similar approach to the oxford—astrazeneca jab. both vaccines prime the immune system, including creating antibodies, which will target coronavirus in the event of infection. the novavax jab will be manufactured on teesside, part of a deal struck last year to ensure a steady flow of vaccine. the uk has ordered 100 million doses of the oxford—astrazeneca vaccine, and a0 million of pfizer's. both of these are in limited supply at the moment. the 17 million doses of moderna's vaccine won't arrive until the spring. then there's the two vaccines which havejust yielded results. 60 million doses of the novavax jab, they'll take a few months to be delivered, plus 30 million of the single—dose janssen vaccine. now, if those last two are approved,
that will be enough doses to immunise the entire uk population twice over. later this year the uk is likely to have such a surplus of covid vaccine it may be giving it away, but for the next few months supply will be tight. two more vaccines to add to the tool box. this gives more resilience and new tools different to the last ones. it means we can spread the vaccine around. it means we can really start to impact on this pandemic, notjust here but right the way across the world. vaccinating one country in a pandemic is like putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. until the whole world is protected, none of us truly will be. fergus walsh, bbc news. it's exactly a year ago this weekend since the first two people with coronavirus were treated in hospital in the uk. the head of nhs england, sir simon stevens, marked the moment
with a visit to the hospital in newcastle where they were treated to thank staff all over the country for a year of extraordinary work like no other. since those first two patients were admitted, more than 320,000 people have been been treated with covid, with about one person admitted to critical care every 30 minutes. our health editor, hugh pym, reports. a year ago, high drama — planes bringing in the first britons from wuhan in china. nobody knew if they had coronavirus or not. passengers were moved swiftly off the plane and taken on coaches to a hospital to quarantine. a short time before that, a foreign student called nhs 111 from a hotel room in york. he was studying at the city's university and was suffering high fever and a cough. his mother, also staying there, felt unwell. both were taken to a hospital near hull, then to newcastle's royal victoria infirmary, the uk's first known coronavirus cases.
at the hospital today, staff recalled the arrival of those two patients. i think we were always aware that was only the beginning of something really big but, being honest, i didn't think it was going to be that big. i didn't expect that we had at this time over 100,000 deaths. i was in the first day. it was very scary, really nervous, because we didn't know what we were coming in to. it was the first thing on my mind, what are we going to be doing? what are these patients going to be like? are they well or not? the head of nhs england was there to thank staff for their work in those early days. since then, hospitals have looked after more than 300,000 severely ill coronavirus patients, and i think, at this one—year anniversary, it is appropriate for the whole country to say a huge thank—you to every member of staff across the health service.
case numbers now seem to have peaked. the daily reported total covering those who have gone for tests is falling, but the office for national statistics survey does random community testing and picks up those without symptoms. the ons survey suggests that case rates have levelled off but are still relatively high. in england last week, one in 55 the virus. in wales, it was one in 70, in scotland, one in 110, and in northern ireland, it's thought one in 50 had the virus. this shows the uk's infection hotspots — red followed by dark brown show areas with the highest number of cases per 100,000 population. the highest of those was knowsley, followed by sandwell and slough, though all have seen case rates fall over the most recent week. there's still immense pressure on the nhs. staff are preparing for their shifts, facing the daily challenge of caring for very sick
covid patients, some of whom won't survive. there are still more than 35,000 in uk hospitals. hugh pym, bbc news. let's take a look at the latest government figures. there were 29,079 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means that, on average, the number of new cases reported per day in the last week is 26,987. that's almost 30% lower than this time last week. the number of people in hospital is falling slowly, with an average of 35,375 over the seven days to wednesday, including suspected cases in wales. 1,245 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average, in the past week, 1,199 deaths were announced every day. the total number of deaths so far across the uk is 104,371.
but the number of people being vaccinated has been published, and it's the highest figure this week. 415,985 people have had their first dose of one of the three approved covid—19 vaccines in the latest 24—hour period, meaning almost 7.9 million people in the uk have had theirfirstjab. our health editor, hugh pym, is here. are we starting to turn a corner? senior health officials say they think a corner has been turned, things are coming down but they don't know how rapidly. daily reported cases are down 30% week on week, hospitaladmissions reported cases are down 30% week on week, hospital admissions are down 14%, but those cases cover people who have gone for a test. the broader surveys by the ons, taking people without symptoms who don't know they have got the virus, and they show only a levelling off, no sign of a decline at this stage, and
thatis sign of a decline at this stage, and that is the source of some uncertainty. senior officials think the vaccines will have an impact by mid—to—late february, in terms of bringing cases and hospital numbers down, but you only have to look and see what's been happening in spain and portugal, where cases are rising really rapidly and, in france, where, having peaked in november and gone down, they have started going back up again, to see how difficult it can be to keep a lid on this virus. france has announced that it's closing its borders to all non—eu citizens from sunday — except for essential travel. the move is to try to avoid another lockdown in france and to protect the country from new variants. but the british transport secretary says the move will not affect british hauliers and trade across the channel will continue to flow. some primary school children in wales could begin returning to school from the 22nd of february, after half—term, if rates of coronavirus continue to fall. the first minister, mark drakeford, said he hoped to take advantage of lower transmission rates in wales and get children back to school as soon as possible.
the level 4 lockdown will remain in place for the next three weeks. our wales correspondent, hywel griffith, reports. after weeks of silence, these corridors may soon come bustling back to life. only a few vulnerable and key worker children come roath park primary at the moment. after half—term, if the covid numbers keep falling, the school can bring back all three to seven—year—olds, who struggle most with learning at home, but do they feel ready? there are fears about the new variants of coronavirus and how quickly that spreads among staff. the first minister has told us that younger children do not transmit the virus as much as older children, but there is still a risk there and we have to make sure as school leaders that our staff have confidence in the safety to bring them back into school. when the vast majority of older pupils return hasn't been spelt out. the first minister is keeping
to his customary caution. i wish i could tell you when i thought all children would be back in school but, as you know, even three weeks is a very long time with this virus. things that we don't know about today could emerge even before half—term. for chanel, there is at least hope that she will not have to carry on juggling home—schooling her six—year—old with herjob as a home decorator. but she is worried about her daughter's safety. really relieved for her mentality. that's the main focus, as well as her education — that's so important — but i am a bit anxious because it's still going on, the vaccines haven't started yet for ourage group, so there's mixed emotions. for most people, vaccination is still months away. the roll—out in wales started as the slowest in the uk, but things have sped up
in the last week. this centre in cardiff now delivers 1,000 doses a day. people have said to me, it's like i have got the golden ticket. i'm here! some people are getting frustrated because their loved ones are not getting vaccinated, but we are getting through people as quickly as we can. the pace at which normal life can resemble will inevitably be slow but going back to school will be the first, tentative step. hywel griffith, bbc news, cardiff. the government is expecting around 300,000 people in hong kong who have british national overseas citizenship to migrate to the uk this year under a new scheme that opens this weekend. people in hong kong could apply for—so called bno citizenship before the 1997 handover to china. it meant they could visit the uk for six months without a visa. the new system will allow these citizens and their close family to request to live and work in the uk for five years and ulitmately to apply
for british citizenship. they will also be able to use a smartphone app to do so, which the home secretary, priti patel, said would give applicants greater security, amid fears they could be targeted by the chinese authorities. the new scheme was announced last year, in response to a new national security law passed by beijing, that critics say has crushed dissent. this report from our correspondent, rebecca henschke, contains flashing images. to leave or to stay and fight? like many protesters in hong kong, this is the decision a man we are calling h has had to make — and he has decided to go. translation: i had never thought that i would become a refugee, - but now it has happened. there is no other way. there are greater fears if i stay here and do not leave.
we're concealing his identity, out of fears of a backlash from the authorities. h was born two years before britain handed back hong kong to china, so he has a british national overseas passport, a document that now opens a pathway to uk citizenship for him. he drives to the airport, through a city where, for over a year, he took part in increasingly violent protests, demanding more democracy and less chinese influence — a movement stopped by a sweeping national security law and the arrest of its young leaders. and h's motherfeared for her only child. translation: when can we reunite? i may not be able to see him for the rest of my life, but his safety is most important.
others, like this man, h's friend, have decided to stay. translation: i want to persevere to the last moment. _ giving up on our home, where we were born and grew up, it's not what we wanted. after making that decision, he took to the streets again. it was after the introduction of the national security law. he was swiftly detained for unauthorised assembly. police didn't press charges against him and, despite the risks, he wants to keep fighting. translation: even though we feel lost, we have to keep going. - we can only see the light of hope if we persevere. having made the decision to go, h feels he may never be able to go back.
his battle now is to try and build a new life in sheffield, a very different place. translation: looking at what's happening in hong kong, - especially i am now on the other side of the earth, i feel helpless. it is very difficult to have a concrete, long—term plan. it is inevitable to feel lost. china accuses the uk of meddling in its internal affairs and, in response, announced it will no longer recognise bno passports. under the scheme, up to 5.5 million hong kongers have the right to move to the uk. they, too, have to make an agonising choice — to stay or to go? rebecca henshke, bbc news. our china correspondent, jon sudworth, is in beijing.
what is this move by china? what is it to mean in practice?— what is this move by china? what is it to mean in practice? from sunday, holders of these _ it to mean in practice? from sunday, holders of these british _ it to mean in practice? from sunday, holders of these british national - holders of these british national overseas passport, like those we heard from in that report, and apply online for the new british visas which give them this route to eventual citizenship, or brought in in response to china's tightening political control over the former british colony. it's not immediately clear what this will mean, because although china has said it will no longer recognise these passports, we don't think that'll stop hong kongers leaving territory, because under existing regulations they can use their identification cards to do that. this all comes against the backdrop of a new us administration. china is sending some pretty tough signals over taiwan, for example, increasing military activity around that self—governing island, yet also
being seen keen to calibrate it and not do anything too provocative so, although there are no immediate implications, the fact it comes with the threat of potential further action insert may be eventually closing off this route for hong kong citizens and all adding to the sense of uncertainty. people waiting for urgent cancer surgery have had their operations cancelled at the last minute in some health trusts across the uk, because hospitals are too busy coping with covid patients. hospitals say they're having to move nurses out of operating theatres onto covid wards. some of the most urgent surgeries are being rescheduled, but doctors are warning that delaying cancer treatment will cost lives. our correspondent, emma vardy, has this report. i'm just praying this is all going to be over really soon. it's hard enough having cancer without having to have cancer in the middle of a plague. throughout the pandemic, claire has been having treatment in scotland for breast cancer. sometimes having to isolate in the bedroom at home, keeping away from her children
to protect herself from the virus. after months of chemotherapy, claire finished treatment and had just one more operation to go. i'm not going to die. but, as the january surge in coronavirus cases came, claire was told her potentially life—saving surgery had to be put on hold. you feel desperate because there's lots of casualties falling by the wayside and i worry all the time about the children — you know, will they have a mum next year? claire, to us, is our world. nhs scotland says it's now using private hospitals to help get the most urgent patients seen. this is granddad on his vegan diet with his special medication... - macmillan cancer care estimates that more than half a million patients in the uk have had cancer treatment or care disrupted due to coronavirus. i got a phone call to tell me that all operations were cancelled. so it was a bit of
a slap in the teeth. vincent got the call on the day of his operation. in northern ireland, two health trusts have cancelled all urgent cancer surgery since christmas — 275 red—flag cases cancelled within a week. ijust am so concerned because i can see such a big, healthy manjust going downhill. across the uk, there are lots of hospitals keeping surgery going, some having set up special hubs to protect cancer care. but cancer charities have also flagged up a large decrease in the number of patients being screened and diagnosed, which later on could also lead to a significant loss of life. and there's warnings that if covid pressures continue more trusts like belfast may also have to push back urgent operations. it is a decision none of us would ever want to take, and we held off as long as we possibly could, but you have to treat what is in front of you.
surgeons say they want to be in operating theatres, not seeing their patients waiting. a lot of cancer surgeries for belfast would have happened here at the city hospital, but this is now the nightingale facility for covid patients. the trust is trying to establish a new system for patients to be seen elsewhere, prioritising the most urgent cases. but the delays will affect people's chance of survival. there will be a small but significant portion of people who, when they come to surgery, it will be too late and the disease will have spread. and that, for us, is something that we never, ever, ever anticipated that we would be in our lifetime. these are some of the hidden victims of coronavirus, also fighting for a chance of life. vincent's now been told his operation is being rescheduled. for him, the hope is it's still in time. for others, the wait goes on. emma vardy, bbc news.