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The flight is carrying part of an 84-tonne load of equipment, which includes clinical gowns, urgently needed by front line health workers as they treat COVID-19 patients in the UK.

A Royal Air Force plane carrying the equipment arrived at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire from Istanbul just after 3am.

The total shipment is 84 tonnes, including 400,000 clinical gowns but it is not clear how much of this is on today's flight.

An initial batch of just 2,500 gowns was sent to the airport in Istanbul for quality control checks on Tuesday.

Turkish officials said Britain's attempt to buy the protective equipment from a Turkish firm ran into trouble because the supplier did not have enough stock.

Turkey's ambassador to the UK, Umit Yalcin, told Sky News: "As far as I understand there have been problems with the private supplier company.

"Now Turkey is cooperating with the UK authorities to find a quick solution for the UK's urgent needs.

"Turkey helped the UK by donating 250,000 pieces of personal protective equipment last week and this time again Turkey is trying to help the UK authorities to resolve this commercial issue."

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick had said on Saturday that the gear would arrive the following day but two sources told Sky News that no formal request was made to the Turkish authorities until Sunday.

Mr Yalcin confirmed that the UK "officially approached" the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs on 19 April.

Initially, the problem was that the Turkish supplier had not requested permission from the health ministry to export the gear, Turkish officials said.

This permission has been mandatory since last month because of the coronavirus situation.

The officials said the Turkish authorities helped the company apply for the export permit - something that was submitted and cleared on Monday.

Then it emerged that the supplier was unable to produce the expected products and the sufficient volume but the Turkish ministry of health has now offered the UK to help source the outstanding items.

The arrival of the protective equipment comes a day after the Department of Health confirmed 823 coronavirus-related deaths in UK hospitals recorded in the previous 24 hours.

It takes the total number of COVID-19 patients to have died in UK hospitals to 17,337.

At least two other military planes are on standby to fly to Turkey to bring back the PPE once it becomes available. Both were scheduled to leave on Tuesday but that plan has been put on hold, a defence source said.

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The COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, who have said it has an 80% chance of success.

Mr Hancock told the government's daily briefing that the Oxford trial and another at Imperial College London would each get at least another £20m of public money.

The Jenner Institute team at Oxford is starting production before the trial is complete and wants about a million doses ready to be sent out by September.

Mr Hancock said developing a vaccine is an "uncertain science" but that the two teams were making "rapid progress" and would be backed "to the hilt".

He said: "At the same time we'll invest in manufacturing capability so if either of these vaccines safely works then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanely possible."

However, he cautioned that "nothing about this process is certain".

The Oxford vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a harmless chimpanzee virus that has been genetically engineered to carry part of the coronavirus.

The technique has already been shown to generate strong immune responses in other diseases.

Deals have already been done with three UK manufacturers, and several more abroad, to make the vaccine.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, from the Jenner Institute team, told Sky News that she hoped "up to 500 people" would be part of the trial by the middle of May.

She said it would be a "randomised control trial" and half of the people would get a different vaccine.

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"We will be monitoring them asking them to contact us if they have any symptoms of coronavirus and then we will find out who is getting infected," she said.

The trial will involve healthy volunteers and take place in Oxford and Southampton, with three other sites to be added later.

Meanwhile, the Imperial College London team has been testing its vaccine on animals since February and clinical trials are expected to start in June.

More than 70 vaccines are in development around the world but - alongside the US and China - the UK will become one of the few doing human trials.

The health secretary also used Tuesday's press conference to try to offer reassurance over stocks of PPE (personal protective equipment).

Many frontline health workers have complained they don't have enough of items such as surgical gowns.

Mr Hancock said the government had shipped "over a billion items" and was "replenishing stocks on a 24/7 basis".

A PPE shipment - including 400,000 gowns - remains in Turkey despite an RAF plane on stand-by to bring it to the UK.

Around 140,000 gowns have arrived from Myanmar but the NHS is using 150,000 a day, the government said.

Coronavirus-related deaths in UK hospitals were up 823 in the latest Department of Health figures published on Tuesday.

Total recorded hospital deaths are now 17,337, but latest Office for National Statistics figures have highlighted many more deaths elsewhere.

In the week to 10 April, there were 1,662 deaths outside hospitals in England and Wales - including 1,043 in care homes.

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Coronavirus: Meet the residents living on 'lockdown road' in Leeds

22 April

This is an ordinary street in an ordinary city in extraordinary times.

Just like millions around the UK, residents living on a road in Leeds are dealing with life in lockdown.

Several households on the street are keeping video diaries for Sky News, and will be sharing their experiences in the days and weeks ahead.

Number 11

Name: Saf (aka) Faji

Age: 34

Occupation: Property Agent

Saf, known by everyone as Faji, lives with his mother and two sisters. He works in the property business doing up houses and renting them out, but that's come to a halt during the lockdown.

Builders aren't working, suppliers are shut and one of Faji's tenants says they can't pay the rent as they are out of work. He's navigating his way through this and letting off steam by getting fit in the outdoor gym he's created in the garden of number 11.

He helps out in the community going shopping for the family and other residents who need help. Faji isn't taking any risks - he's got gloves and wears masks when he goes out into the community.

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Number 25a

Name: Liz and Phil

Age: Both 67

Occupation: Retired

Liz and Phil have lived in their four bed detached house for 40 years, and have seen the road become increasingly diverse over the years.

Phil has a software background and Liz was a yoga trainer and still does a weekly yoga class with a friend online. Lockdown for Liz and Phil means a combination of sewing, baking, reading and photography. Whilst Liz's regular running club is not on, they are both enjoying keeping fit.

They are in touch with their wider family and read about the news online. They shop once a week at the local supermarket and pick up shopping for vulnerable people on the street.

Number 33

Name: Sadif

Age: 35

Occupation: Fish and chip shop owner

Sadif lives in a busy home with her husband and six children. During lockdown everyone is at home including her husband, Muddassar, who runs the fish and chip shop, which is currently closed.

Sadif is a stay at home mum - and loves it. The children are out in the garden, playing board games, reading together or watching TV or films. She's enjoying having her whole family under one roof for a while - it's the first time in a decade her husband has been home so much.

Sadif goes to the shop behind her house once a week and is fully up to date on coronavirus news. She is heavily involved in community action groups and is taking daily deliveries to vulnerable people.

Number 40

Name: Clare

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired teacher

Clare is a retired special needs teacher who lives with her dog, Rory. Originally from Surrey, she brought up her two children on the road and has lived there for over 30 years.

She has two grandchildren, who she video calls every day. Clare is enjoying keeping her mind and body healthy during lockdown by doing yoga and qi gong classes online, practising meditation and doing lots of singing. She tries to avoid going out as she is recovering from chronic fatigue, which she has suffered from for 18 years.

Fortunately, Sadif and other neighbours have been able to assist with shopping here and there, although Clare does visit the local supermarket when necessary. Clare is optimistic about lockdown and hopes that we can learn some positive lessons from the experience.

Number 92

Name: Peter and Hilda

Age: 76, 71

Occupation: Retired primary school teachers

Peter and Hilda are retired primary school teachers who have lived at number 92 for over 40 years. They are in their seventies, so are taking extra precautions during lockdown on account of their age.

Fortunately, all four of their children live a short drive away, which means that they have all of their essentials delivered to them. They miss going to the gym and seeing their family, as well as spending time with their nine grandchildren.

Hilda is spending her time doing pilates and zumba online, and Peter is practising his golf-putting in the garden and painting the skirting boards. They are glad that the government has extended the lockdown, but have questions about what is going to happen in the future.

Previous News Updates

Coronavirus: Field hospitals treating coronavirus patients around world

Coronavirus cases globally have now reached more than 735,000, with at least 34,000 deaths.

To cope with pressure that threatens to overwhelm health systems, countries are building field hospitals that can treat thousands of patients.

Armed forces and even laid-off airline workers are being drafted in for construction and to support medics and patients.

Conference venues, stadiums, and fairgrounds are some of the sites used.

In London, UK the ExCel conference venue has been turned in a hospital with beds for 500 patients, increasing eventually to 4000.

MAIN WORLD HEADLINE

  • Coronavirus: 'Narrowing window' to contain outbreak - World Health Organization -

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern at the number of coronavirus cases with no clear link to China or other confirmed cases.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the window of opportunity to contain the virus was "narrowing".

Chinese health authorities reported a decrease in deaths and new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday.

But cases are on the rise in South Korea, Italy, Iran and other countries.

Outside China, more than 1,200 cases of the virus have been confirmed in 26 countries and there have been eight deaths, the WHO says.

They include two deaths in South Korea, which has the biggest cluster of confirmed cases apart from China and a cruise ship quarantined in Japan.

On Saturday, South Korea reported 142 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the national tally to 346.

An evacuation flight carrying 32 British and other European passengers has taken off from Japan and is due to land in England later on Saturday.

On Friday, doctors in Italy said a 78-year-old man became the first person in the country to die from the new coronavirus, Ansa news agency reported.

Earlier Italy had announced 16 more cases and its health minister said schools and offices would be closed and sports events cancelled in the affected regions.

New York City is the epicentre of the US coronavirus outbreak as the country now leads the world in the number of confirmed cases.

A field hospital in Central Park, as well as a temporary morgue outside a major hospital, are under construction.

Doctors in Europe's hardest-hit country Italy have described "war-like" conditions in their hospitals as they try to treat patients.

In Crema, Lombardy, the army have set up tents, and 52 doctors flown in from Cuba will assist medics.

Brazil has more than 4,250 cases of the virus, with 136 fatalities. Clubs have offered former World Cup venues for use by the health system.

Football stadium and concert venue Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo has been turned in a temporary hospital with room for 200 beds.

Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones are among artists who have performed at Sao Paulo's Pacaembu Stadium

Construction of a field hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip began in mid-March.

The United Nations warns that poverty and a debilitated health system in the Palestinian territories would make an outbreak of the coronavirus disastrous.

Current Headlines


  • Coronavirus boarders closing worldwide
  • Tom Hanks tests 'positive' for Corvid 19.

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for coronavirus while in Australia, the actor announced in an Instagram post.

Everyone joins us in wishing them well and hope they will be in full strength and free to roam soon. - Zoom World News -

Recent: Tom Hanks & Fan