Hello, I'm Eileen McKue with the BBC news. Tighter restrictions have come into force in Russia to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. Shopping centers, restaurants and cafes have been ordered to close along with many shops and parks. Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow. Russian officials have made it clear this nine-day break is not a holiday. They're urging the public to stay at home, hoping that this will help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Foodshops, chemists, banks and post offices remain open, but the mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, urged muscovites not to go to the shops unless in dire need and to keep walks outside short and with family members only. Many lives depend on each and every one of us, he said.
Ireland has gone into lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus. The Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he did not want to curb individual liberties, but it was necessary. Freedom is not an abstract concept. We give it meaning every single day in the way we live our lives and the decisions we take willingly to protect our loved ones and colleagues. So I'm asking people to give meaning to our freedom and liberty by agreeing to these restrictions, restricting how we live our lives so that others may live.
President Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion emergency spending package to relieve the impact of the coronavirus on the US economy. It's the largest such programme in modern American history. The measure was supported by both Republicans and Democrats. The US has now reported more than 100.000 cases of the virus, more than any other country. President Trump has used wartime legislation to order the car maker General Motors to shift to the production of much needed ventilator as to treat patients infected with COVID-19. On Thursday, he had questioned the need for more ventilator. He said that hospitals were exaggerating the numbers they needed. GM has said it could build 10.000 ventilator in a month.
One of Britain's most prestigious medical magazines has launched a blistering attack on the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In an editorial, the Lancet said national health service bosses had ignored numerous warnings. Here's Fergus Walsh. At the end of January, a paper in the Lancet warned the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan could become a global epidemic. Richard Horton, who's been a vocal critic of the UK's coronavirus emergency plans, says the NHS should have been put on high alert with February used to expand coronavirus testing, ensuring there was enough personal protective equipment and training of staff. In an editorial, he claims none of that happened, and says the result has been chaos and panic across the NHS. He says it's a national scandal, the gravity of which has yet to be understood. This is the world news from the BBC.