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Coronavirus latest news: Marcus Rashford says ‘I’m proud to be British’ after huge wave of support for free school meals

Footballer Marcus Rashford said he “could not be more proud to call myself British” as he praised local communities for stepping in to provide free meals to children during the school holidays.

The England star’s pride comes as councils announced half-term stop-gap measures and a Conservative mayor criticised the Government’s “last-minute” decision-making on children’s free meals funding.

Rashford, 22, said he is “truly overwhelmed” by the support his campaign has received, after Parliament rejected proposals to provide free meals to vulnerable children during the school holidays.

Among the businesses and organisations around the country who offered free food were tea rooms, churches, farms and takeaways.

Follow the latest updates below.

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5:30AM

North Korea warns dust from China might carry virus

North Korea has warned its citizens to stay indoors, saying seasonal yellow dust blowing in from China might carry the new coronavirus into the country.

“As the new coronavirus infections continue to spread around the world, the need to deal with the yellow dust and take thorough measures has become more critical,” North Korea’s official party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said on Thursday.

The claim that the virus that causes Covid-19 could spread to North Korea from the Gobi desert, 1,900 km (1,200 miles) away, appears unsupported. Two metres (6 feet) is a common social-distancing metric, although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says droplets containing the virus can sometimes linger in the air for hours.

Read the full story

5:01AM

Protesters clash with police over restrictions in Naples

Hundreds of protesters in Naples threw projectiles at police and set rubbish bins on fire late on Friday during a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in the southern Italian city.

Calls were issued on social media to challenge a curfew that took effect in the Campania region ahead of the weekend, enacted in response to a spiralling second wave of infections that saw nearly 20,000 new cases detected in the last 24 hours.

A mostly young crowd marched through the streets of the regional capital and chanted as the curfew started at 11pm, with some lighting smoke bombs.

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Hundreds of people clash against police during the protest over the curfew and the prospect of lockdown in Naples

Hundreds of people clash against police during the protest over the curfew and the prospect of lockdown in Naples

Credit:
STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

4:16AM

South Korea’s infections linked to hospitals and nursing homes

South Korea has reported 77 new cases of the coronavirus, mostly from the greater capital area where officials are scrambling to stem transmissions at hospitals and nursing homes.

Figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Saturday brought the country’s caseload to 25,775, including 457 deaths. Among the 1,484 active cases, 60 are in serious condition.

Fifty-nine of the new cases were reported from densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has emerged as the epicenter of the outbreak since summer.

Hundreds of cases have been linked to a handful of hospitals and nursing homes. Officials are testing thousands of medical workers to stem infections. 

Read more: How has China avoided a second wave?

People wearing face masks keep social distance at a lounge area within Incheon International Airport

People wearing face masks keep social distance at a lounge area within Incheon International Airport

Credit:
JEON HEON-KYUN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

3:26AM

Record US cases as Trump promises to end pandemic

A record daily high of coronavirus cases was reached in the United States on Friday while President Donald Trump was on the campaign trail promising voters a quick end to the pandemic.  

Nearly 80,000 new Covid-19 infections over the course of a day were reported, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has killed more than 224,000 and nearly 8.5 million cases have been recorded in the US.  It has also cost millions more their jobs and has become the dominant issue of the presidential campaign, with Mr Trump on the defensive over his administration’s handling of the crisis (see the video below).

Mr Trump told supporters in Florida that the pandemic would end soon and accused Democratic rival Joe Biden of overstating the health crisis to scare Americans into voting for him.

Read more: Trump says pandemic will be over ‘quickly’

2:59AM

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial to resume

AstraZeneca has resumed the US trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, and Johnson & Johnson is preparing to resume its trial on Monday or Tuesday, the companies said on Friday.

AstraZeneca, one of the leading vaccine developers, paused its US trial on September 6 after a report of a serious neurological illness, believed to be transverse myelitis, in a participant in the company’s UK trial. J&J paused its large, late-stage trial last week after a study participant became ill.

Both companies have contracts to provide vaccine to the United States and other governments if they are cleared by regulators.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is in partnership with Oxford University.

Here’s how scientists develop a vaccine:

2:25AM

Workers ‘are less productive at home’

Senior Government ministers are increasingly concerned that working from home is leading to less productivity in the economy, The Telegraph understands.

There is growing Government alarm over the long-term effect on the economy of the prolonged shift to home working brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Business leaders have warned that it is harming productivity amid concerns that jobs will be relocated abroad if there is a long-term shift away from the office.

A quarter of companies have reported a downturn in productivity since the Covid restrictions began, putting the Government under pressure to find new ways of getting staff back to the workplace.

The warning comes as one million more people look set to be moved into the toughest Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions next week.

Read more: Government fears working from home is hitting UK economy hard

12:55AM

South Yorkshire wakes up in lockdown

South Yorkshire has moved to the third and highest tier of coronavirus restrictions.

As well as Sheffield, the areas affected include Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. The new restrictions took effect at 12.01am.

In a letter to colleagues, Sheffield’s Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This decision has not been taken lightly.” A package of financial support has been agreed with the Government.

South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said the Government must realise people will only abide by the rules “as long as they feel that what is being proposed is not just reactive, but part of a longer term strategy to defeat the virus”.

Read more: South Yorkshire moves to Tier 3 

Sheffield is in local lockdown

Sheffield is in local lockdown

Credit:
PA

12:06AM

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