Coronavirus live news: US nears 6m cases, Russia approaches 1m

By Kevin Rawlinson (now); Sarah Marsh and Alison Rourke (earlier)

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Scotland has recorded the highest daily number of cases since mid-May after health officials detected 160 cases overnight, following the disclosure of 123 new cases on Sunday.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, said these figures were “undoubtedly a concern to us”. She said a majority of the new cases were spread across central Scotland, with 69 in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, 27 in Lanarkshire and 19 in the Lothians.

She said the Glasgow cases appeared to be linked to a large number of small clusters, and other followed indoor parties a week ago. The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital had increased too, by five to 256. Five people are in intensive care.

She said these data highlighted the urgent need for people to follow physical distancing and hygiene rules. “It’s a reminder that the virus is still a very real risk and it’s a development which concerns me and one we’re taking very seriously,” she said.

The number of cases linked to the 2 Sisters chicken-processing plant in Coupar Angus, in Perthshire, where production was suspended earlier in August had grown to 188, including 24 close contacts of the 164 employees who were affected. But the rate of infection had slowed significantly, and the plant is due to reopen on Tuesday, with significant distancing and hygiene policies in place.

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Hello, I’m taking over from Sarah Marsh for the next few hours. If you have questions or comments or you’d like to draw anything to my attention, your best bet is probably Twitter, where I’m KevinJRawlinson.

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Russia's coronavirus cases approach 1m

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In the UK, independent shops are unlikely to join the government’s push to get workers back to the office, according to the body representing the sector, after enjoying a boost in sales thanks to a drop in commuting.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), said members in suburban areas and towns had reported positive sales throughout lockdown and beyond as they pick up business that would usually go to those working in the city centre.

He said: “You won’t find us on this call to get people back to the office for many reasons. I think that horse has bolted, and I understand why people are calling for it but people will come back on a more flexible approach … City centres now have to think, with fewer people commuting, what do we do to bring people back in?”

Surinder Josan, the owner of DIY in Birmingham, a shop selling tools and other items used in the home and on activities such as gardening

, said: “We entered the lockdown quite nervous thinking we would have to coast for six months … so we stayed closed for two weeks and spent that time clearing up and tidying up. While we were doing that our lights were on and the doors were closed and people were knocking asking to purchase stuff for repairs, and the phone was ringing.

“Then when the sun was shining, people came more. We put a notice outside saying, ‘Wait outside to be served’, and we were serving people one by one and using PPE. We tried to do the best we could.”

He added that as lockdown has eased customers have started drifting back. “Whereas queues at big stores were horrendous and getting something online would take weeks, customers were coming back to us and we saw customers we had never seen before,” he said.

Another business doing well is the children’s shop the Baker of Small Stuff in Sheffield. Hellen Stirling, the owner, said: “We were lucky because the day we were told to close, we had already got our website set up. I put all my efforts and work into the website which went bonkers in a brilliant way.” She added that there was a feeling in the air to “shop with your local high street and community” which has driven a lot of custom.

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