Coronavirus news - live: People across UK give round of applause for Clap for our Carers as report says US now has most cases in world

Jon Sharman, Vincent Wood

Police have gained the power to fine people up to £960 or arrest them if they repeatedly break coronavirus lockdown rules, while Boris Johnson has been urged to explain why he declined cooperation with the EU in purchasing medical equipment.

Rishi Sunak has announced long-awaited state help for the self-employed, following figures that showed nearly one-quarter of them had been living in relative poverty even before coronavirus struck. The measures, while welcomed for their content, have been criticised after the chancellor said payments may be delayed until June.

Meanwhile the UK death rate has increased by more than 100 across 24 hours for the first time, leading to a total of 578 deaths and 11,658 infections. In the US, infection rates have risen beyond that of any other country in the world.

The NHS has now asked for 750,000 volunteers to help it tackle coronavirus, after more than half a million people signed up overnight. In another show of solidarity, people across the nation applauded from their homes at 8pm to praise healthcare workers.

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