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Coronavirus news in brief

Lockdown: Soldiers patrol a street during a nighttime curfew in Lima, Peru

Brits trapped in Peru told to prepare for flight home

HUNDREDS of Britons stranded in Peru may be flown home this week on a UK-organised flight. A database shows 422 British and Irish citizens are stuck after a government lockdown. But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said foreign secretary Dominic Raab had gained permission for a flight in the next few days. Mr Raab said he spoke to Peruvian diplomat Gustavo Meza-Cuadra and they were committed to getting ‘UK nationals in Peru and Peruvian nationals in the UK to return home’.

Ayatollah rejects US help claiming Iran is a ‘target’

IRAN’S supreme leader has refused US assistance to fight Covid-19, citing a conspiracy theory that the virus is man-made by America. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: ‘Possibly your (offered) medicine is a way to spread the virus more. ‘Or if you send therapists and doctors, maybe he wants to see the effect of the poison, since it is said that part of the virus is built for Iran.’ Earlier, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao tweeted that it ‘might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan’.

Lockdown looters caught breaking in to Notre-Dame

A PAIR of looters were caught in Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris hours after the lockdown in France began. The building is undergoing restoration after a fire last April. ‘Despite guards, two men got in at the start of the lockdown,’ a police source said, adding that the pair were found ‘drunk and hiding under tarpaulins’ with ‘a small stock of stones’ which can be sold on the black market. They face charges of theft and of breaking movement restrictions.