The University of Manchester has confirmed it has begun the process of weekly testing to allow students to safely return home for Christmas.
The university’s asymptomatic testing programme – which is geared towards enabling students to travel home over the festive break – has been running for almost a week, with thousands of students having signed up for a test and registrations clocking in at over 5,500.
Each student is recommended to take two tests before returning home.
This therefore means that the university is set to administer around 10,000 tests over four sites in the coming weeks.
The team behind the project has turned around the programme from scratch in a little under two weeks, with a project group led by Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Hackett, and Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Professor Nalin Thakkar.
The group also involves PS and academic staff, and representation from the Students’ Union to ensure tests are being delivered safely and efficiently.
As well as testing University of Manchester students, the university has provided free testing to students at other Higher Education institutions in the city – such as the Royal Northern College of Music – and also other further education facilities.
The University is also working closely with the Greater Manchester authorities to share what it has learned through the testing programme, ahead of any mass testing which could be implemented in the city.
Speaking on the ongoing testing programme, Professor Nalin Thakkar said: :This has been an astonishing achievement for our university, with many people working very hard to deliver a testing service with one of the largest capacities, so that any student travelling within the UK can have a test.
“Public Health England and the NHS have told me that they are extremely impressed by the speed we set up an operation of this scale.”
He continued: “Student feedback on the testing process has been extremely positive.
“There are plenty of slots left, so I would encourage any colleagues who are in contact with students to remind them to get a test, to help them get home safely and protect their loved ones.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson first confirmed that university students would be allowed to return home over Christmas in an address to MPs in the House of Commons toward the end of September.
Making the announcement at the time, Mr Williamson said: “I know there has been some anxiety about the impact safety measures will have on the Christmas holidays. Students are important members of the communities that they choose to study in [and] we expect them to follow the same guidance as those same local communities.
“We are going to work with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones if they choose to do so.”
He added: “Students as well as the wider community accept when we are living in a global pandemic we have to operate in a society with restrictions, but I do not believe that we should look to inflict stricter measures on students or expect higher standards of behaviour from them than we would from any other sector of society – there must be a parity.”
Official guidance on students returning home for Christmas can be found here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?
19-year-old charged with murder of man stabbed to death in Old Trafford
A 19-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has confirmed that 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article after officers were called to reports of a “disturbance” at an address on Kings Road in the Old Trafford area of Manchester at around 7:45pm on Wednesday 31 May.
A 21-year-old victim – who has since been named as Salah Adam Eldin – was found seriously injured when police arrived, and despite the best efforts of the first responders, GMP confirmed that the young man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Rose was arrested in the early hours of last Saturday morning (3 June), and was remanded into custody, before appearing at Tameside Magistrates Court yesterday.
A further two teenage males were arrested on the night of the attack in connection with the murder – a 15-year-old on suspicion of murder, and a 16-year-old on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the nearby area – but GMP has revealed they have both been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Salah’s family are continuing to be supported by officers, GMP assured, and are also being continuously updated with the progress being made in the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said in a statement when Rose was arrested last week that the force “recognises the impact this tragic event will have on the friends and family of Salah,” and insisted that their thoughts remain with them as they “come to terms with this loss in terrible circumstances”.
DCI Hopkinson also reissued an urgent appeal to the public for witnesses and information, as well as any CCTV, doorbell, or dashcam footage.
“Whilst we have made a number of arrests,” DCI Hopkinson continued, “we are still in the early stages of a murder investigation and are working hard to piece together the timeline of events.
“We are also keeping an open mind and are continuing to appeal to members of the public to share any information they might have about this case with the police.
“It is believed the two offenders were riding a black mountain bike and a yellow Council Beryl bicycle, and enquiries also suggest there were approximately five people in the area at the time of the murder who may have vital information that could assist the investigation.”