Newspaper headlines: Vaccine key to UK exit strategy and tribute to 'the lives cut short'

By BBC News

  • Published

The front page of the Daily Express is dominated by an image of Aimee Goold, an intensive care nurse from Nottinghamshire.

She posted a picture online of herself at the end of her shift, her face a mass of marks, sores and red patches because of the tight-fitting mask she'd been wearing for 13 hours. "Bruised, battered and exhausted," the Express says, "Aimee Goold begged people to 'remember this face' and stay at home."

The Daily Mirror leads on complaints by some NHS staff of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) - which it illustrates with a picture on its front page of three nurses wearing improvised gowns made out of binbags.

Others are resorting to cutting up hospital curtains or using bits of plastic as makeshift masks, the Mirror says, or even reusing old scrubs.

It reports that the British Medical Association has asked the government to "urgently investigate" what it calls an extremely disturbing and worrying trend. The chairman of the BMA, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, tells the paper: "At face value, it seems hard to see how this can be random."

The Daily Telegraph says ministers now believe the cost of the crisis here could be the economy "slumping by more than 14% in the next three months."

That is sparking concerns - it says - that tens of thousands of Britons may die prematurely from the "worst recession in history", with the lockdown ultimately proving "more lethal to the health of the country" than the coronavirus itself.

Ministers want to lift some restrictions within weeks it says - but nonetheless the country will have to get used to a "new normal" until effective medication is available.

The Daily Telegraph's take is even more gloomy - "Social distancing 'could be indefinite'" is its headline.

It reports people will be asked to consider whether social interactions - such as returning to an office or visiting relations - are necessary, as part of a plan to live with the virus for "months or even years."

The Times however, has spoken to the British scientist leading what it calls one of the world's most advanced efforts to find a vaccine - who says it could be ready as soon as September. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, tells the paper she is "80% confident" the vaccine being developed by her team will work.

Of course - because of the lockdown - it's not just the prime minister who suddenly has more time on his hands.

The Daily Mail says it's meant huge numbers of people turning to gardening and DIY projects - and massively overloading B&Q's website in the process.

At one point yesterday, it reports, would-be purchasers of home improvements were told they would have to wait more than a hour to get online, as more than 300,000 people were simultaneously trying to buy products.

The environment is at least benefiting though, the Times reports. It says cities including London, Leeds, Oxford and Glasgow have seen big falls in nitrogen dioxide levels. One expert tells the paper the change is so profound it's the equivalent of everyone switching to electric cars.