Newspaper headlines: Virus 'nears peak' and praise for fundraising 'hero'

By BBC News


Several of Thursday's newspapers carry hope the UK is reaching the peak of the coronavirus epidemic.

Quoting Prof Chris Whitty on the number of cases "flattening out", the Times says the news means the UK will soon be able to finalise plans for lifting lockdown measures.

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, has a stark account of the impact coronavirus is having on care homes.

It describes how six of the 18 residents at Philia Lodge care home in Peterborough have died in just 10 days. Some 85% of carers there have either been sick or had to self-isolate after coming into contact with infected residents.

Media caption,
Peterborough care home boss moves in as third of residents die

The Daily Mirror believes Health Secretary Matt Hancock has woken up to the crisis in care homes far too late.

It asks why the testing of residents and their support staff was not done earlier - and writes it is impossible to see how the government can meet its promises to achieve this.

The Daily Telegraph highlights concerns that hospital patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 will continue to be discharged into care homes.

Charities and local authority leaders say the approach is "madness" because many homes do not have the resources to keep vulnerable and elderly residents safe.

The Daily Mail welcomes the government's decision to recognise care home staff for their work.

But the Mirror is scathing about the idea of awarding staff a badge - dismissing it as "unbelievable".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The newspapers give a mixed reaction to the health secretary's "badge of honour" for carers

The Sun suggests an alternative way to recognise the work of NHS staff. It calls for the entire service to be awarded the George Cross for bravery.

Their courage in risking their health on every shift must not be forgotten when the disease is defeated, the paper says.

"Day after day these men and women make Britain proud."

Several papers carry praise for Tom Moore, the Army veteran who has raised well over £10m for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.

The Daily Express says the country is "in awe" of the fundraising "hero", while the Daily Star says a knighthood would be an apt way to thank the 99-year-old for his efforts.

The Times expresses concern that the government scheme to help small businesses is not coming to the rescue for enough of them, and the money is not getting through fast enough.

It calls for the process to be beefed up - and urges the chancellor to follow Switzerland and Germany by guaranteeing 100% of the loans rather than 80% per cent as at present.

The Financial Times reports America's allies rounded on Donald Trump after he abruptly stopped funding the World Health Organization.

The Guardian criticises his decision, saying it would only punish those most vulnerable to Covid-19.

Writing for the online edition of the New Statesman, Emily Tamkin acknowledges the WHO has made mistakes, and its relationship to China is worthy of investigation - but says the body is not the reason that the situation in the US deteriorated.

Image source, Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Image caption,
Princess Anne has been interviewed by Vanity Fair ahead of her 70th birthday

Several of the papers have details of a rare interview by the Princess Royal in which she warns the younger generation of royals against reinventing the wheel when it comes to their duties.

The Daily Mail says Princess Anne used the interview with Vanity Fair to caution more youthful family members not to change the traditional approach to charity work, although did not single out anyone in particular.

During the interview, ahead of her 70th birthday, she also says she finds it difficult to understand why people get sucked into screens and devices. Life's too short, frankly, she concludes.