image caption“We’re past the peak,” declares Metro in its headline, reporting the words of England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing. The paper says he warned that infection rates remain incredibly high but that the number of deaths is steadily declining.
image captionThe same story features on the front of the Times, which reports that although hospital admissions and deaths are falling in all four nations of the UK, Prof Whitty said that it would be months before the pressure on the NHS was eased. So it seems timely that the paper’s second story is a report that the number of students accepted for medical degrees has gone up by a third in the past decade.
image captionTwo encouraging developments feature in the Daily Express headline: “10m jabs… and we’re past the peak”. The paper said Prime Minister Boris Johnson described these as “signs of hope”, with the vaccination numbers marking a “colossal” milestone.
image caption“10 million” is the celebratory headline on the i newspaper, which points out it has taken 57 days to give a first dose to 15% of the population. The paper also reports the promise that new vaccines will be ready by autumn, designed to be more effective against some of the new variants of the virus that have been detected in recent weeks.
image captionNHS nurses, paramedics and doctors are pictured applauding on the front of the Daily Mirror under the headline: “This is for Captain Tom”. The paper calls the moment of applause across the UK a “nation’s thank you” to 100-year-old war veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £33m for the NHS during lockdown, and who died with Covid-19 on Tuesday.
image caption“Now let’s give Sir Tom a statue,” is the Daily Mail’s headline, reporting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has endorsed the paper’s call for a lasting memorial to the “national hero”. It also says Britain “came to a standstill” to mark Capt Sir Tom’s passing with applause.
image captionA picture of Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds joining the applause for Captain Sir Tom appears on the Daily Telegraph front page, but the lead story focuses on the occupant of Number 11 Downing Street, Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It reports his concerns that scientists are delaying the reopening of the economy by “moving the goalposts” from the original target of protecting the NHS and saving lives to a focus on getting the number of cases down.
image captionThe Guardian’s main story says that the NHS is being urged to rethink how it protects thousands of frontline staff in the pandemic, as new evidence suggests they are more at risk than previously thought of catching the virus from coughing patients. It says research shows that coughing produces 10 times the number of infectious aerosol particles than talking or breathing, and suggests that it may explain why so many healthcare staff have fallen ill.
image captionItaly’s formation of a national unity government under former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, who has been given the task of tackling the pandemic and restoring the country’s economy, leads the Financial Times. The paper also reports Boris Johnson has raised the stakes over the dispute with the EU about post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland, saying the prime minister warned he could use emergency provisions to override the checks on goods arriving from Great Britain.
image captionAnd the Daily Star covers warnings from police to social media trolls after high-profile people, including Marcus Rashford and Captain Sir Tom Moore, were recently targeted by “sad keyboard warriors”. The paper’s headline gives a blunt summary of the advice from police – “Don’t use social media if you’re a moron”.