Testing

Those infected with coronavirus sufferers could be identified, says the Telegraph.

A team of British scientists have developed a simple test that could detect the very earliest signs that someone has been infected with the Covid-19 virus, even before they start displaying symptoms.
The diagnostic test, which may even be conducted at home using blood, saliva or urine, could provide a result in seconds, in a similar way to a pregnancy test.
At the moment the two main tests being rolled out by the government involve a swab, that possibly confirms that a person has Covid-19, and an antibody test, which seeks to identify whether they have had the infection in the past and have recovered.
Both tests are vital in establishing whether a person needs to self-isolate or whether they are safe to mix with others again and return back to work.
The swab tests are usually carried out after a person has shown some of the classic symptoms and by the time the results are known the subject may have already infected many others.
But, critically, even before symptoms are shown the person may be infectious but score negative on the test.

The Mail also has the story.

Scientists at Newcastle University have developed a test that could detect when someone has contracted the coronavirus before they display symptoms.
The test could provide a result in seconds by detecting an early marker in the human body released after the immune system is provoked by infection.
Though one of these markers – called neopterin – does not specifically identify Covid-19, it would show that the immune system has been activated.
Crucially, it could act as an early warning sign, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The potential breakthrough comes as 708 people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK died on Saturday, taking the total to 4,313.

NHS

A motor racing boss is to help the NHS, reports the Telegraph.

One million meals will be delivered to key NHS workers in just three months, as a leading businessman launches an initiative to support doctors and nurses during the Coronavirus crisis.
Ron Dennis CBE, the former McLaren Formula One boss, has donated more than £1m to ensure thousands of medics are well fed as they work excruciatingly long hours on the frontline of the outbreak.
The groundbreaking project, SalutetheNHS, will allow staff to focus on saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic rather than worry about where their next meal will come from.
The first food packs containing breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks will be delivered on Monday with the help of Yodel, the parcel delivery service.

And the military will be drafted in to help the service, says the Times.

Thousands of military personnel are set to take on civilian frontline duties over the next two weeks after calls for help from hospitals and other emergency services.
More than 70 requests for military aid have been received by the headquarters of the Covid support force at Aldershot, according to a senior defence source.
Senior army officers say troops are poised to move from support operations, such as helping build the 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital in London’s Docklands, to “direct response” roles alongside NHS and other civilian staff. A first group of 80 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel started last week as drivers for the South Central Ambulance Service in the home counties.

Lockdown

This weekend’s good weather is persuading people to leave home, says the Times.

Thousands ignored government and police warnings to stay in as the UK warmed up yesterday. It is feared even more could leave their homes today to take advantage of a sunny Sunday.
At Hove, on the south coast, police told beachgoers to extinguish barbecues. In Cambridge people failed to observe instructions to stay apart as they enjoyed a day by the River Cam. And in south London more than 3,000 people sunbathed and gathered in large groups in Brockwell Park. The park will be closed today.
In yesterday’s government press conference Michael Gove pleaded with people to stay indoors despite the sunshine. “Some will be tempted to go out and about, but if we relax the rules we increase the risk for others,” he said.

The Sun reports a park will be closed.

THOUSANDS of Brits ignored the strict lockdown rules today to sunbathe as the UK enjoys a mini heatwave, forcing a park in London to close.
Brockwell Park will shut tomorrow after 3,000 people descended on the green space – despite the UK’s chief nurse begging Brits to stay at home in memory of two hero nurses who lost their lives fighting coronavirus.
In a tweet, Lambeth Council said locals had ignored “clear instructions” and the council would shut Brockwell Park tomorrow “for the wider safety of the public”.
Pictures show people clearly ignoring social distancing guidelines and sunbathing, some in large groups.
And in Clapham Common, police were seen reminding groups of sunbathing Brits of their social distancing responsibilities.
Cassiobury Park in Watford is also closed after hundreds chose to head for a picnic in the sun rather than obey government guidelines, as well as Lundersten Bay in Scotland.

The BBC News reports the opposite.

People across the UK appear to be adhering to social distancing rules despite the temptation to go out in the sunny weather, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said.
Police face “one of their biggest challenges” of the coronavirus lockdown as the weather improves.
Mr Gove told the government’s briefing that people must respect the lockdown.
He said there was “evidence to suggest” there has been a lower level of compliance among young people.
Brighton and Hove City Council tweeted on Saturday that too many people were meeting up with friends on the seafront, making social distancing “impossible”.
And Sussex Police said that two people had been summonsed to attend court after having a barbecue on Hove beach.

But how do we get out of the lockdown?  The Mail reports disagreement.

Two of the most senior Ministers leading the Government response to the coronavirus crisis are locked in battle over when to lift the economically devastating lockdown.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has made ‘robust’ representations to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, arguing that unless a path is mapped now for a swift return to normal economic activity it could cause lasting damage to the country.
Government critics of Mr Hancock argue his ‘careerist’ fear of being personally blamed for a collapse in the NHS is blinding him to the dangers of a protracted lockdown.
But allies of Mr Hancock hit back last night, saying: ‘He is just doing his job, which is to protect the NHS.’ It comes as The Mail on Sunday has learned ‘recovery teams’ being put in place across Whitehall to ‘rebuild’ Britain after the epidemic are not expected to start work until July.

The pandemic is likely to get worse for another week or so, reports the Independent.

The UK’s coronavirus epidemic could plateau in the “next week to ten days”, according to an epidemiologist advising government, who also suggested lockdown restrictions could be relaxed by the end of May.
Professor Neil Ferguson, an infectious disease modeller at Imperial College London and member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), however, warned that high levels of infections could continue for weeks after the peak of the disease if people flout social distancing rules.
His remarks follow ministers ordering the public to obey government lockdown restrictions this weekend and to stay at home on what is expected to be the hottest weekend of the year so far, in order to help protect the NHS from an upsurge in covid-19 cases.
Speaking to BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, professor Ferguson said there had been an 85 per cent drop in typical social movements “outside the household” since the lockdown was introduced by Boris Johnson almost a fortnight ago.

Hotspots

The virus could hit two of our cities hard, says the Sun.

A NEW coronavirus apps suggests Birmingham and Manchester could be next hotspots for outbreaks of the deadly Covid-19 and just under 2million Brits could have it.
The specially-created app allows people to track their daily health, which is also being used by hospital workers around the globe.
It comes as the UK saw another record one-day high of 684 deaths, bringing the total of fatalities in the country to 3,605.
Early results from the data show there are wide variations across the country of people being affected by the virus with major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – as well as London – all being hit badly.
Rural parts of south Wales have also been severely hit.

Nightingale Hospitals

One of the hospitals is costing millions of pounds, says the Times.

The owners of the ExCeL centre in east London are charging the NHS millions of pounds in rent to use it as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients.
The ExCeL, owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec), is charging the health service £2m-£3m a month, according to industry sources.
The Nightingale Hospital London, the first of several temporary facilities planned, was opened by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Friday. It will hold up to 4,000 patients in 80 wards. At full capacity it would be one of the biggest hospitals in the world.
The ExCeL’s decision to charge rent is in contrast to the NEC in Birmingham, owned by the American private equity giant Blackstone, which is providing the venue for free.

Ventilators

They’re being made and imported, says Sky News.

Hundreds of new ventilators are being manufactured daily in the UK – and 300 arrived from China on Saturday, a senior government minister has said.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the government was working with ventilator suppliers in the UK to make existing and modified models in great numbers, with new models available soon.
“More are coming into production in the coming weeks, subject to safety and regulatory approvals, as part of the prime minister’s call to manufacturers to scale up production,” he said at the government’s daily COVID-19 news conference on Saturday.
Mr Gove said a team from University College London, working with Mercedes Benz, has produced a new non-invasive respirator that has been given clinical approval.
He said 250 of the products were currently being produced each day, rising to 1,000 per day next week.

But they could be restricted to those who are likely to live, says Breitbart.

A National Health Service (NHS) hospital in London has admitted that it is limiting intensive care treatment for coronavirus only to those “reasonably certain” to survive, meaning some elderly people may not receive support.
In a signal that British health services are starting to restrict criteria for intensive care unit (ICU) treatment, Imperial College Healthcare said that “very poorly patients with coronavirus may need to be on a ventilator for extended periods” and claimed that “this would not be in their best interests”.
A senior consultant at the major NHS trust told The Telegraph on Sunday: “As we learn more about the disease, we are being much more careful about which patients are being considered for critical care.
“In normal times we will give most people the benefit of the doubt. That has changed,” they warned.

Mortuary

And where to put the dead is also being addressed, says the Sun.

HANGARS at an ex-RAF base are being transformed into a virus mortuary for nearly 1,500 people.
Three huge buildings at RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire, have been converted and more will be prepared if needed.
A source said: “Work has been going on around the clock to get things ready.”
A key airbase during World War Two, Upper Heyford closed its gates in 1993 but is now the latest in a string of temporary morgues set up to cope with Covid-19 ­victims if the regular ones fill up.
Other sites earmarked include Shay football and rugby stadium in Halifax, West Yorks, and the Planet Ice rink, Milton Keynes.
The idea is to have them in place in case of a “worst-case scenario” where nearby morgues are already full.

The Queen

Her Majesty will address the nation tonight.  The Times reports:

The Queen will call on the public today to continue to show “self-discipline” and “resolve” amid fears that the warm weather will cause people to abandon social distancing as the pandemic worsens.
In what is only the monarch’s fourth address to the nation, she will urge the public not to let the side down. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she will say. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”

The Telegraph also previews her speech.

The Queen will urge Britain to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, speaking of her faith that this generation will prove themselves “as strong as any” that have come before.
Invoking the spirit that saw the country through the Second World War, the 93-year-old monarch will talk of her hope that Britons will be able to “take pride in how they responded”, drawing on the traits of “self-discipline, quiet good-humoured resolve and fellow-feeling” that characterise the UK.
No 10 said The Queen’s intervention was designed to “lift the nation’s spirits” as the Government urged people to follow lockdown rules designed to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.

It will be a personal message, says the Sun.

THE Queen will tomorrow night (Sunday) tell the nation it will be remembered with pride for its courage during the ­coronavirus fight.
The 93-year-old’s “deeply personal” televised address at 8pm is to be watched by an estimated 32million.
It comes as the death toll reached a new daily high after another 708 people died in 24 hours, including a five-year-old child.
Brits will see her pay tribute to the country’s strength during this “increasingly challenging time” — with “enormous changes to the daily lives of us all”.
The monarch, whose son Prince Charles was hit by the virus, will also offer support for those grieving loved ones.
As NHS heroes and other frontline workers tackle the deadly virus, she will hail the country’s characteristic “self-discipline” and “good-humoured resolve”.
And she promises there will be better times ahead — when we can look back with pride on a generation “as strong as any” before it.

Prisons

Thousands of criminals will be released onto the streets, says the Times.

Ministers have ordered the release of 4,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus crisis, despite officials warning that some of them will reoffend and may even commit murder.
About 3,500 prisoners within two months of the end of their sentence will be temporarily released from jail on licence, and will be fitted with GPS tags from this week.
A further 500 prisoners who are pregnant or old and vulnerable will also be allowed out.
Boris Johnson signed off on the move last week, after being warned that a coronavirus outbreak in prison would make it impossible for prison staff to cope.

But the virus has hit prison staff, reports the Sun.

TWO staff members at London’s Pentonville Prison have died from coronavirus, it emerged tonight.
Bovil Peter and Patrick Beckford were both support staff workers at the jail, and were believed to be in their 60s.
Prison Officers’ Association chairman Mark Fairhurst said: “My thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved with these tragic deaths – two at the same prison is very concerning.”
Mr Fairhurst said he did not know if either of the men had any underlying health conditions.

Labour leader

There is one non-virus story in today’s papers; the election of the new Labour leader.  The Times reports what he will do.

Labour’s newly elected leader will ramp up the pressure on Boris Johnson over the coronavirus pandemic today as he demands the government come clean on the “serious mistakes” made.
Sir Keir Starmer, 57, who won a landslide victory in yesterday’s leadership contest, has thrown down the gauntlet to the prime minister by setting him four tests to meet after a mounting backlash against the government’s response to the outbreak.
In an exclusive article for The Sunday Times, he writes: “The public is placing an enormous trust in the government at the moment: it is vital that that trust is met with openness and transparency about those mistakes and the decisions that have been made.”

The Morning Star is in despair over the election.

KEIR STARMER’S victory in the leadership contest represents a serious setback for the left following five years in which a socialist led the Labour Party.
At the same time, it neither erases those years nor negates the potential of Labour’s huge membership to help build the socialist movement and challenge a capitalist system in serious crisis.
Starmer’s first-round win, secured by the backing of a proportion of the party not far short of Jeremy Corbyn’s in 2015 and 2016, gives the lie to the old claims that those victories were down to Labour being “infiltrated” by revolutionary socialists alien to its traditions.
But nor did it indicate a mass flowering of socialist consciousness.
The uncomfortable truth is that tens of thousands of Labour members who backed Corbyn in both 2015 and 2016 backed Starmer this year.

The Express says his victory crushed the left of the party.

SIR KEIR Starmer was crowned as the new leader of Labour after a crushing victory over the hard Left. His convincing win in a ballot of the party membership has opened up the prospect of a so called “knights in shining armour alliance” with Labour and the Lib Dems forming a pro-EU centre left front.
Sources close to acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey have told the Sunday Express that the win for the architect of Labour’s pro-Remain policy will lead to the two parties working together closely and could in the longterm end up with a merger. The result also marks the end of a dark chapter in the Labour Party with Jeremy Corbyn stepping down as leader after five years of division and accusations of anti-semitism. It was a humiliating end to the Corbyn project with Mr Corbyn’s preferred successor Rebecca Long-Bailey scraping just one in four votes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email