Newspaper headlines: 'Fears' for ill PM and Queen's 'message of hope'


Metro front page

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Late-breaking news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to hospital after being diagnosed with the coronavirus 10 days ago appears on several front pages. Metro says he had looked “poorly” in a video message last week.

Daily Telegraph front page

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Mr Johnson has been ill with the virus for two weeks, having started to feel unwell with a temperature on March 27, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says ministers are expressing concern privately that the prime minister insists he must remain in charge, as he is having to “sleep and rest a lot”.

The Times front page

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Officials emphasised that the hospital admission for Mr Johnson was not an emergency and was only a precaution, the Times reports. The paper says that in addition to fiancee Carrie Symonds, who has been staying in a separate flat, and adviser Dominic Cummings, two more special advisers and a contractor fell ill this week.

Daily Mail front page

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The Mail says that officials would not confirm what tests Mr Johnson was having in hospital. The paper reports that experts say there is a risk of pneumonia following a coronavirus infection when a temperature lasts more than a week.

Daily Mirror front page

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“We’ll meet again” is the headline on the front of the Daily Mirror, quoting the Queen’s “message of hope” on the coronavirus crisis, which was broadcast to the nation on Sunday evening. The paper says the TV address was a “heartfelt rallying cry” which drew on her experience of the Blitz.

The Sun front page

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The Sun uses the same words for its headline, saying the Queen reassured the nation with the words of wartime icon Dame Vera Lynn.

Daily Express front page

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“We will succeed… Better days will return” is the quote that makes the Daily Express headline, with the paper also describing the address as “historic and heartfelt”.

i newspaper front page

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The i focuses on Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s warning to the public to obey the rules of the lockdown or face a ban on outdoor exercise. The paper says crowds are flouting official guidelines, alongside a picture of people on Primrose Hill in north London.

Financial Times front page

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“No lingering,” says the Financial Times, alongside a picture of a police officer on a motorbike in a London park. The paper says officers were patrolling to enforce the lockdown rules. In its main story, it says financial regulators worldwide have freed up $500bn of capital to help absorb the impact of the pandemic.

The Guardian front page

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The 17.5m home antibody testing kits ordered by the government could be “unreliable”, according to the Guardian. The paper says they may fail to detect the virus in up to half of milder cases – the group they are intended for.

Daily Star front page

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And the Daily Star features the “crackpots” who are accused of burning down new 5G mobile phone masts because of a false conspiracy theory that they spread the coronavirus. The paper dubs them “The Mast Vigilantes”.

News of Boris Johnson’s admission to hospital prompted a number of papers to update their front pages overnight, knocking the Queen’s address to the nation out of the top headlines.

The Daily Telegraph says the statement from Downing Street was “unexpected”, coming just hours after ministers insisted there’d been no change in his condition.

According to the paper, some members of the cabinet have privately “expressed concern” over whether Mr Johnson can still run the government, despite official assurances that he remains in charge.

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10 Downing Street

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was last seen in public joining the applause for NHS and care workers

One minister is said to have told a fellow MP that the Prime Minister is “having to sleep and rest a lot” because of his high temperature.

The Guardian reports that the update came after “days of rumours” about the prime minister’s health.

The paper claims it was told last week that Mr Johnson was “more seriously ill than either he or his senior officials were prepared to admit”.

A number of papers carry a photograph of staff at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Essex paying tribute to 54-year-old Lynsay Coventry – the first NHS midwife confirmed to have died from coronavirus in England.

Lining the sides of a hospital corridor, still wearing their surgical masks, staff fell silent to remember a dedicated colleague, who’d helped hundreds of women bring their babies into the world, the Daily Mail says.

The Guardian reports on a warning from scientists that antibody testing kits, hailed by Boris Johnson as a “game changer” in the fight against coronavirus, could in fact be “unreliable”.

It was hoped the kits, resembling pregnancy tests, would allow people who have had the virus to return to the workplace – but the paper says experts now think they may fail to detect up to half of coronavirus cases.

One of the scientists involved has told the paper that the sensitivity of all the tests on the market was “relatively low” for people with mild symptoms – the exact group the tests were intended for.

In the US, both the Washington Post and the New York Times express concern at President Trump’s promotion of the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a treatment for coronavirus.

During his daily briefing at the White House, the Times says Mr Trump appeared to admit that he was speaking only on gut instinct – acknowledging he had no expertise and appearing to stop medical experts answering questions about the use of the unproven drug.

Yet again, says the Post, the President is “projecting a level of confidence” not matched by his scientific advisors.

Back in the UK, almost all of the front pages carry a photograph of the Queen, delivering her address to the nation from Windsor Castle.

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AFP

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A family in Hampshire watch the Queen’s TV address on the coronavirus outbreak

The Daily Mirror and the Sun pick out the same message for their headlines: “We will meet again”.

For the Daily Mail, the historic address evoked memories of Vera Lynn and “Britain’s Blitz spirit”.

The Guardian’s sketch writer John Crace says the monarch’s address delivered the “clear moral leadership” that many political leaders have failed to provide in the current crisis.

There’s only a certain amount a head of state can say in times like these, he writes, but any reference to the government’s efforts to tackle the outbreak were notably absent.

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