Newspaper headlines: Hospital building ‘heroes’ and testing ‘shambles’


Newspaper headlines: Hospital building ‘heroes’ and testing ‘shambles’


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Frontline NHS staff who are not receiving masks and tests are like soldiers being sent to war with no helmets, the government has been told, reports the Metro. Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, said staff were putting their lives on the line every time they turn up to work, describing the situation as “absolutely unacceptable”.

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The Daily Mirror says testing for NHS staff was in “chaos” on Wednesday night as it was revealed just 2,000 of 1.2 million workers had been tested for Covid-19. It came as NHS workers Thomas Harvey and Dr Alfa Saadu died after testing positive for the virus.

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The Daily Mail says the number of staff tested for coronavirus is a statistic that “humbles ministers”. The paper says it is the latest “shocking example” of what it calls a “testing scandal”.

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The Times reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been forced to shift strategy on the government’s testing regime after criticism of the slow pace of checks on NHS staff. Private laboratories are now being drafted in to do the tests, whereas before they were being performed through a centralised process, says the paper.

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“NHS frontline staff let down on testing” is the I’s front-page headline. The paper says there is a “huge pressure” on ministers to scale up the testing of staff to enable them to help combat the pandemic.

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The Sun dedicates its front page to an appeal for Britons to carry on clapping their support for NHS workers every Thursday at 20:00. The salute was carried out across the UK last Thursday.

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Stable coronavirus patients could be taken off ventilators in favour of saving those more likely to survive, the Guardian reports. Under proposals issued by the British Medical Association, younger, healthier people could be given priority over older people, and those with an underlying illness may not get treatment that could save them.

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Almost one million people have applied for universal credit since Mr Johnson urged people to stay home two weeks ago, the Financial Times reports, in what it says highlights the rapid surge of unemployment coronavirus has caused. It came as figures once again showed the UK’s daily virus death toll rose to another new record – 563.

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Banks were urged to “repay the favour” of their bailout in 2008 during the recession, the Daily Express reports, as the coronavirus crisis deepened. The paper said banks were told to come to the aid of taxpayers who funded their rescue deal and were warned not to hammer customers with “rip-off charges”.

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