Newspaper headlines: Rich List losers and ‘docs at war on schools’

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Britain’s super-rich have lost a combined £54bn due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sunday Times says, as it reports its annual Rich List. At least 63 people on the 2020 list have sought government funding to furlough staff, the paper adds.

Mail on Sunday 17 May 2020

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The row over schools reopening in England next month has escalated, according to the Mail on Sunday. It says an expert in childhood infections has challenged the British Medical Association’s concerns about safety – saying the doctors’ union has made “clear errors” in supporting the cautious stance of teaching organisations.

Sunday Telegraph 17 May 2020

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Hopes have been raised of a breakthrough treatment for Covid-19 as doctors hail an anti-blood clot medicine as a “life saver”, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The paper says specialists in London discovered potentially deadly blood clots in patients who died with the virus.

Sunday Mirror 17 May 2020

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An eight-month-old baby has died with a rare childhood disease linked to the coronavirus, the Sunday Mirror says. Alexander Parsons is believed to have died with the condition just hours after an image of him happily playing was taken, the paper adds.

Observer 17 May 2020

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There’s a growing revolt over the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, according to the Observer. The paper reports the findings of a poll which shows support for the government has fallen since Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation last week.

Sunday Express 17 May 2020

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A planned new vaccine centre in Oxfordshire has received a boost from the government to speed up its construction, the Sunday Express reports. The paper says the institution is “at the heart” of the UK’s fast-track to recovery from the virus.

Sunday People 17 May 2020

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“Dumping ground” is the headline on the Sunday People’s front page. The paper reports care home staff are furious that untested hospital patients were discharged into their facilities.

Sunday Star 17 May 2020

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Premier League footballer Alexandre Lacazette is pictured with his lips to a balloon on the front page of the Daily Star Sunday. The paper says the image comes 18 months after the Arsenal striker was warned for inhaling what it describes as “hippy crack” – or nitrous oxide.

Two contrasting tales of Covid-19 are carried on the front pages.

The Sunday Mirror shows the smiling face of eight-month-old Alexander Parsons, who is believed to have died of Kawasaki syndrome, a childhood disease that has been linked to coronavirus.

A paediatrician from Imperial College London, Prof Mike Levin, warns that – while the condition remains a “rare phenomenon” – cases have doubled in the past week and they expect to see “many more”. The baby’s mother, Kathryn, urges the government to do more to explore the link with Covid-19.

The Sunday Times, meanwhile. features the case of a 35-year-old woman who is “speaking for the first time” after spending 58 days on a ventilator. The female patient at Southampton General Hospital is said to have previously been so weak she could barely lift a finger.

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The Sunday Telegraph offers more hope, with the news that doctors in London have discovered that blood-thinning drugs can prevent deaths from Covid-19.

The specialists are said to have found that the disease can cause potentially deadly blood clots on the lungs, and their findings are leading to new guidance from NHS England about the use of blood-thinners for critically ill patients.

The Sunday Times adds the NHS has ordered thousands of devices, the size of a small wristwatch, which “send out electrical impulses that can reduce the risk of thrombosis”.

WhatsApp diplomacy

The Mail on Sunday reports that the announcement that travellers from France would be exempt from proposed quarantine measures – a policy that was quickly reversed by Downing Street – emerged from private WhatsApp messages between Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The paper says the PM and Mr Macron “regularly converse over the messaging service, away from the prying eyes of aides” – but one government source suggests they “overcooked it a bit”.

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Meanwhile the Sunday Times reports the author Neil Gaiman has sparked a row by flying halfway round the world during lockdown to “give his wife some space”.

The paper says he “stretched the definition of ‘essential journey’ to what may be record lengths” with his trip from Auckland in New Zealand to his second home on the isle of Skye.

He responded to the criticism by explaining that he had flown “masked and gloved” and gone into quarantine after driving directly to his house.

West Yorkshire Police are reported to have recalled a batch of protective face masks issued to officers, due to fears they may be fake and defective.

According to the Sunday Express, the PPE was supplied by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, which insists it’s “committed to a rigorous quality assurance process” and is assessing the masks.

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And the back pages welcome the return of football in Germany’s Bundesliga. The Independent digital newspaper hails it as a “momentous afternoon” featuring “football, but not as we know it”.

The Mail on Sunday believes it has given a “huge boost” to English football’s own plan to resume the season. But the Star on Sunday fears the plan is “in crisis” because most Premier League players “are terrified of being infected with coronavirus”.

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