What the papers say – February 24

National newspapers are dominated at the start of the week with the latest on a deadly viral outbreak and the Home Secretary’s response to Departmental leaks.

Experts in The Daily Telegraph have warned of an “impending pandemic” after the number of cases from the coronavirus strain known as Covid-19 grew in Britain and Italy, while scientists have told The Guardian that time is “running out to contain” the virus.

There have been four new cases of the virus diagnosed among Britons evacuated from the Diamond Princess in Japan to quarantine in the UK, the i reports.

Italy has locked down 10 towns in its northern regions where three Serie A matches were postponed during what the Financial Times calls the Covid-19’s “biggest outbreak outside Asia”.

Metro also leads on the virus but with a different slant, telling the story of a woman who was physically assaulted in the West Midlands for standing up “for a Chinese friend being racially abused” over the outbreak.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is “livid” and has demanded a formal inquiry into leaks from her department which led to reports that intelligence chiefs at M15 did not trust her, according to The Times.

The Independent says business leaders have asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “avoid heaping misery” on British companies by excluding excessive red tape from any post-Brexit trade deal.

The NHS will combat long waiting times with a “radical plan” that could see nurses trained to perform surgical procedures, the Daily Mail says.

Staying with the NHS and the Daily Express reports the organisation’s chief executive has announced his own “radical”plan, a low-calorie diet programme to address rising obesity levels.

The Daily Mirror travels to the US state of Georgia, where it reports on the “horrifying” and “grim” conditions in which chickens are reared prior to butchery and sale.

Britons have drunk “lash Vegas” dry as celebrations continued following Tyson Fury’s heavyweight title win, The Sun reports.

And the Daily Star says Coronation Street actor Alan Halsall has been in a “bust-up” with his ex-wife’s new partner over the former couple’s daughter.