Could llamas be crucial to finding a preventative Covid-19 cure?


IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 7: We look at the German papers as the country prepares to enter the next stage of reviving its society and economy. Also, could llamas be key to finding a coronavirus cure? Finally, street artist Banksy pays tribute to British health workers in his latest artwork, which has appeared on a hospital corridor wall.


There's some joy in the German press today after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that the country has passed the first phase of coronavirus. According to German health experts, new daily infections are in the hundreds now. Merkel says Germany is ready to reopen most aspects of its society and economy, albeit with social distancing and masks in place. "Permitted" is the somewhat optimistic headline in the Hamburger Morgenpost.

German schools, restaurants, cafes, hotels and sports will gradually recommence this month. Counties will decide on whether to reopen cinemas and theatres, but the openings will be revoked if infections rise. It's the reason why Der Taggespiegel is more cautious on its front page today: evoking a difficult new start.

Scientists in Belgium are hoping a 4-year-old, eyelash-batting llama called Winter could be crucial in the fight against coronavirus. The New York Times explains that llamas produce two types of antibodies, unlike one in humans. They have found that Winter's more acute antibodies successfully fought off the SARS and MERS viruses and found that those antibodies also staved off the new virus that causes Covid-19. The early trial has offered hopeful results in what scientists hope could be a preventative cure one day.

Finally, Banksy has paid tribute to British health workers in his latest artwork. "Game Changer" appeared on the corridor wall of Southampton hospital yesterday. It features a young boy who has ditched his Superman and Spiderman toys in favour of another superhero: nurses! The Daily Mirror says the 1-metre-high piece will be auctioned off for charity.

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