Murray's misleading message on Scotland’s Covid response - your views
Ian is shooting at the wrong target
Ian Murray claims (News, February 18) that last year’s February 26-27 Nike conference in Edinburgh was ‘ground zero’ for Covid infections, when Scotland’s first confirmed Covid case was March 1 in Tayside.
Rather, it was the UK government’s shamefully late response to locking down that led to thousands of people from Covid-struck northern Italy streaming into all UK airports during February and March, which ignited the epidemic not only in Scotland but throughout the UK.
Pandemic response strategy was reserved until March 26, 2020. When Scotland broke from the Johnson and Cummings failed herd immunity strategy, it began to control the virus.
Under the Scottish government, health service resource funding is up 60% and staffing has risen 15%. Scotland’s A&E services are the best in the UK and we have the highest number of GPs per capita.
Tuition remains free and bursary has increased for nursing and midwifery students. NHS hospital parking charges were scrapped, saving staff and patients £42m. In October 2017 Audit Scotland praised the integration of health and care services in Scotland. If Ian is looking for mismanagement, he should look south.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.
Murray misleads on Scotland’s health
Ian Murray (15 February) repeats his fake news on the Nike Covid outbreak and hospital discharges into care homes. On June 9, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith put the record straight and explained that the virus was already in Scotland at the end of February.
Public Health reports in Scotland and Wales reached the same conclusion, that there is no evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks and research published by Stirling University on August 30 found that care homes in England had the greatest increase in excess deaths at the height of the Covid pandemic.
Had Scotland been independent we could have closed our borders and gone into an earlier lockdown with the borrowing powers of a normal country. Under the SNP, investment in our NHS has increased by 60% with more doctors, nurses and hospital beds per head of population than elsewhere in the UK.
Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh.
Transport troubles start with council
Where do I start with Cllr Macinnes (‘How to create a cleaner, healthier transport system’, News, February 15)?
She just doesn’t get it that her council have caused the congestion in Edinburgh. So many roads closed, traffic lights set to cause congestion and new road works round every corner, to name just a few things.
Why are the council hell bent on giving the people a tram service they don’t want? Give them new eco friendly buses that go everywhere in the city and stop at regular intervals.
There are many commuters in the city because so many are moving out to all the new housing being built on greenfield land. You are creating cycle lanes that are mostly empty. You need a total rethink of your transport strategy. We will have cleaner air when we are all using electric cars and planting more trees.
Get the utilities companies to work together instead of digging up roads over and over again.
More park and rides and buses that can carry more than one bike. Stop issuing private hire taxi licenses, there are too many of them already on the roads.
Get your thinking caps on and cater for everyone.
Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuick.