Readers' letters: Masking the facts over Covid death toll

"Johnson’s failure to take Covid seriously in spring 2020 resulted in thousands of deaths”
Boris Johnson has been rebuked for his comments on "left wing" lawyers.Boris Johnson has been rebuked for his comments on "left wing" lawyers.
Boris Johnson has been rebuked for his comments on "left wing" lawyers.

Masking the facts over Covid death toll

Choosing not to wear a mask is a selfish act and nothing to be proud of (letters, 15 September), as the whole point is to protect others as well as yourself from Covid transmission, particularly in crowded areas.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chief of the BMA, told its annual meeting that Boris Johnson’s so-called Freedom Day was a "gamble" that has since contributed to almost 40,000 hospital admissions and more than 4000 deaths.

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Johnson’s failure to close the UK borders or take Covid seriously in spring 2020 has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths and ruined thousands of businesses. Despite having no control over cross border travel, Nicola Sturgeon has dealt with the Covid pandemic much better than Johnson, who allowed travel from India after the current Delta variant was identified.

Dr Nagpaul also laid bare the chronic neglect of the English NHS and a lack of preparedness before the pandemic, along with flawed UK government thinking, which added to the tragic impact of Covid-19.

He added, “NHS England, was so patently under-staffed and under-resourced, was already in crisis, with waiting lists at an all-time high and record waits for cancer treatment – plus almost 90,000 staff vacancies before the pandemic struck”.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Our drugs policy needs proper debate

I suspect most decent folks will be maddened by the chutzpah coming from the SNP's drugs minister.

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Angela Constance believes the dreadful drugs-related deaths figures she announced are in turn "appalling", "heart breaking" and "unacceptable" - not surprisingly she has been called out as "out of touch".

Constance's performance and that of the former minister is woeful. Meantime, where is Sturgeon? A debate in government time is the least she can offer, and please, no blame apportioned to Westminster - England has the same drugs laws as Scotland.

We need to know what the SNP government accepts is going wrong here and do something about it.

The first minister is in pursuit of indyref2. If she really is serious about working towards a better life for those afflicted by this health crisis, perhaps she should put party politics aside and look to the Labour benches where she might find more qualified people to take this on.

Douglas McBean, Edinburgh.

Electric vehicles at risk of battery fires

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Those who are thinking of buying an electric vehicle might want to think again.

In California since early 2020 there have been 27 EV battery fires. The culprit in nearly all EV fires is the lithium-ion batteries which burn with extraordinary ferocity. Such fires release extremely toxic fluoride gas. Lithium-ion fires are a chemical reaction so they can only be cooled, not extinguished and need 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water. How green is that?

Many EV owners are switching back to petrol cars. California and Germany have banned EVs from parking underground or in confined spaces due to the risk of EV battery fires. Other countries will follow.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Use UK yards to build the CalMac ferries

So, the new CalMac ferries will not be built in Scotland after all.

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It is possible that Scottish yards may be running at full capacity, hence will be unable to build them, but what about other UK yards - surely a British builder could have been found?

Ultimately, the Scottish government is in charge of all this, and it does not look good!

William Ballantine, Bo’ness.