UK too slow to act on new Covid variants - your views

"Once again, it would seem that the stable door is being bolted once the horse has escaped”

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 7:00 am

UK too slow to act on new Covid variants

Just as the further easing of lockdown restrictions is announced, we are advised that another ‘variant of investigation’, currently ravaging India is now in the UK.

Although this variant has been on the radar for some time and even when concerns were escalating, India was not classed a ‘red travel zone’ and flights to the UK continued unabated.

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We have successfully imported another variant, just as we are assured that the Kent and South African varieties were finally under control, with new infections falling.

Here in Scotland, we look on powerless as another catastrophe approaches, just as we are all looking forward to a greater degree of freedom. How long have we been importing this new variant via airports in England? What will happen when travel restrictions within the UK are lifted and there is an influx of holidaymakers to Scotland? Will the concept of border controls or checks be opposed by Oliver Mundell yet again?

Thankfully, as of 21 April, India is in the red zone and travellers entering Scotland and the rest of the UK are required to quarantine – but how well will this be managed?

The Home Affairs committee chief has warned of ‘holes in the system’ to check on people who have recently entered England. The committee published a letter from Home Secretary Priti Patel, advising that only 75% of travellers who were supposed to be isolating were successfully contacted in the week up to March 1.

Once again, it would seem that the stable door is being bolted once the horse has escaped. Epidemiologists have been telling the UK government for months that control of our borders is crucial to managing the pandemic. Why has this lesson not yet been learned?

Jennifer Rhind, Moffat.

Don’t forget Lezley

In his profile of Edinburgh Pentlands (News, April 17), Ian Swanson seems to have completely failed to notice that there are five candidates standing in this constituency.

He reported on all four of the male candidates, including the so called "Family" party, which states in its leaflets that one of its key aims is to roll back women's rights by restricting abortions and therefore a woman's right to choose, although Mr Swanson chose not to mention that. He made no reference whatsoever to the only woman standing, Lezley Cameron, who has contributed hugely to this city by her indefatigable work as a City of Edinburgh councillor.

Rosemary Howe, Edinburgh.

Worrying loophole

A new disturbing loophole has been introduced to the long awaited ban on so-called “gay conversion therapy.” The UK Prime Minister has told the Evangelical Alliance that religions will continue legally to be allowed to give “pastoral support” and pray for those who are “exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.” So, gay conversion therapy is to be banned unless it’s religious gay conversion therapy? Is there any other sort?

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive.

Nicola’s winging it

A surgeon gives a prognosis before major surgery. An engineer does detailed calculations before a design is approved, never mind constructed. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon prefers to wing it.

As she admitted to Andrew Marr of the BBC, the economic modelling of the costs of separation has not yet been done. Given that this is the main issue in Scottish politics, her disregard for the economic interests of working-class Scots is shameful.

Penny Patience, Ingliston Road, Edinburgh.