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READERS’ LETTERS: None of us are safe from Covid-19 until we all are safe


Sir, – On March 11 2021, it will be one year since the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

In one year, millions of people from all corners of the Earth have died from this disease. In this same year, science has developed effective vaccines to fight Covid-19.

But the vaccines have not reached all corners of the globe, and are not likely to do so soon. Billions of public money, was given to the manufacturers to enable the development of these vaccines.

But they now insist that they keep the intellectual property rights, the patents and the profits from these processes.

The WHO has created a mechanism for sharing the technology, but to date not one manufacturer has contributed.

Meanwhile vaccine factories in India and Bangladesh have capacity to significantly increase the supply of vaccines for the world, if the technology is made available.

The World Trade Organisation, now headed by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who has a track record of promoting economic justice in Nigeria, will discuss a proposal to waive the patents on vaccines, at least while the epidemic rages.

Our government, along with the US and European governments, are resisting this.

As Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO has said: “None of us are safe until all are safe.”

Brian Batson.

Lour Road, Forfar.


Nurses have done well financially

Sir, – Nurses were to have received a pay increase of 6.5% over the past three years in the “Agenda for Change” deal but it has ended up nearer 12% and the average nurse’s salary is now around £34,000.

Dame Donna Kinnair, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, demands a further 12.5% rise for the coming year or she and the infamous trade union Unite will pull all nurses out on strike.

Such threats in the middle of a major health crisis are deplorable.

Many people lost their livelihoods in the pandemic but nurses still have a secure, well-paid job with an excellent pension and were paid generous overtime.

In the world outside the health service, people went deep into debt or lost their homes in the name of “saving the NHS”.

Militants are on safer ground when they complain of the extra hours they worked, but nurses did well financially so demanding a further 12.5% when others are so much worse off is crass.

Dr John Cameron.

Howard Place, St Andrews.


Bring football rule breakers to book

Sir, – I was absolutely furious watching the thousands of rule breakers in Glasgow celebrating Rangers’ league title win. There were many not wearing masks, there was no social distancing and there was drinking in public etc.

But we are not allowed to do anything, the elderly confined to their four walls and these misfits break all the rules, trash the city centre, commit environmental crimes and only 28 are arrested?

This has nothing to do with football, even less with being a fan! I hope that images will be used to arrest more of these rule-breakers.

No wonder Glasgow is a hotspot for Covid.

I would not be surprised if there is a massive outbreak there in two weeks’ time.

Maaike Cook.

Cash Feus, Strathmiglo.


Are the royals simply untouchable?

Sir, – Because someone makes a comment about the skin tone of an unborn child to a mixed-race couple doesn’t automatically equate with racism.

When it comes to Harry and Meghan the issue has become massive, with opinions becoming very polarised.

On one hand there are people who are convinced that the royals are all racist and that the institution must be abolished.

Then there are those who seem to believe that the royals are untouchable and should not even be questioned.

I actually couldn’t care less either way but I can’t help but remember many of the crass, stupid and racist things that Prince Philip has said over the years.

Harry Key.

Mid Street, Largoward.