Matt Hancock’s reckless daily testing target may yet come back to bite him

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Saturday 02 May 2020 21:39
100,000 daily UK coronavirus tests target has been met and exceeded

Questions have quite rightly been asked about Matt Hancock’s arithmetic, as he claimed to have met his promise that 100,000 tests would be carried out daily by the end of April. Weirdly, by hook or by crook, and there are many valid reasons to doubt the legitimacy of his claim that target was met.

But, his reckless promise may yet come back to bite Mr Hancock in the bottom. He said “daily”. Not just on a single day in April. Not just the last day in April. So, it’s going to be a busy May.

Beryl Wall

Testing conundrum

We know that some people can be infected with Covid-19 but have minor symptoms or none, and that they can infect others. In order to know how many such individuals there are in the community, there would have to be, and to have been, regular sample testing. Otherwise, any estimate of the R number, of how many are infected by one individual, has to be a guess, doesn’t it?

Susan Alexander
Frampton Cotterell

Food banks are not a solution

It came as no surprise to learn that the use of food banks by children has more than doubled since the onset of Covid-19 obliged the UK government to impose a nationwide lockdown. That such a network of charitable aid might have arisen as a consequence of the pandemic could be seen as a normal and indeed laudable reaction to the extreme challenge this disease presents, but what is difficult to accept is that food banks existed at all prior to this national crisis.

One cannot escape the irony in the truth that such charitable initiatives have been looked upon by successive Tory governments as a solution to poverty rather than a damning indictment of their indifference towards tackling the issue.

Jerry Wells

Public toilets for the elderly

I would like to thank Janet Street-Porter for her article supporting the over-70s. I would like to mention that, in its future plans to bring us out of lockdown, I hope the government and local authorities consider the population’s need to use public toilets and put more in place.

If we haven’t got cafes, pubs and other public buildings open where do we go? Just how far can we walk? How many stations and parks have these facilities? And thought needs to be given to their upkeep. I feel this is not a new subject, but one that is essential now.

Pat Hetherington

No ageism please

A great article from Janet Street-Porter, but mandatory passports for those over 70? It’s that arbitrary number of 70 again, and an impossible overload for surgeries. No ageism please.

Mike Richardson
New Malden

Keep Covid-19 facilities for homeless

Once the Covid-19 crisis is over, could it be put to the government and the people to consider not dismantling the facilities now being provided, at least temporarily.

Instead put them to use to help the homeless. Providing shelter, medical care and counselling for these vulnerable people would be a huge step forward for our society.

It would also provide jobs. We could choose to voluntarily put £1 into a fund, maybe on a monthly basis, to meet costs.

Ruth Lucchini

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