The news that the families of frontline healthcare workers who have died will get £60,000 sounds like a very generous and enlightened policy. However, assuming that many of the affected families would need to claim benefits, these are not payable until they are down to a maximum of £16,000 in savings. It seems to be a case of giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

Patrick Cleary
Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

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Failing our carers

The death toll of our healthcare workers during this crisis beggars belief.

All of the countries that have prepared well for this pandemic have few deaths amongst their doctors and nurses. In the UK, a significant number of healthcare workers have needlessly died. The government has failed its duty of care to NHS employees on two fronts: firstly, in failing to deliver them adequate PPE; secondly (and making fewer headlines), by failing to shield the most vulnerable. Pregnant workers, staff over 70 and those with pre-existing conditions should have been working from home from the outset. These failings must be addressed in a public enquiry. In the meantime, let us hope that lessons are learned quickly by all before the inevitable second wave lands.

Paul Morrison
Address not supplied

What’s Cummings’ job again?

Sean O’Grady states in his piece about Dominic Cummings attending Sage meetings that: “In Cummings’s defence, he and the PM may have been hugely better informed about the pandemic as a result.” But it is not the job of Cummings to advise the PM of Sage’s conclusions, it is the job of the government’s chief scientific advisor.

John Dakin
Toddington, Dunstable

Lockdown golf

The PM’s cunning plan of locking down club golf, a sport where participants are never fewer than six feet apart – and often hundreds of yards distant – reminds me of his hero Churchill’s collection of iron railings during WWII. These were completely unsuitable for the war effort and dumped at sea but he could claim we were “all in it together”.

The concept of a few pensioners enjoying golf must have kept the usual suspects awake at night so, of course, it had to be banned. However, I cannot help but wonder if Mr Johnson had been a golfer rather than a jogger whether we would now be subjected to sweaty, panting runners crowding us off the pavements and all well within six feet.

Rev Dr John Cameron
St Andrews

Matt Hancock announces life insurance scheme for families of NHS workers who have died of coronavirus

Rookie errors

This week, over 21,000 people have died from coronavirus. Meanwhile, Germany has had more coronavirus cases than us, but a little over a quarter of the deaths. Why?

Germany has an experienced leader with a scientific background. While the Germans have focussed on testing to deal with the pandemic, their British counterparts have made repeated promises on increased testing but failed miserably. 100,000 a day were promised but only 37,000 delivered. Testing centres are closed or inaccessible. Without testing, resources cannot be targeted where they are most needed and the government cannot control the pandemic.

Disastrously, we have a leader so out of his depth that he ignored his own government guidelines and caught the disease! A leader who advocates lockdown and social distancing, yet went off to his second home every weekend. A leader who missed five emergency Cobra meetings during the greatest health crisis to hit this country in a hundred years.

No wonder there are shortages of personal protection equipment and over a 100 NHS staff have died. No wonder there is confusion and mixed messages – no one is willing or able to cut through red tape.

Our bungling inexperienced government must step aside for a national government of experienced politicians from across parties.

Tens of thousands have died unnecessarily. We cannot afford any more mistakes.

Pete Milory
Trowbridge, Wiltshire

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