HOW refreshing to read Angus Robertson’s informative article on the effects of Covid-19 on low income countries (Give It Up for those facing worse crisis than we are, The National, May 16). In the midst of a certain measure of self-congratulation concerning society’s response to those affected by the virus, there has been an unfortunate scarcity of focus on the most vulnerable in the world.

As one involved with partners in central Africa through my work with Scottish based charity, Comfort International, the consistent news coming out of Sub-Saharan Africa is of severe suffering. For those who have no savings, no spare food, no furlough safety net, no food banks, no social security, lockdown means nothing less than hunger and possible starvation.

Add into that mix the loss of lives in Eastern and Central Africa due to severe storms and flooding, and the terrible eruptions of locusts gobbling up food sources, the challenges facing our fellow humanity there are huge. Let us, in our laudable concern for each other, not forget those who are far far worse off than us in the midst of this pandemic.

Callum Henderson


AS a member of Common Weal, I was really cheered to see the huge advert for testing in The National (May 16). For weeks now, our groups all over Scotland have been advocating the use of testing to help eliminate Covid-19 from our communities. It is to the First Minister’s credit that this strategy, advised by the WHO right at the beginning of the pandemic, is now being reintroduced in Scotland.

However, Common Weal would also contend that testing without tracing is a huge wasted opportunity. Of course, the initiative , as described in this newspaper, is to be welcomed, but nowhere can I find any reassurance that this testing is being followed through by tracing the contacts of those people found to have the virus.

Here is a chance to get any embryonic tracing plans from Public Health and Councils into action – an opportunity to iron out the glitches which might occur before a massive, community-wide programme of test, trace, isolate and support, as proposed by Common Weal, is rolled out into every last vennel in Scotland.

Jean Kemp

St Andrews