BORIS Johnson met his match this week in the form of an NHS cleaner at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London. Thirty-year-old Syrian refugee Hassan Akkad, who works on the Covid-19 ward, recorded a video message to the Prime Minister which went viral with nearly five million views!

He said: “I’ve been really enjoying the clapping you and your fellow Ministers in the Government do every week. Today, however, I felt betrayed, stabbed in the back.”

His video message followed the news that NHS porters, cleaners and social care staff were to be excluded from Home Office scheme granting families of health workers indefinite leave to remain in the UK if they die of coronavirus.

It also came at the same time as the UK Government was defending NHS surcharges for international staff. Only weeks after Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital professing his admiration for the nurses from New Zealand and Portugal who helped save his life, his Government was treating them and international NHS colleagues appallingly. It was the worst form of hypocrisy and was not sustainable.

Only five hours after Hassan Akkad posted his initial tweet, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a U-turn: the bereavement scheme would be changed immediately and retrospectively to include all NHS support staff and their families

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson was still defending the indefensible NHS surcharge as “the right way forward”. Next morning on Good Morning Britain it was Hassan Akkad who demolished the Government’s inhumane policy: “It’s unfair, it’s unjust, and I would argue that it’s inhumane,” he said. “For most cleaners and porters this is two weeks’ salary.”

Later that day Priti Patel tweeted: “Given these extraordinary circumstances, Matt Hancock and I are working together to remove NHS and care workers from the NHS surcharge as soon as possible.”

Why, oh why did it take the intervention of a Syrian refugee to prick the conscience of UK Tory ministers? What were they thinking? Only when it became a PR problem did they reconsider.

No wonder the Cabinet’s man in Scotland, Alister “Union” Jack, felt uncomfortable when put on the spot as to whether he had pushed for the scrapping of the NHS fees for migrant healthcare workers. He swerved the question and failed to answer when questioned about it on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland.

In contrast to this week’s wrong health priorities from the UK Government, we had the Scottish Government outlining the next phases in emerging from the coronavirus crisis lockdown. As we have come used to seeing, it was the First Minister who fronted the briefing, and outlined the safety-first approach to minimise the risk of a second spike in Covid-19 cases. If the infection rate continues to reduce, we can expect and announcement on Tuesday confirming an easing of restrictions.

The four-phase route map was published on the Scottish Government website and widely shared on social media. Public interest was so high that more than 100,000 people tried to download the details immediately after it

went online.

As we are gradually able to do more than at present, it will become extremely important to follow the updated guidance.

We still need to wash our hands frequently and maintain cough hygiene and physical distancing – and in the next weeks a large-scale test, trace and isolate system will accompany the changes.

In contrast to the confused and badly deployed changes to advice in England, which were made one day before coming into force, the Scottish route map has been published one week before the first decision point. There is plenty of time to digest the Scottish advice and for additional information to be provided for those that need it.

The tale of two governments this week has been clear and unambiguous. The UK Government’s priority was unfairly targeting international NHS workers while the Scottish Government was getting on with the difficult day job of dealing with the coronavirus.

No wonder public opinion has such a different assessment of the two governments. When polled recently, three-quarters of people in Scotland who were questioned thought the Scottish Government was handling the coronavirus crisis well.

Strong approval was overwhelming among Conservative and Labour voters, with 70% of both believing that the SNP Holyrood administration is doing well. Meanwhile, 47% thought the UK Government was doing well and 48% thought it was doing badly.

Public support for Nicola Sturgeon making the right decisions on coronavirus is overwhelming, with a massive 71% having a lot or a fair amount of confidence in the First Minister and only 23% saying they had not very much or no confidence. This compares with 40% having a lot or far amount of confidence in Boris Johnson with 55% have not very much or no confidence.

Thank goodness we have a competent Scottish Government and a highly capable First Minister dealing with the coronavirus crisis.