COULD there be a more apt description of the Government response to the coronavirus than the "delay phase"? In Scotland we move at a snail's pace towards what needs urgently to be done, with Nicola Sturgeon saying that a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people was "likely" from Monday.

While other countries stop travel, shut schools, universities, public spaces and lockdown to stop the spread, we seem transfixed by the inconvenience this will cause. China, Singapore and Taiwan have shown how determined intervention can radically reduce cases. The number of new cases in China is now below 30 from 3,000 a day in February. They combined quarantine with the rigorous tracing of contacts and infection sources. There were substantial rewards given to people presenting with symptoms and larger ones if cases were proved. Yet here we seem unable to plan decisive early intervention.

Scotland should give a lead in this. Each day that is lost means more cases and ultimately more suffering and loss of life.

Professor Greg Philo, Glasgow University.

WONDERFUL. Instead of taking drastic action now to limit the spread of coronavirus as fast as possible, we will just make life a bit more difficult and spin out the process, so that we can stay in this limbo for longer before we deliver the full restrictions needed to beat the virus. Fine. Let’s consider the economy, don’t damage it too much yet, just a little bit, and let’s wait till the virus has had more time to spread, and we can add the killer blow later. Meantime, we will just leave people will just have to worry and suffer inconvenience for a bit longer, until the situation is really dire.

Why on earth did we not impose full restrictions in the limited areas where the virus first appeared, and any subsequently affected areas, to try to contain it when there was less to contain? Would that not have shortened the likely overall length of time needed to win the battle and to have reduced the hit on the economy as well?

L McGregor, Falkirk.

WHEN the Clydebank Health Centre opened in 1973 I was asked what I thought of it. I said I thought it was a bad move. Instead of being able to visit my GP locally I was now forced to travel about a mile and a half; some residents of the town would face an even longer walk.Not a great distance if you are young and fit, but a fair distance if you are elderly, and/or have mobility problems. You may probably be feeling ill, hence a visit to your GP becomes a chore.

I also said it was a bad idea to have all the GPs in the one building. "What happens if bubonic plague, or something similar breaks out? All your eggs are now in one basket." I was told not to be facetious.

Is it time to have a rethink about local health centres and who staffs them?

George Smith, Clydebank.

WILLIE Maclean suggests suspension of the National Lottery to reduce supermarket footfall and hence yielding health risk reduction.

Perhaps Mr Maclean has not taken account of the numbers of customers already in supermarkets either for regular shopping or for the panic-buying of toilet rolls who buy their tickets as a matter of course.

I know of no one who makes a special journey for this purpose.

David Miller, Milngavie.

Read more: People with coronavirus symptoms to 'stay at home for seven days'