DURING yesterday’s televised coronavirus presentation (September 29), Dr Jason Leitch said there is a one in 10,000 chance that someone below 20 years of age will die if infected, while for those above 80 the risk of death is one in five. He did not state how many of those victims will have had serious pre-existing disorders.

What it feels like to be under 20 is so long ago that I could be mistaken but, when weighed against the damaging consequences for a young person of not engaging in normal life, together with its attendant risks, those might sound like reasonable odds. As does the prospect that I would have four chances in five of surviving the coronavirus, given that my ninth decade is not too far off.

Can we be sure that the risk/benefit analysis which guides our decision makers during this pandemic is correct?

Bob Scott, Drymen.

TODAY Northern Ireland introduces a curfew of 11pm for pubs and restaurants. That sounds very civilised. Scotland’s curfew of 10pm is, by contrast, unreasonably restrictive. It means that restaurateurs have to ensure that patrons are off the premises before 10pm so that the doors can be closed at 10, which is quite an early hour of the evening. It is not clear why 10pm is deemed so crucial. But it reminds me of the student residence for women that, long ago, had a rule that men had to be off the premises by 9pm. When a move was made to extend this to 10pm, on the grounds that anything untoward could easily occur before nine, a senior professor responded: "Yes, but between nine and 10 they can do it again".

If the argument is that people will have drunk more by 11pm, those making that claim might consider that one of the arguments in favour of abolishing the old 10pm pub closing time was that people gulped down drinks to satisfy their need before 10, whereas there would be a more leisurely attitude if there were a longer opening time. I wish the Northern Irish well in their more relaxed regime.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

FRASER Grant (Letters, September 30) berates me for implying that the Scottish Government has not prioritised the need to address the Covid situation. What I actually wrote was that Scotland had fared little better than other UK nations. One set of figures used by Mr Fraser to argue his case showed that Scotland has had 17 per cent fewer excess deaths than England. However, in its summary of the current situation, the Centre for Constitutional Change put this into proper perspective, saying: "Scotland's apparent better performance may be partly illusory, given its historically poorer health performance and should be accounted for in making such inter-nation comparisons." Further to this, the present R Number published by the Office for Statistics Regulation shows a range of 1.2-1.4 for England compared to 1.1- 1.6 for Scotland. This give the lie to Nicola Sturgeon's frequent bogus claim that the Covid rate in England is five times than in Scotland.

Here is yet further evidence of the First Minister's unflagging ability to weave her amazing verbal web of misinformation, denials and half-truths, interwoven with threads of thinly veiled political malice. Sadly these have been the hallmarks of her administration.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso.