VISITING loved ones in care homes is right at the top of the agenda for many, not just those with loved ones in that situation, but for decision makers also/ like politicians. David Bol's article last Friday ("Urgent appeal to relax visiting rules for distraught care home residents", The Herald, October 2) was very moving and included pleas from politicians of all parties to ease the restricted visiting.

However, this action could indeed present an altogether wider problem which could have a catastrophic impact on the safety of those very loved ones. Relaxing the visiting regime will certainly put the safety of the staff (those caring for the loved ones) at a greater risk and their safety must be taken into consideration for them, their families and ultimately to allow them to continue to care for the residents at the centre of this issue. As the First Minister has reiterated time and time again, "we all care deeply about this issue and these decisions on this issue are probably the toughest". Tough as it is, we must consider the bigger picture, those loved ones are being cared for in their care home settings. Opening the doors could ultimately close the doors if the correct number of staff are not available to care for them.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

I WAS angry months ago when I realised the Scottish Government had allowed older people with Covid-19 to be discharged to care homes – a disastrous scandal that cost us up to 1,000 lives.

Now we watch, dismayed, as young students and their families are treated so badly when, as Alan Simpson rightly says, "a blind man could have seen it coming" ("Covid rules are a danger ...and no longer make any sense", The Herald, October 1) Surely pre-admission Covid tests and/or temperature checks would have have gone a long way to prevent this mess?

It is hard not to believe that the Universities prioritised income over the health of their students and staff. They have a duty of care that they have not fulfilled.

Now we may be heading to another lockdown. In my view, case numbers will fluctuate for months to come. Distancing, masks and hygiene, if adhered to, should be sufficient, whilst we also protect those severely at risk.

The Government is using the general population to reduce prevalence, with nothing but lip service paid to the harm being done to mental health and the economy.

Cancer and heart disease are going untreated.

Surely a change in direction is urgently needed, rather than ploughing on with sledgehammer policies that only serve to grind us down?

Put more money and better organisation into testing, tracing and prevention, please, First Minister.

Lyn McLean, Falkirk.

PERHAPS some more investigation should have taken place before apparently placing the blame on the public for not contacting the doctors ("Hidden toll of pandemic as patients stay away from NHS", The Herald, October 2).

Our surgery will not let you see a doctor until you tell the receptionist the problem and then they decide if a doctor should call you back to discuss the problem. That puts a lot of people off phoning in the first place.

If people wear gloves and masks like we do I don't see the problem of going to the surgery like we did pre-Covid, and after all, the staff there can all wear protective gear as well.

Tom Somerville, Dunbar.

YOU report that the President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) has expressed concern about the indirect effects of Covid-19 on the health and welfare of patients.

It is possible that, in retrospect, the number of deaths resulting indirectly from Covid-19 will be found to have exceeded those due to the infection itself.

It is noticeable that the daily death toll includes those who have died for any reason within 28 days of having been diagnosed with the virus, and not simply those for whom death was directly attributable to the infection.

Statistics do not take into account the misery and loss of quality of life resulting from delays or cancellations of elective surgery. These are real considerations for those affected yet are not easily quantifiable.

Time to view the broader picture of the effects of the outbreak rather than on bald statistics, important as these are?

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.