Great Britain

Even children's hospitals in Melbourne have been hit by Coronavirus racism – I've never been more ashamed

Yes, we have a coronavirus outbreak, perhaps a pandemic in the future, but the hysteria surrounding it is ridiculous and often racist.

There are reports that people paranoid about being exposed to the virus have started to panic-buy food and virtually anything they think they might need. It's all becoming very silly. 

Some of the parents with children at the Melbourne Royal children's hospital have actually refused to let Asian doctors and nurses treat their children, despite the fact that medical professionals know much more about the virus and how to maintain a healthy regime. 

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The local Asian restaurants in Melbourne are virtually empty, and some have closed, maybe permanently, as many of their regular customers fear the virus. They may not realise that most "non-Asian" restaurants have a wide range of employees and any health risks of eating in these establishments are the same as they are anywhere. Again, this is silly, economically damaging and racist.

It's time to listen to the people who know what they are doing – the medical experts, not the politicians or the paranoid.

Dennis Fitzgerald
Melbourne, Australia

Heathrow Ruling

The Court of Appeal ruling against the third runway plan at Heathrow will be welcomed by many.

For months now it has been clear that expansion would have meant unacceptable social and environmental consequences. The Airport would now do well to concentrate on becoming "better" rather than "bigger".

The Rev Andrew McLuskey
Address supplied

Untrustworthy government

Regarding the letter from the many academics about the housing shortage (Letters, 26 February), is it any wonder that Iain Duncan Smith, architect of the discredited Universal Credit scheme, should also get it wrong on this issue too?

Whenever I see him interviewed on TV or quoted in the press, I am reminded once again of how many narrow-minded, myopic politicians there are in the government we elected. With every week that passes, we learn about its latest ill-thought-out ideas to address (or fail to address) the myriad issues which abound, plus the Brexit negotiations still to come. It surely can be only a matter of time before it backfires and the public comes to realise what a mistake it made. 

Vic Gaunt

HS2 versus social care

On Wednesday, in his Voices article ("The social care crisis is out of control – and Priti Patel’s curb on migrant workers will push costs higher"), Vince Cable quoted a Kings Fund estimate of £10bn to fully fund a free care system in line with the current free NHS, implying this would be prohibitively expensive. Compare that with the estimated £100bn to shave a few minutes off the journeys times of those wanting to travel from Birmingham to London and we can easily see where this government's priorities lie.

G Forward

The Jamaica 50

The callous disregard for the families of the supposedly dangerous foreign criminals the Home Office is desperate to "remove" to Jamaica ("Jamaicans whose removal was ruled unlawful by courts still detained and apart from families two weeks on", 26 February) is strongly reminiscent of the crude racism of the apartheid government of South Africa.

One of these black men served two months in prison 10 years ago for an offence that is no longer an offence. Who does the Home Office think it is kidding?

D Maughan Brown

Nespresso and the climate

George Clooney is, apparently, “surprised and saddened” by claims that children work on coffee farms associated with Nespresso. Good. I hope he is also saddened that Nespresso is, in my opinion, ridiculously over-packaged, and is probably not very good for the planet. I wonder whether he's ever made coffee any other way? 

Beryl Wall
London W4