SIR: Of course we are indebted to our healthcare workers during these existential times, but the letter from healthcare worker, Catrina Rogers (‘Alarmist’. Chronicle June 25) requires correcting. Ms Rogers claimed the differences in demographics between Winchester and Australia invalidated the Chronicle’s headline “More Covid-19 deaths than Oz” (June 11).

As any statistician will tell us, the demographics dimension pales into insignificance when the populations of two vastly different sample sizes are taken into account. Winchester, with its population of approximately 124,000 (WCC projection, 116,600 at the 2011 census) is dwarfed by the Australian population of approximately 25.5 million. This means Winchester had, at the time of your article, approximately 8.3 Covid-19 related deaths per ten thousand inhabitants. At the same time, Australia had 0.04 Covid-19 related deaths per ten thousand inhabitants. I’m sorry to express these extremely distressing figures in such a stark manner, but demographics cannot simply explain them away.

I was in Australia when the Coronavirus epidemic hit. The Australian Government (which is of the same political persuasion as our government here) acted decisively and with speed. Visits to aged care homes were banned. Schools were closed and social distancing measures were put in place early through co-ordination of federal and state governments (Australia is a federation, with different laws in different states). The country shut its borders, limited public gatherings, and carried out large-scale testing and contact tracing. A tracing app was rolled out in April. Here in the UK, our government has demonstrably failed to put effective measures in place. The figures do not lie.

No matter how much cheerleading and how many suggestions for more positive headlines Ms Rogers offers, I’m afraid we can’t escape the bare facts. I applaud this paper for reporting them in a meaningful way.

Charles Jennings,

Stanmore Lane,