Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth MS asks for more urgency on coronavirus test turnaround.

Plaid Cymru has called for a quicker turnaround on obtaining coronavirus test results. Scientific advice shows that the most successful testing programmes around the world are those that can return coronavirus test results within 24 hours. Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Shadow Minister for Health, has sought “further reassurance” that the test and trace elements of the programme are being speeded up and has asked Welsh Government to ensure that the efficacy of the test and trace programme is “true in all parts of Wales.”

In a paper published on Welsh Government website, the Technical Advisory Group confirms that the most successful Test, Trace and Protect schemes require test results within 24 hours. While the Welsh First Minister has stated his “ambition” to tests results back within 24 hours, currently only a third of tests are returned within these times. 

Mr ap Iorwerth has called for further reassurance that work is being done to speed up the whole testing process. He says that “a quicker return of test results will better enable Wales to contain local outbreaks” through the tracing part of the programme.

Mr ap Iorwerth has also called for regional breakdown of results to make sure there are no delays in some areas, following concerns from constituents that the testing process is slower in the north of Wales.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

 “We’ve heard from Welsh Government’s own advisers that successful test, trace and protect programmes are those that return coronavirus test results within 24 hours. The benefits are clear - if people have tested positive for coronavirus, the tracing element of the programme can be started more quickly, and we have a better chance of containing the spread. Similarly, for those who are not infected, they can return to the daily lives more quickly, and this might include key work.

“I seek further reassurance that the Welsh Government is making progress in speeding this up, as a quicker return of test results will better enable Wales to contain local outbreaks.

“I’m also calling for a regional breakdown for how long it takes to get test results. People in my constituency have raised concerns with the slowness of the testing process in north Wales. If one area of Wales sees delays in the return of test results, they’ll be slower to contact people who might be infected, and the whole local area is impacted.

“It’s vital that the test and track works effectively and quickly, and that this is true in all parts of Wales.