Flawed Welsh Government exit strategy "built on sand" says Plaid Leader Adam Price
The criteria set by Ministers to lift the lockdown offers “more heat than light”, Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has said.
The Exit Plan ‘framework’ is a “pale imitation of a more comprehensive document published by the Scottish Government”, Mr Price said.
Detailing his concerns, the Plaid Cymru leader cited several flaws in proposals set out by Welsh Ministers.
It says nothing about the R rate and the need to keep this below 1. (In epidemiology, the basic reproduction number of an infection can be thought of as the expected number of cases generally directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection)
Testing and Tracing
No reference is given to examples from other countries of either how lockdowns have been avoided through widespread testing and contact tracing (South Korea, Hong Kong etc), or have been eased.
It contains no plans for implementation of the measures everyone accepts are needed – for example how testing and contact tracing is going to be stepped up. No numbers or targets are given.
There is no concise summary of the criteria or tests for easing the lockdown (you have to work it out yourself). No graphs or diagrams to explain why social distancing works (unlike Scotland’s strategy). No examples are given for proposed lifting of restrictions and how they would be evaluated against the criteria currently.
There are no action points for the Welsh Government – it names Public Health Wales as the body to co-ordinate some responses. There is no mention of local authorities and what their role is. It contains no detail on the infrastructure needed to lift restrictions and how the WG intends to build this up.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said,
“This strategy is built on sand. It is a pale imitation of a far more comprehensive document published by the Scottish Government.”
“It contains scant detail, no reference to how the infrastructure required to lift lockdown will be achieved, and no data on where we are in the epidemic or how things are expected to progress in the coming months.”
“The truth is that unless the Welsh Government are able to create the testing and contact tracing capacity – which they have failed to do so far despite all the promises made – we cannot safely lift restrictions without seeing another outbreak. What we’ve had so far is more heat than light.”
“Plaid Cymru has already called for this infrastructure to be created and our universities and local authorities are more than willing to step up to the challenge. They need leadership and co-ordination to be able to do so, but these vital elements have been missing in the Welsh Government response so far.”