Plaid urge Welsh Government rethink to ramp up Coronavirus testing

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price and Health spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth AM have today called on the Labour Welsh Government to clarify whether or not they will be ramping up surveillance testing in Wales as a means of creating a fuller picture of the extent of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Rhun ap Iorwerth also pointed to Scotland’s Covid-19 helpline for businesses who will face growing uncertainty in coming weeks as the outbreak takes its toll on the economy, arguing that a similar helpline should be set up in Wales.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said:

"This is an increasingly concerning time for everyone. People across Wales are taking sensible steps to self-isolate if they show symptoms of a new persistent cough or fever.

“It is vital that we grow public confidence by providing as much clarity as possible over the outbreak. That is why we are asking the Labour Government to clarify the situation regarding surveillance testing – a means of providing a fuller picture of the true extent of the outbreak.”

“The World Health Organization’s guidance is clear - you can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is. Find, isolate, test and treat every case to break the chains of transmission. Every case we find and treat limits the expansion of the disease.”

Plaid Cymru’s Health Spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth added;

“With three of north Wales’s Covid-19 testing centres closing, I’m concerned that people will not have access to prompt testing as they have been.”

“If we scale back on testing it will be increasingly difficult to model the spread of the virus.”

“We must also prioritise essential NHS staff and key public sector workers for testing as they will have a crucial role in the response to the pandemic.”

Responding to the likely economic toll of the virus, Rhun ap Iorwerth said;

“Our economy is likely to suffer a significant hit over the coming weeks as fewer people socialise in their communities and spend less money in local shops.”

“I want people to be given as much support as possible and that includes businesses.”

“Scotland has in place a COVID-19 Helpline dedicated to the concerns of business and this should be set up in Wales too without delay.”

“We are pleased that Welsh Government is giving us regular updates, and it’s vital that we all work together. But we also have to keep pushing to ensure best practice. There are currently a number of gaps that need to be filled which are a matter of concern.”

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