Publish Operation Cygnus: Labour FM should listen to Labour Shadow Health Secretary
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price AM has called on the Welsh Government to publish the ‘Operation Cygnus’ findings after responses to written questions in the Senedd revealed that the Labour administration had received a copy of the report.
Operation Cygnus was a simulation exercise carried in October 2016 to estimate the impact of a hypothetical H2N2 influenza pandemic on the United Kingdom.
Mr Price said he agreed with the Labour Party’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP, who called for the Westminster Government to publish the same information, alongside the actions taken.
In April, Mr Ashworth said “[t]here are serious questions for ministers on what lessons were learnt from the Cygnus pandemic drill, which can only be answered by publishing its conclusions and the actions taken as a result”.
Ministers have been accused of covering up the report which allegedly showed serious deficiencies in the UK’s preparedness to deal with a pandemic.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said:
"We know that the Welsh Government has a copy of the findings of Exercise Cygnus – they must now publish its recommendations.
“Just as the First Minister's Labour colleague said, the public deserve and need to know what happened in this test so that we can learn lessons to help us now.
“We need to know exactly what specific actions the Welsh Government took to better plan and prepare our NHS for an inevitable pandemic in light of the report and its findings.
“This is not just interesting to the public, it is in the public interest to know what steps the Welsh Government took in terms of PPE, testing infrastructure, key equipment and their general preparedness for a global pandemic.
“It would be deeply hypocritical for Labour to say one thing in Westminster, but do another in Wales where they have the capacity to do so. I hope the First Minister will listen to his colleagues and do the responsible thing and publish the conclusions of the Operation Cygnus report they received.”