Welsh Government must reach out internationally for PPE procurement
Plaid Leader Adam Price has called for the Welsh Government to change its approach to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and explore making its own deals with international suppliers.
The Welsh Government is largely reliant on the UK Government for procuring vital PPE used by those on the frontline fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Price has received correspondence from the Chinese Ambassador in the UK that the Country would be willing to “provide assistance” to Wales. The Plaid Leader has urged the Welsh Government to seek international cooperation on the procurement of PPE, including with China.
Earlier this week the Northern Ireland Government placed a £170m order for PPE with a Chinese supplier.
The First Minister has confirmed to Mr Price, who attends the Welsh Government’s Covid Core Group, the Government’s willingness for him to pursue international links in combating the disease. The Plaid Cymru Leader has also written to the Welsh Health Minister, Vaughn Gething AM, outlining the issue.
Adam Price AM said:
"Relying solely on Westminster to deliver adequate stock of vital protective equipment is too high-risk when lives are at stake.
“This isn’t about creating competition between different UK administrations, simply taking a belt and braces approach as the Northern Ireland Executive has done.
“The Welsh Government has three offices in China and its own airport to organise rapid shipment. I have already corresponded with the Chinese Ambassador to the UK who has indicated a willingness to help.
“The First Minister has previously indicated the Welsh Government’s willingness for me to pursue international links in the battle against the Coronavirus on behalf of Wales and I have now written the Health Minister to ask that officials pursue this opportunity as a matter of the utmost urgency.”