PLAID Cymru Leader Adam Price has called for swift action to fix testing difficulties ahead of “growing urgency”

Plaid Cymru has today called for urgent action to address Wales’ testing difficulties in light of new figures that show Wales could have the highest R number in the UK.

As of the 11th of September, the London School of Tropical Health and Medicine reported that the R number for Wales was 1.43, the highest rate of growth in the UK.

Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price called on the First Minister today to clarify whether the Government recognised these figures and what their latest estimates show.

The First Minister confirmed the latest figures from the Technical Advisory Cell summary show that the R number for Wales “has crept back” to be above 1 but did not specify what it was.

Mr Price called for urgent action to address difficulties with testing – including those with the UK Lighthouse Lab System – to ensure that Wales has sufficient tests to open up testing to include everyone that has come into contact with people with Covid-19.

When a person is diagnosed with Covid-19, currently only those contacts who display coronavirus symptoms are encouraged to come forward for a test.

Mr Price called for the new network of hot lab facilities to be made available before November “given the growing urgency of the situation.”

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said:

“The London School of Tropical Health and Medicine, as of the 11th of September, are reporting R for Wales as being 1.43, the highest rate of growth in the UK and a doubling time of approximately 6 days.

“This is deeply concerning – firstly that this increase to a level above 1 has been confirmed by the Technical Advisory Cell, and secondly, the speed at which infection has spread through all counties of Wales.

“Given the growing urgency of the situation – and the difficulties with the UK Lighthouse Lab System – we must bring the new network of hot lab facilities being planned on-stream earlier than November.

“And as capacity grows Welsh Government must look at testing the asymptomatic contacts, as many countries, including the United States, have now begun to do.

“Changing the testing parameters in order to identify those who are actually infectious so we can concentrate our efforts on isolating and treating them is key to stopping the spread.”

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