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Plaid Leader calls on First Minister to publish testing, tracing and isolation plan

PLAID CYMRU Leader Adam Price has called on First Minister Mark Drakeford to publish his plan for testing, tracing and isolating in the event of easing lockdown restrictions, calling failure to reach testing targets in Wales as a failure of “both governments”.

The Plaid Cymru Leader said Wales was 8,000 daily tests short of where it was “supposed to be”.

On the 21st of March, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said they were “aiming to have capacity to undertake up to 9,000 tests per day in Wales” by the end of April.

A total of 884 tests were conducted in Wales and approximately 8,000 in England on the 1st of April.

Yesterday, 1090 tests were conducted in Wales. In England, 80,000 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 09:00 on 30 April.

The Plaid Cymru Leader cited various failures on behalf of both the Welsh and Westminster government to meet the demand for testing. The Westminster Government, he said, “gazumped” the capacity for 5,000 daily tests from Wales following the collapse of the Roche deal whilst the Welsh Government “couldn’t stand up to them” and failed to make up the capacity themselves.

Mr Price said “both governments” should be “ashamed” of their failures.

The Plaid Cymru Leader called on the First Minister to publish the Welsh Government plan for testing, tracing and isolating in the event of easing restrictions, adding that the only way to “ever safely exit the lockdown” was with a “Wales-wide mass testing programme in place”.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said,

“We were due to conduct 9,000 daily tests yesterday. Instead, we tested just over a thousand –a mere two hundred more than where we were at the start of April and 8,000 short of where we were supposed to be.

“Whilst we’re standing still, the UK Government have managed to increase their daily testing tenfold. But of course this comes on the back of gazumping 5,000 daily tests from Wales following the collapse of the Roche deal.

“Westminster took our tests but the Welsh Government couldn’t stand up to them and utterly failed to increase testing capacity themselves. Both Governments should be ashamed of their failures.

“UK Labour Leader Keir Starmer has called for an increase in testing and tracing targets in England. Meanwhile, Labour-run Wales is only nation on these islands without any testing target and no clear plan for tracking and tracing.

“The only way we can ever safely exit the lockdown is with a Wales-wide mass testing programme in place of testing, tracing and isolating.

“The First Minister has said that Public Health Wales are “working on a plan” on community surveillance but two weeks later and we are yet to see it.

“The Welsh Government must urgently publish their plan for increasing capacity to test, trace and isolate. Give the public confidence that the lockdown will only be lifted when it is safe to do so – with a programme of widespread community testing, tracing and isolating firmly in place.

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