Focus must be on ‘test and trace’ says Rhun ap Iorwerth as Wales joins UK-wide home testing scheme

Plaid Cymru have said the “real focus” should be on the implementation of a localised testing and tracing program as the Welsh Government confirmed today that they had joined a UK-wide home testing scheme and that it would form part of their test, trace, protect strategy.

Anyone over the age of five in Wales and the rest of the UK will be able to order tests if they have symptoms.

Mr ap Iorwerth said the Welsh Government would be under “even more pressure” to get testing “right” after it had previously failed to reach several testing targets before scrapping them altogether.

The Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister said getting the “right systems put in place” during the next few weeks should be the priority.

Mr ap Iorwerth added that the scrapping of the Wales only testing portal raised serious questions about “wasted time and cost”.

Wales has also joined a UK government run testing website after the Wales only Amazon portal was scrapped.

Welcoming the availability of home testing kits, Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth MS:

“The introduction of home testing kits are of course welcome but the focus must be on ensuring they fit in as part of a wider strategy and the implementation of a comprehensive and localised testing and tracing program.

“We’re all in agreement that we can’t even begin to significantly ease restrictions in Wales without having testing, tracing and isolating plans in place that we can trust.

“But after consistently failing to reach testing targets before scrapping them, the Welsh Government has put even more pressure on itself to get this right.

“We need to get the right systems put in place on the ground here in Wales, working with local authorities and others to build robust systems, using local expertise and intelligence – Ceredigion being a prime example.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added,

“The ditching of the Wales only Amazon plan raises serious questions and concerns about the Welsh Government’s handling of this. How much has this cost us in wasted time? Great if this is the best way, there we are. But it raises the questions why are we again in this situation with so much confusion?”