Rhun ap Iorwerth calls for Universal Testing of Social Care and Healthcare key workers

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said:

“When the disease was at its peak, every day our key workers risked their lives to keep our critical services running. As the retail, tourism and hospitality industries start to reopen and our key workers will naturally come into contact with more people, it’s important we afford them peace of mind that regular testing can offer.

“We have underused testing capacity. We know that some people with coronavirus are asymptomatic. Our key workers are, by definition, going to come into contact with more people. Why wouldn’t we use all our testing capacity in making sure our highest risk key workers can benefit from this early warning system?

“I’m calling on Welsh Government to routinely test all high risk key workers – symptomatic or asymptomatic – starting with those in a social care or healthcare setting. There should be a wider strategy to bring in more asymptomatic people across other high risk or ‘high contact’ sectors into the testing system. Care workers and some NHS staff already have access to asymptomatic testing in England. It’s a pilot that is being widened to include those key workers deemed most at risk, or who have the highest contact with other members of the public.

“Whether it’s in caring for our loved ones, running our essential services or keeping us safe from harm, our key workers have more than lived up to their name during this crisis. The least we can do is care for them in return.”