Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has called on the Welsh Government to be on “24 hour hour watch” after a case of Coronavirus was identified in Wales on Friday (28 Feb).
In a letter to the Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister stressed the need for the response to such a “significant outbreak” internationally to be “swift and co-ordinated” to ensure public confidence.
Mr ap Iorwerth said the Welsh Government has to be on “24 hour watch” to “contain the virus” best as possible.
Mr ap Iorwerth urged the Labour Minister to “urgently clarify” what assessment the Welsh Government had made to the risk to public health and what “level of expertise” there was within the Welsh NHS to deal with the virus. Mr ap Iorwerth also questioned how many isolation units had been identified within Welsh hospitals.
The Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister also asked if the Health Minister would provide extra funding to the NHS to deal with the outbreak. Thanking health professionals for responding so quickly, Mr ap Iorwerth said the Welsh Government were obliged to tell the public how much resources they would be providing locally and nationally to ensure Wales could adequately deal with the crisis and to keep “citizens safe and away from risk”.
Writing to the Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said:
“The response to such a significant outbreak needs to be swift and co-ordinated to ensure public confidence. Therefore, the Welsh Government needs to be on 24 hour watch in order to contain the virus as best as possible.
“With that in mind can you urgently clarify what assessment the Welsh Government has made of the risk to public health? What is the level of expertise within the Welsh NHS to deal with cases of the virus? Have the neccessary isolation units been identified within Welsh hospitals?
“And without diverting resource from elsewhere, will you provide any additional funding needed to the NHS to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus?”
Mr ap Iorwerth added:
“It was all but inevitable that a case would be confirmed in Wales. I am grateful to the health professionals who have responded so quickly. We now need to ensure that they and the health workforce have the support they need to keep the public safe and ensure that any other new outbreaks are also quickly identified and isolated.
“Whilst people have no need to be overly concerned in Wales the public need to be told exactly what resources the Welsh Government are providing both locally and nationally to ensure Wales can deal with this in a way that keeps our citizens safe and away from risk.”