Wales ‘gazumped’ by Westminster on COVID-19 testing deal with Roche claims Plaid

PLAID CYMRU says it has held a mirror to the four-nations approach to reveal that Wales is firmly at the back of the queue

According to Plaid Cymru, Public Health Wales has finally confirmed the reason behind the Roche deal collapse: the Westminster Government gazumped the 5,000 daily tests that Welsh Government negotiated for the benefit of the Welsh public.

Chief Executive of Public Health Wales Tracey Cooper confirmed during today’s Senedd Health Committee that the Roche deal collapsed because of Westminster Government interference after questions from Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth MS.

Ms Cooper also said Public Health Wales was not aware of the 9,000 daily testing target set by Welsh Government.

Mr ap Iorwerth said the revelation raised “serious and fundamental questions” about how the Westminster government “views” Wales.

Mr ap Iorwerth said the so called four-nations approach had once again put Wales at the “back of the queue” when it comes to Westminster’s priorities.

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By the end of April, Welsh Government had promised 5,000 tests per day, rising to 9,000 by mid-May. Yet Wales still has days where only 900 tests a day are carried out – well below the 9,000 target set out by the Welsh Government.

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

“Public Health Wales’ confirmation today that the UK Government did step in to take 5,000 tests a day off Wales and to subsume them into the general testing pool raises serious and fundamental questions about how UK Government views Wales. What we’ve seeing is the gazumping of a deal negotiated for the benefit of the Welsh public, and Labour Ministers were too weak to stand up to UK Government.

“Once again, the four-nations approach puts Wales at the back of the queue. Wales needs to stand up for itself, and it is clear that we’re unable to do this under a party that consistently kowtows to Westminster.

“Now we still have days where fewer than 1,000 a day are tested, compared with the 9000 target promised by the Welsh Government. In a separate twist to a remarkable Health Committee meeting, the startling admission to me by Public Health Wales’s Chief Executive that she wasn’t aware of the 9,000 a day target also begs the question, what on earth is going on with Welsh Government’s handling of this crisis?”

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