A maximum of 1,300 (26 percent) of the anticipated 5,000 Covid-19 (Coronavirus) tests are being achieved each day, the Health Minister admitted in a briefing earlier today.
In a statement on March 28, the Health Minister said that 5,000 antigen tests a day would be achieved by mid-April for people admitted to hospitals with suspected coronavirus, frontline NHS staff, and people who are classed as extremely vulnerable.
He added that there would be the capacity to reach 9,000 tests a day by the end of April.
The Shadow Health Minister – Angela Burns AM – commented:
“This is a scandal, and one has to wonder just what has happened in the last fortnight or so to so sharply reduce testing from 9,000 to 1,300 or less?
“I find it hard to believe his statement today that there has been insufficient take-up of existing testing capacity by public services, which he then clarified and said that it applied only to the facility at the City of Cardiff Stadium – which was shut yesterday.
“He didn’t appear to mention the take-up of testing in the Hywel Dda UHB area, nor say when testing centres will be opened other than in Cardiff.
“I have raised testing with him every single time we meet to discuss Coronavirus, and have expressed that in my view – and with anecdotal evidence from people who have contacted me – that the testing regime is overly complicated, drowning in bureaucracy, and fragmented, and therefore inconsistent across Wales, and poorly understood.
“Health Boards have different systems, county and borough councils have different systems, results appear to be very slow, and it seems that care homes are not clear what the system is, while Public Health Wales is slow in pushing out results. People are waiting days longer than they should for results.
“I am deeply concerned that if there is a struggle to get timely results when there is only capacity for 1,000 tests I am deeply concerned over capacity for 9,000 tests a day.
“There will be hundreds of key workers desperately waiting either for testing or their results, and this announcement today will do nothing to give them confidence as they battle to defeat Coronavirus, keep themselves safe, and keep us safe.”