Adam Price calls for ‘honesty’ from Welsh Government over collapsed coronavirus testing deal

A manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab. Picture by Tom Wolf (CC BY 2.0).

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has called on the Welsh Government to be “honest” about why the agreement between themselves and an unnamed private supplier to provide an extra 5,000 Covid-19 tests a day collapsed.

The Welsh Government said it was “disappointing” that the company had not been able to honour a “written agreement”.

But Adam Price said it “beggared belief” that the Welsh Government was refusing to say why the deal collapsed or who the company was.

Mr Price said it was in the “public interest” for the Welsh Government to be honest with the public and to “provide urgent answers” on what happened and why.

Plaid Cymru said some sources had suggested the UK Government was part of the reason the deal collapsed.

“Having blamed a company for failing to deliver on a vital agreement to provide an extra five thousand Covid-19 tests, it beggars belief that the Welsh Government is refusing to say why the deal collapsed and who the company was – especially if the actions of the UK Government scuppered the deal as some sources have suggested,” Adam Price said.

“It is in the public interest for the Welsh Government to be honest with the public and to provide urgent answers about what happened – and why.

“We were assured by Vaughan Gething that by tomorrow six thousand tests would be done per day. Now, because the deal fell through, we’re looking at only 1,100 tests being done a day. Wales will be even further behind on vital testing than we already were. Precious time has been lost and countless lives may now be at greater risk.

“Testing is one of the best weapons we have to defeat this pandemic by tracking and tracing the spread of the virus, and ensuring frontline health and care workers are protected and can go back to work.

“The Welsh Government shouldn’t be ‘disappointed’, they should be furious.”

 

‘Agreement’

Yesterday Channel 4 news named Swiss pharmaceutical and diagnositcs company Roche as a company that was involved in the collapsed deal.

However in a statement Roche said there had “never been a seperate agreement with Wales” to provide tests and that they had been working with Public Health England.

Public Health England told Channel 4 that “the UK Government has a contract with Roche to increase testing capacity across the UK”.

Today, Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething reiterated that there had been an agreement with a company, and that the company made a decision that they couldn’t fulfil the agreement, but declined to name them.

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Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

Whatever has happened its atrocious. Either way we’ve got unionist Governments who are playing with the lives of the people of Cymru/Wales. Didnt the WHO say TEST, TEST, TEST. Hasn’t it been predicted that us Welsh could be facing a similar situation to that in Italy if the correct action isn’t taken !!! One version we have WM scuppering the deal and the other is an incompetent unionist Welsh Labour government making a complete hash of everything. But, to me, worst of all we have Welsh Labour absolutely refusing to tell us, the people who they serve, what exactly is… Read more »

Hywel Moseley
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Hywel Moseley

Absolutely right. The mystery must be cleared up.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

European rumour mill;
China only sending protective equipment to countries which accept Huawei.
No proof, of course, but why the secrecy?

Gareth Williams
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Gareth Williams

So Westminser let the Welsh government do the hard work and then bullied their way to take the the Covid-19 Tests for themselves.

Andrew Robinson-Redman
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Andrew Robinson-Redman

Supply the verifiable proof if possible.

Hywel Moseley
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Hywel Moseley

Yes, very strange. The absence of any mention of the Glangwili/Ammanford device (what shall we call it) is a mystery. Sounds to me deliberate concealment. It needs to be publicized more effectively.

Hywel Moseley
Guest
Hywel Moseley

It is rather irritating that this software does not allow amendment after posting. I meant to say, but forgot, that the omission was by the UK government and the BBC.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

It usually does, but not at the mo’.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Testing (or developing the capacity to do it) should have been a priority from the very start. Not only is testing being slowed down in Wales for reasons that Gething refuses to divulge (keep badgering him, Adam) but there seems to be a desperate global scramble to acquire the chemical reagent necessary for the tests. Testing of the general Welsh public (which would lift the burden of lockdown to a degree, as well as helping to suppress the virus while research into a vaccine is continued) now looks like being a long way off. Germany now has a handle on… Read more »

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

The question for me was Michael Gove’s very convenient raising of a scarcity of “reagents”. Really? Which chemicals exactly? Germany is deploying millions of testing kits. Again which chemicals are these? Perhaps somone of our brilliant brains in medical, biosciences and chemical R&D facilities here in Wales can get the job done! As with breathing apparatus, masks and 3D faceguards! Name those chemicals and reagents!

Michael McGrane
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Michael McGrane

If the boot was on the other foot the company would be suing and stating that a contract had been signedand looking for damages. If true this gives the lie to Westminster ruling for the benefit of its four constituent countries. It’s like in – Animal Farm all are equal but some are more equal than others. We should have a written constitution like the US were Rhode Island is the equal of California or New York State.

KK
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KK

I would say that in some shape or form the Labour Party in Wales are complicit in this either by financial incentive or some other motive. If I were Vaughan Gething then I would not only be divulging who backed out but would also be kicking off about it all too but he seems muted. He knows far more than he is letting on I guarantee it. Whatever happened this much I do know – we need independence now more than ever. We cannot stand idly by becoming collateral damage to a government that is not only inept but also… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Fear.

Michael Cridland
Member
Michael Cridland

Adam Price is quite right to call for honesty, we see an agreement that involves saving lives collapses. And the Minister, glibly says that the why and the who’s is not important, and he needs to focus on the present and future, it’s sound to me like he is hiding something?? Here we need testing to save countless lives, and a company that promised that fails to deliver, we have the right to know. there is a precedent for honesty, Winston Churchill told Clement Attlee when they formed the Coalition government he said, “Atlee, we must always tell the people… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Anger in Scotland, because “UK has taken control of testing kits.”
Now then: Is this what lies behind the secrecy surrounding Welsh Labour Govs silence on the “deal”? Put this to memory.

Jo
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Jo

Loss of 5000 tests when we were promised 6000 tests per day.
The maths doesn’t add up

Huw J Davies
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Huw J Davies

“the UK Government has a contract with Roche to increase testing capacity across the UK”.
Call me twpsyn but doesn’t ‘across the UK’ include Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? (At the moment at least)
So why aren’t we getting our share of the testing kits that are meant to be for UK use, not just in England.