The coronavirus will change politics “profoundly”, with far more emphasis on building a health service than can handle pandemics and an increased focus on social justice, according to a Conservative AM.
David Melding, who represents South Wales Central in the Senedd, said that while the impact on the economy will be temporary the coronavirus would have a long term impact on the NHS.
“The world is made of glass,” David Melding said. “Things can change quickly.
“No panic but sombre realisation. That seems to be the mood of the country at the moment. But make no mistake: The now likely epidemic will change politics profoundly.
“That a health crisis can start in China and sweep over the world in months reminds us of the need for international governance. Co-operation based on rules and international law is set for a resurgence.
“And our concept of social justice is likely to be radicalised. How easy is it for low paid workers on insecure contracts to follow precautionary advice?
“Revealed starkly in a crisis, these fractures in society are structural and require nothing less than a transformative citizens contract – a New Deal for our times.
“And at a personal level, human fragility may increase our love of neighbour at home and abroad.”
Six cases of coronavirus have so far been confirmed in Wales. There are two in Pembrokeshire, and one each in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Cardiff and Newport.
Health officials said 634 people in Wales had been tested for coronavirus, as of Friday.
“The public can be assured that Wales and the whole of the UK is prepared for these types of incidents,” said Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton.
“Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.”
Public Health Wales said the latest patients were being treated in “clinically appropriate settings”.
“We’ve said for a long time we expect there to be more cases – and we expect more in the coming days and weeks as well,” said Health Minister Vaughan Gething.