A Plaid Cymru candidate has pulled out of the Senedd election to concentrate on his work in treating Covid-19 patients.
Dr Rhys Thomas is a former army medic with the rank of Lt. Colonel who was contesting in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.
Dr Thomas has used his experience a senior consultant at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen to team up with an engineering company CR Clarke & Co in Ammanford to design the Covid Emergency Ventilator for people suffering from coronavirus, which was given the go-ahead by the Welsh Government.
The machine helps patients to breathe and also cleans a room of viral particles, ensuring that patients are only supplied with purified air.
This device is now being used in hospitals in Wales and several other countries. Dr Thomas has also developed a ‘virtual ward’ strategy to enable patients to avoid going into hospital by using new software and his CPAP device at home.
He is being replaced by councillor Cefin Campbell, who is member for Rural Affairs and Communities on Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board.
Dr Rhys Thomas said: “As one who believes passionately in Plaid Cymru’s vision for Wales, it’s been a very difficult decision.
“But as a doctor in these incredibly challenging times, I’ve had to dedicate all my time and energy to develop new ways of combating Covid-19.
“I hope my time to serve Wales as a politician will come again in future, but for now I have to serve my country as a clinician.
Dr Thomas added: “I’ve known Cefin for many years. He’s a very astute, enthusiastic, energetic, and intelligent person, with an incredible range of knowledge in so many fields. He’s a great communicator and would make an excellent and formidable Member of the Senedd.”
Cllr Cefin Campbell said: “I care passionately about the future of rural areas, the environment, decent housing and jobs for our young people in towns and villages, and tackling the poverty which exists in both urban and rural communities. I’ve dedicated much of my life during recent years to leading on action plans to address these issues.
“For far too long, this corner of Wales has been forgotten and neglected by the Conservative UK Government in London and the Labour Welsh Government in Cardiff. If elected, I’d fight tooth and nail to remedy that.
“Only Plaid Cymru puts the people of Wales first. We must fight our own corner for the sake of present and future generations.”