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Written Statement: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update


Further to my statement on 18 March, I can confirm the Chief Medical Officer has issued the following guidance to NHS Wales.

The novel Coronavirus was genetically typed and identified on 7 January 2020. 3 weeks later the specialist virology centre within Public Health Wales had commenced testing for this virus. Testing capacity has continued to be ramped up and Public Health Wales now has capacity for over 800 tests per day. 

From 1 April, this will increase by a further 5,000 tests per day (total – 6,000 daily).

From 7 April, this will increase by a further 2,000 tests per day (total – 8,000 daily).

By end of April, Public Health Wales are aiming to have capacity to undertake up to 9,000 tests per day in Wales.

There is also a significant amount of work progressing at a UK level to roll out a new test. There are no estimates currently available to indicate when this will be available or the numbers of new tests that can be performed daily in Wales, but I will provide this information when we have a clear indication.

I would like to remind everyone that self-isolation and social distancing are absolutely fundamental at this stage if we are to delay the spread of this virus. We all need to follow this advice now to protect each other and our families and to help ensure our NHS is not overwhelmed with cases.

As ever, I will keep you regularly updated.



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