Posted: Wed 18th Mar 2020

Frontline medics in Wales to get coronavirus testing

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 18th, 2020

Welsh Government has said frontline healthcare workers will get testing for coronavirus.

In a statement the Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said the loss of essential workers for seven/fourteen days would be “detrimental” to the running of those health services.

Negative tests would allow those staff to return to work.

Dr David Bailey, Chair, BMA’s Welsh Council welcomed the move, he said: 

“BMA Cymru Wales has been calling for testing for doctors and health care workers as a priority, so we are really pleased our calls have been listened to.

“With priority testing, doctors and health care workers can be free to continue to treat patients safe in the knowledge they are not at risk of passing an infection on, while those who do need to self-isolate can do so in a timely fashion, minimising the risk to patients.”

Vaughan Gething said: “Keeping essential service workers off work for 7/14 days will be detrimental to the running of those services compared to providing a negative result that would allow them to return to work.

Therefore, based on careful risk assessment, a phased rollout of testing will commence starting with health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care.

Testing capacity is being expanded and is currently prioritised for patients, health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care and others where recommended by Health Board

Medical Directors. As a result testing capacity is being increased and guidance has been issued to the NHS.”

Wales and the other UK nations have moved from the containment phase to the delay phase of our response to COVID-19.

Following this move, testing in Wales has been prioritised for individuals requiring admission to hospital.

Current guidance for the public remains that individuals displaying symptoms of a new onset continuous cough and/or high temperature are being asked to self-isolate at home for 7 days and testing of these individuals is not routinely recommended.

Also, when any member of a household is symptomatic, the other members of the household should stay at home for 14 days.

 

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