One in five offers of PPE help in Wales either fraudulent or not up to scratch, says First Minister
Around one in five offers of help to make Personal Protective Equipment in Wales have been found to be either fraudulent or not to have the correct quality certificate, the First Minister has said.
There has been a huge drive in the country to boost the amount of masks, gowns and other items available to frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.
On Tuesday a chartered flight carrying 200,000 fluid resistant gowns arrived in Cardiff from Cambodia.
The Welsh Government has been inundated with offers of assistance from businesses, schools and countless others.
But during a virtual question and answer session with AMs held yesterday, Mark Drakeford that not all of them were genuine.
He said: “I need to explain to members that not every offer of help turns out to be genuine.
“Almost one in five of offers subsequently investigated by the experts at our own surgical materials testing laboratory in Bridgend turns out to rely on incorrect certification or to be straightforwardly fraudulent.
“Each one of those offers takes time and effort to investigate and is an inevitable distraction from responding to the far greater number of generous and well-intentioned possibilities.
“Sadly, this virus has been exploited by some to prey on the vulnerable. The Minister for Finance and Trefnydd published advice last week on avoiding the risks of online scams and being vigilant to the serious risks this poses to vulnerable members of our community.”
Mr Drakeford described the latest influx of PPE as “important” and said it was secured through the efforts of the Welsh Government.
He added it would be shared with other parts of the United Kingdom if needed, as part of a mutual aid system.
He also highlighted a number of other positive examples where businesses have responded to the government’s call for action.
They include Transcend Packaging in Ystrad Mynach, which has changed its processes to make a million face shields a week for the NHS in Wales, with capacity to double the number if needed.
He added: “For the first time, we’re close to self-sufficiency in scrubs in Wales. By the end of next week, we will be making 5,000 a week, bringing back jobs from overseas and anchoring them in our Welsh economy.
“We have worked with a UK company supplying the NHS with scrubs, and primarily with three Welsh businesses and social enterprises.
“Two of these are in north Wales and the third is in a factory we have created from scratch in Ebbw Vale, in partnership with a social enterprise, creating jobs for 50 machinists who otherwise had been long-term unemployed.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com