Virus testing of NHS staff to be expanded; protective equipment available to social care staff

(Title Image: Simon Davis/DFID; copyright free)

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth), has said capacity for testing NHS workers and patients with suspected coronavirus/Covid-19 will be ramped-up over the next fortnight.

According to the latest guidance (pdf), patients admitted to hospital with pneumonia, respiratory distress and flu-like symptoms will be tested.

In terms of staff, frontline workers in acute care, A&E departments, intensive and critical care, primary care (GPs etc.) and ambulance services staff will be the highest priority.

By 7th April 2020, the Minister said Public Health Wales will have the capacity to carry out 8,000 tests a day.

Additionally, the Minister said that personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to social care staff providing face-to-face care in-home and residential care settings – though the guidance says PPE should only be used when providing care to someone showing symptoms of coronavirus/Covid-19.