First Minister Mark Drakeford has pubished ‘seven key questions’ as part of a framework to lead Wales out of the coronavirus lockdown.
The announcement was made on Friday (April 24), a day after the Scottish Government announced its exit strategy.
The seven questions are:
- Would easing a restriction have a negative effect on containing the virus?
- Does a particular measure pose a low risk of further infection?
- How can it be monitored and enforced?
- Can it be reversed quickly if it creates unintended consequences?
- Does it have a positive economic benefit?
- Does it have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing?
- Does it have a positive impact on equality?
It has also been announced that a Wales-wide programme of surveillence, case identification and contact tracing is being developed through the office of Dr Frank Atherton, the chief medical officer for Wales.
Dr Atherton said: “Action to ease the lockdown restrictions will need to be supported by a comprehensive public health response, which will need to be developed quickly and at scale.
“Across the UK, we have worked and put in place unprecedented measures to contain and delay the spread of coronavirus. We have also worked to reduce the overall impact of the virus by strengthening essential services, including healthcare.
“We are now working towards a new recovery phase to lead us out of the pandemic but only when the conditions are right.”
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer, the First Minister said the framework would “set out a series of tests that we would need to apply against any ideas for easing the current restrictions.”
Mr Drakeford said: “It will talk about how we are committed to using international evidence from countries who have moved beyond lockdown already, and it will set out the way in which we plan to have a surveillance programme in the community – a test, track, isolate approach.”
He also criticised UK Government for its “tendency to keep its cards too close to its own chest and then late in the day revealing their thinking to other governments”.
However, the Welsh Labour leader said he was “very confident” the lockdown has been successful.
He said: “The rate of transmissions in the community have been very effectively suppressed. It’s now below the level where one person who gets it infects one other person, and once you’re below that it means the amount of disease circulating is declining.
“I’m confident of that because you see the impact in the number of people being admitted to hospital for coronavirus, which is going down, and the number of people needing critical care, which is also going down.”
Mr Drakeford, who became First Minister in 2018, described the ongoing situation as “an economic crisis, as well as a health crisis”, and said the economy should be opened up in a way that gives workers “the confidence that it is safe to return to work”.
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