PPE from pandemic stockpile released to NHS and social care staff in Wales

The health minister Vaughan Gething says personal protective equipment (PPE) from the pandemic stockpile had been released to frontline NHS staff and social care workers in Wales.

He has authorised face masks, gloves, aprons and eye protection from the stockpile to go to Wales' 640 GP clinics and 40 out-of-hours services.

He said all 715 pharmacies have already received the equipment, which is also being released to social care providers and care centres dealing with suspected or confirmed cases.

Mr Gething said the resupply timeframe for some PPE was "uncertain" due to the "global push" for it.

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, he said: "I have asked for a hotline telephone and email contact to be provided to the Welsh Government Emergency Coordination Centre.

"That can be used in an emergency where PPE supplies have been disrupted or for where there has been an unplanned and unforseen surge in use."

Vaughan Gething spoke at a press conference in Cardiff on Wednesday morning

Mr Gething also talked about the Aneurin Bevan health board area, which currently has 248 confirmed cases of coronavirus - more than twice the number elsewhere in Wales.

"There is a particular cluster within the Gwent area but we don't think that is going to be the way that disease transmission works through the whole outbreak - that Gwent will be an outlier", he said.

"We are pretty confident, unfortunately, that the community transmission that is taking place will be seen in other parts of the UK and other parts of Wales.

"My bigger concern is actually that we potentially have a larger impact in Wales because Wales compared to other UK nations is typically older, sicker with more health challenges and poorer.

"My concern is that people heed the advice because otherwise we could potentially see a larger impact in Wales than other parts of the UK."

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