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Health Minister says company involved in collapsed deal for testing kits 'will not be named'

Wales' health minister has spoken of his disappointment after a deal to provide an extra 5,000 coronavirus tests per day collapsed.

Vaughan Gething said there had been a deal for the firm, who he refused to name, to increase testing capacity in the nation.

Last week he announced that the company which the Welsh Government had a written agreement with to provide tests was ''not able to honour that agreement.''

Around 1,100 tests are taking place for coronavirus in Wales every day.

The hope was for 6,000 to be taking place.

He told a press conference in Cardiff that there was "no getting away from the fact that those additional tests that we were due to have would have made an earlier difference for us".

Mr Gething said: "We're absolutely not going to name the company that were due to provide 5,000 tests for Wales, we've been really clear about that." Both he and the First Minister voiced their disappointment at the collapsed deal. "Our objective is to get more testing available and to focus on delivering that."

Around 1,100 tests are taking place for coronavirus in Wales every day. Credit: PA Images

He added, "We had a clear agreement for that company's team to come into Wales to set up the infrastructure required to provide those additional tests.

"I've always been clear about my disappointment that hasn't happened."

Instead, he said, the focus must be on providing more tests with the resource available.

We are not going to be getting into naming a company, our focus has got to be on providing more tests with the resources and the routes that we have got. We've diversified the range of people we are working with.

Those additional tests we were due to have would have made an earlier difference for us.

– Vaughan Gething, Health Secretary

Speaking on ITV Wales Sharp End programme, Mark Drakeford said they could ''make good'' on the tests they were due to get by being part of a consortium of suppliers. He said, ''It will take a short while longer but we’re talking days rather than weeks.''

In his press conference, the Health Minister also said says no part of Wales would be prioritised over another in terms of plans for field hospitals to deal with coronavirus.

It comes after a number of sites, such The Principality Stadium, Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli and Bluestone National Park Resort, were confirmed as sites that will be converted into treatment or recovery centres.

Work is already underway at Parc y Scarlets to create up to 500 extra beds Credit: Carmarthenshire County Council

However, several politicians said North Wales must not be "overlooked" in the fight against coronavirus. work is yet to begin on any site in north Wales. Betsi Cadwaladr, said three potential sites have been earmarked but they are still working to "finalise" the plans.

You can watch the latest press conference on the coronavirus outbreak below:

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