Under-reporting of coronavirus deaths in north Wales will be 'put right'

First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the error in reporting some coronavirus deaths in north Wales will be "put right."

An investigation was launched after 84 deaths were missed from the data provided by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

At the Welsh Government's daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Drakeford said that he is waiting to see the finished report later today.

He added that it is likely that the mistake had been made due to health boards using different mechanisms to record coronavirus-related deaths.

The First Minister emphasised that he is "committed to putting conclusions and solutions" from that report, "into the public domain."

When asked about testing in care homes, the First Minister said that as of last week, Welsh Government policy is to offer all care home staff and residents testing. He said the change in policy was not based on scientific reasoning but because they recognise the human dilemmas and "anxiety" people are facing.

However, he could not promise that this policy was currently being enacted in every care home across Wales.

Mark Drakeford also addressed the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

He said that they had recently received 10 million masks from China as well as having a "generous offer of masks" from the Vietnamese embassy.

He added, "We continue to work to secure further orders of PPE from a number of other international suppliers but we also need an indigenous effort as well.

"One of the lessons we are learning from the global nature of the pandemic is that we can't simply reply on supplies from overseas, we have to have a home-grown supply of essential equipment."

Mark Drakeford emphasised the need for a 'home-grown' supply of PPE so Wales is not solely relying on international suppliers Credit: PA Images

ITV Cymru Wales asked Mr Drakeford what discussions Welsh Government was having with Airbus and Tata after both companies made worrying announcements about the future of their businesses.

Tata Steel announced last week that they were seeking a loan from the UK and Welsh governments in the region of £500m after global orders slumped because of coronavirus.

Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government is in talks with the steel plant in Port Talbot but they would not be able to provide anywhere near the £500m. He made clear that "the UK Government has to step into this space" in order to address the "global" problems facing airlines and the steel industry at the moment.

A UK Treasury spokesperson said that they will not comment on individual firms. Where large firms apply for help going beyond existing assistance schemes, they can come to the UK Government and Treasury with their requests. They added that any decision will be led by the taxpayers' interests.

Airbus, who have a factory based in north Wales, are also under pressure as reports emerged that the aerospace company is "bleeding cash."

  • Watch the full press conference here:

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