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The Welsh government does “not see the science” in recent extensions to England’s testing policy, according to Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething.

He also raised doubts about the benefits and validity of England’s 100,000 tests-per-day target and defended his own country’s decision not to extend testing to all care homes regardless of whether there is an outbreak.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is scheduled to lead the government’s press conference in around five minutes.

Joining him for the Downing Street briefing will be Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director for NHS England.

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World news | The Guardian

The Welsh government does “not see the science” in recent extensions to England’s testing policy, according to Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething.

He also raised doubts about the benefits and validity of England’s 100,000 tests-per-day target and defended his own country’s decision not to extend testing to all care homes regardless of whether there is an outbreak.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Gething said: “England have gone out and created lots of capacity very quickly and they’ve then gone out and used that capacity.

“The challenge is though, that from a policy point of view there is clearly a difference, but that’s partly because England decided that having set a big target they needed to go out and use all the tests.

“Now, other people will tell you about how many of those tests are actual tests, or tests that have been sent out.

“But part of the difficulty we’ve had is that the scientific underpinning for how and why you extend that policy isn’t something where there has been a fully informed debate in advance, and we don’t see that the science supports all of the differences in policy and the testing reach in England.”

Asked if Wales could increase its number of tests available, Gething said: “That capacity is being increased each week.

“For the current purpose of keeping people safe, in particular key workers, on understanding people in our healthcare system actually have coronavirus, we do have enough capacity.

“But the continued build-up of capacity here is being driven at what happens for us to be able to get out of lockdown.”

He also criticised the UK Government for including a testing centre in Cardiff on its test-booking website, despite it being under the control of the Welsh Government, and as such tells users that testing is “unavailable” in Wales.


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