First Minister’s Questions today (March 17), focused – understandably – on the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Paul Davies AM – the Leader of the Opposition – acknowledged the importance of all parties and all constituent nations of the United Kingdom pulling together during this time.
Mr Davies highlighted the scenes of empty shelves in supermarkets, caused by panic buying, and the calls and other correspondence from worried constituents in relation to Coronavirus. He then questioned the First Minister on what the Welsh Government will do to endure that all people in Wales can access and buy the goods they need – especially those who are self-isolating.
He was concerned, too, at the Welsh Government’s and NHS Wales’s capacity for intensive care and high-dependency beds.
The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly also asked for more detail on the Welsh Government’s plan to cope with the likely and anticipated rise in demands on those providing social care.
He said that it is “… more important than ever that those providing care to people living in care homes have access to the latest guidance and advice available’, expressing particular concern that the social care sector is dominated by small owners of one or two residential care homes.
“Getting messages out to people is a bigger challenge when you have larger numbers of people involved and people who may not necessarily be as attuned to dealing with demands as large companies who are well set up and equipped to do this.”
Speaking later, Mr Davies said:
“While the Welsh Conservatives are poles apart from Labour and other parties’ members across the floor of the Chamber, we are not today, because a national emergency requires a national and unified response.
“And I am very pleased to see a unified response, all of us in the Chamber pulling together in the national interest. However, this doesn’t mean that we Welsh Conservatives will not be scrutinising the Welsh Labour administration’s continued response to this outbreak and we will continue to do that in the coming weeks and months.”