The Communist Party of Wales, UK, has criticized the UK and Wales governments for covering up the details of Exercise Cygnus, a simulation study conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) in 2016 to analyze the hypothetical impact of a H2N2 influenza pandemic in the UK. The full details of the study have not been published. The Communist Party secretary Trevor Jones wrote to Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford on April 24, demanding an explanation as to why the Cygnus exercise results were not used in the fight against COVID-19 and the lack of government preparedness for the same.
Exercise Cygnus carried out in October 2016 revealed that such a pandemic would cause the UK’s health system to collapse from a lack of resources. To this day, a comprehensive report of the study has not been published by the UK government. Experts believe that the findings could prove useful for the effective containment of COVID-19 in the UK.
In his letter, Jones questions the Welsh First Minister and “why his government has not challenged the Tory government in London that didn’t publish the ‘Exercise Cygnus’ report in full.”
“NHS staff and the public have the right to know why its recommendations were buried instead of being acted upon,” he further added.
Welsh communists have called for ensuring sufficient Personnel Protection Equipment (PPE) for health workers along with ventilators, testing kits, etc. They have also demanded more testing facilities, laboratories and the transfer of Wales’ private hospitals under NHS control.
As of April 26, 9,078 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Wales and 788 people have died.