PLAID Cymru Leader Adam Price has called on the Welsh Government to work with local manufacturers to produce face masks to give for free to the general public ahead of rumours the Westminster Government will ask people to wear face masks in public.
The Plaid Cymru Leader said government should provide free face masks to the general public to help stop the spread of the virus amongst asymptomatic carriers.
However, Mr Price said that to “avoid putting pressure” on the limited supply of masks available for frontline workers, Wales should be in a position where it is able to produce its own face masks through local manufacturers.
Mr Price added that the Basque co-operative Mondragon had recently announced that it had designed a production line “that could produce millions of PPE masks” and that he had facilitated discussions between the co-operative and Welsh Government on building the same production line in Wales.
The offer was being “actively considered” and a production line could be “available within weeks”, he said.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said,
“Government should provide face masks free to the general public to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus amongst people with no symptoms.
“However, to avoid putting pressure on the already limited supply of surgical PPE masks available to frontline workers, the Welsh Government should be making urgent provisions now in their PPE planning for the surge in demand for face masks available to the general public.
“This means putting Wales in a position where it is able to produce its own face masks for general public use which could be done through existing local manufacturers who have offered their services to Welsh Government.
“We are also aware that the Basque co-operative Mondragon has designed a production line that can produce millions of PPE masks for general public use and, after I got in touch to see if they were open to us building the same production line here in Wales, they confirmed a production line could be ready within weeks in Wales.
“I immediately put them in touch with the excellent team at Industry Wales and a decision by the Welsh Government on the Mondragon supply line is now being actively considered.
“Protecting frontline workers and the well-being of the general public must always be the priority.