Positive Covid-19 results after mass testing pilot scheme in Wales

Published on November 22, 2020 by

Hundreds of people were tested for coronavirus, with six people testing positive, in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil as a part of a mass testing pilot scheme.

Rapid tests were offered to residents and people who work in the town, even if they did not have symptoms of the virus.

The mass testing pilot scheme comes a week after the town registered the highest number of new cases in the U.K.

The borough council said that 560 people attended the testing centre, with one resident saying, “Merthyr council is right to do this, to try and catch the asymptomatic people, people just walking around thinking it’s fine.”

The first person to be tested was Shirley Jones, 82, whose partner died the day before while awaiting cancer treatment which had been delayed because of COVID-19.

Mrs Jones said she couldn’t say goodbye to her partner because of restrictions, and urged other people to get tested in the scheme.

“I could have stayed in this morning and not found out because I was grieving, but I knew I had to do the right thing, and come up here for myself and for the community,” she said, “I pray to God that everybody who’s listening to me now, please come up and have a test.”

Kevin O’Neil, the leader of Merthyr Tydfil council, said the virus was spreading fast in the town because “houses are smaller, communities are condensed”.

The pilot scheme gave results within 20 to 30 minutes, and people who test positive being told to immediately self-isolate.

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