Testing capacity increased to identify Omicron variant in Cymru


Health Minister Eluned Morgan has today (Thursday 9th December) announced plans to increase capacity for identifying the Omicron variant in Cymru.


Public Health Wales has introduced "comprehensive testing" for probable Omicron results across Welsh NHS laboratories. A seven day a week service has been implemented, with a turnaround time of establishing variant details within 24 hours of an initial positive COVID-19 result.


In addition to increasing Welsh NHS laboratory capacity, Lighthouse Laboratories operating under the UK testing programme will also utilise technology to identify mutations associated with Omicron to identify probable cases.


Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “The emergence of the Omicron variant is a sombre reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. There is concern that the Omicron variant may be spread much faster than other variants. It’s important we try to delay the spread of Omicron in Wales, and to do so we need to rapidly identify cases. Throughout the pandemic testing has played a crucial role and we want to swiftly identify Omicron cases here in Wales. This alongside other measures already in place will help us once again to keep Wales safe.”