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  • Vaughan Gething AM (Chair)
  • Rebecca Evans AM
  • Lesley Griffiths AM
  • Julie James AM
  • Eluned Morgan AM
  • Kirsty Williams AM
  • Jeremy Miles AM
  • Jane Hutt AM
  • Hannah Blythyn AM
  • Julie Morgan AM
  • Dafydd Elis Thomas AM
  • Lee Waters AM
  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary
  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister
  • Will Whiteley, Head of Cabinet Division
  • Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer
  • Reg Kilpatrick, Director Local Government
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
  • Sara Faye, Special Adviser
  • Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
  • Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
  • Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Andrew Goodall, Director General Health
  • Andrew Slade, Director General ESNR
  • Sioned Evans, Director Business and Regions
  • Chrishan Kamalan Deputy Director Coronavirus


  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford AM
  • Ken Skates AM

Item 1: Introduction and Chair’s items

  1. The Minister for Health and Social Services informed Cabinet that he had been asked by the First Minister to chair the meeting, which had been arranged to consider the latest risk assessments and Welsh Government preparations for the spread of the coronavirus (COVID- 19).
  2. The situation was fast moving and it was essential that all ministers were fully informed of developments. The 4 nation Coronavirus action plan, which outlined the response across the UK, had been published the previous day. This would help with the public information campaign.

Item 2. Latest risk assessment and advice: Chief Medical Officer

  1. The Minister for Health and Social Services invited the Chief Medical Officer to brief Cabinet on the latest risk assessment and advice.
  2. There had been 8 weeks since the first reported case in China. So far there had been over 87,000 cases world-wide, with just under 3,000 fatalities being reported in China. There were also serious outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Northern Italy.
  3. As of Tuesday, 51 cases had been identified in the UK, with more being reported overnight. Most of these were a result of people returning from infected areas, but 2 had contracted the virus from within the UK and more were expected. So far, there was only one reported case in Wales.
  4. Unlike seasonal flu, it was doubtful that the spring would bring about any improvements. The current emphasis was on containment and research phases, but planning for delay and mitigation was already in motion. This would allow the NHS more time to prepare for the escalation of infection.  
  5. Unfortunately, there would be sometime before a vaccine could be developed and there was no specific proven antiviral medication. Therefore, it was important to consider the implications beyond the NHS.

Item 3: UK government mobilisation and Health and Emergencies internal governance: Director for Local Government

The Minister for Health and Social Services invited the Director for Local Government to provide Cabinet with an update on UK government mobilisation and the internal governance structure for dealing with health and emergencies.

Item 4: Communications: Director: Head of Strategic Communications

  1. The Minister for Health and Social Services invited the Head of Strategic Communications to provide an overview of communication issues.

Item 5: Conclusion

  1. Cabinet thanked the Chief Medical Officer, the Director of Local Government and the Head of Strategic Communications for their presentations.
  2. Cabinet would have a further opportunity to discuss developments at its regular meeting the following Tuesday and a core group of ministers would meet each week on a Wednesday.
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