Here's the latest Argus column by Islwyn's Member of the Senedd (MS) Rhianon Passmore:

FIGURES announced on May 19 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which includes fatalities in all settings, showed that, up to May 8, there were 1,852 deaths related to Covid-19 in Wales.

I welcome the Welsh health secretary’s comments that Wales will take a “deliberately cautious approach” to unlocking the lockdown measures when the next review of them is held on May 28.

As a socialist I fervently believe that all our actions in this arena must be governed by social justice. The forthcoming slow and cautious measures to ease the lockdown regulations in Wales must ensure that an increase in liberty is also enjoyed by the poorest in society.


We also know of the dangers of a hidden pandemic within the pandemic. Namely, those forced to live under lockdown rules with controlling partners who are able to remorselessly exploit government rules for their own invidious advantage.

We all long to see the day where restrictions on meeting people, from other households, outdoors will be eased.

We know that the virus is very likely to decay very quickly (a few minutes) outdoors in air and on surfaces exposed to sunlight.

The desire for grandparents to see grandchildren is felt across Islwyn.

Yet, the timing must be right. As the FM stated, Covid-19 thrives on chains of human contact. The lockdown and the new normal we will proceed to must seek to limit the chains. Otherwise we fear the sight of the virus spreading again.

At all costs we must stop a second exponential growth of this invisible killer.

As the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, started this week: “We have long said that a sense of community, solidarity, looking out for one another, and being interested in the well-being of other people has been something that we still have in Wales.

The thing I’m proud to say is that turned out to be true in practice right across Wales.”

As the Member of the Senedd for Wales I am proud to say that the people of Islwyn have risen to this time of world suffering with stoicism, good humour and a clear determination to beat this devastating virus.

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