Stephen Doughty MP has said he is ‘hugely proud’ of communities in Penarth and the Vale for their response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

He told our reporter: “I particularly want to pay tribute to the Vale Council, their staff and all of our essential workers who have been doing so much to turn things around in such a small space of time.

“It’s also been amazing to see the number of voluntary and community groups stepping up, including people going out of their way to support vulnerable and elderly neighbours.

“It’s important that that happens with appropriate safeguarding in place so that we don’t spread the virus, but it is wonderful.”

He said he had joined hundreds of MPs this week in urging the government to provide support to the charity and voluntary sector. “It’s not just the salaries of the staff that need to be considered but also the shortage of supplies, and when incomes have dropped off massively for charities they may not be able to provide the services which are going to be so vital at this present time”, he said.

When asked why staff at the Ty Gwyn Care Home, where a case of the virus was confirmed last week, had not been tested, he said: “I have been absolutely clear for some time that care homes are a particular risk in our community and have urged that all non-essential visitors are stopped.

“I also welcome the decision by Vaughan Gething to make clear that front line NHS workers will be getting access to testing as we expand testing capacity and get PPE to the right locations.

“It is crucial that those involved in social and domiciliary care also have the necessary precautions and protections taken.

“However, the scale of this is unprecedented and that is why our NHS is being prioritised.”

He called for the chancellor to introduce an economic support package for self-employed workers.

“I have personally pressed the chancellor and others to urgently come forward with an equivalent package and my understanding is that this should be coming soon but they need to act urgently because every day which goes by means more livelihoods damaged or even destroyed.”