Posted: Mon 6th Apr 2020

Coronavirus data released for North Wales – but First Minister says ‘nobody actually knows’ true number

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 6th, 2020

The First Minister has said the 1,100 tests a day in Wales shows a ‘fraction’ of the current cases of the coronavirus.

It comes after a new crowd sourced data set was released, mapping COVID-19 symptoms across the UK, including for North Wales.

The information comes from the COVID symptom tracker project that has been created by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE – a health science company.

The research is led by Prof. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, and currently has around 1.8million people submitting data across the UK.

It includes information on a person’s health status and lifestyles, as well as any vulnerability issues. The information also tracks symptoms in an attempt to log and be more alert to to early symptoms.

Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said: “When combined with other symptoms, people with loss of smell and taste appear to be 3 times more likely to have contracted COVID-19 according to our data, and should therefore self-isolate for seven days to reduce the spread of the disease.

“This urgent research is only possible thanks to the 1.8 million citizen scientists logging their symptoms every day.

“This also gives us an evolving map of the UK of where symptoms are occurring two to three weeks before a strain on the NHS, which is why it’s vital to continue logging your health and symptoms, even when you feel completely healthy, and encourage others to use the app.”

The localised data shows for North Wales:

  • Wrexham has 2354 contributors and the data estimates 4.67% with symptomatic COVID-19
  • Flintshire has 2555 contributors and the data estimates 4.94% with symptomatic COVID-19
  • Denbighshire has 1594 contributors and the data estimates 3.32% with symptomatic COVID-19
  • Gwynedd has 1875 contributors and the data estimates 4% with symptomatic COVID-19
  • Ynys Môn has 1039 contributors and the data estimates 5.2% with symptomatic COVID-19
  • Conwy has 1946 contributors and the data estimates 3.49% with symptomatic COVID-19

People can also have COVID-19 and have no symptoms, but still able to pass it to others.

If the estimates are correct, the population of areas could mean 3,500 people on Ynys Môn could be showing symptoms, and nearly 7,000 in Wrexham.

Today we asked the First Minister Mark Drakeford if the indicated tens of thousands of people with symptoms in North Wales tallied with Welsh Government data.

The First Minister said: “I said in my introductory points that while we know through testing the number of people who identify as having coronavirus, that will be a fraction of the actual number because of the way it’s circulating in the community.

“When we quote these figures, nobody should believe that it is only those people have coronavirus. I think it’s important not to be too specific about how many people are out there, because nobody at all actually knows.”

You can view the full map here, or get more details on the project / app here.


You can view today’s brief & question and answer session in full on the video below:

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