“Mixed” situation “developing” in North Wales as Welsh Government keep close watch
More area’s of South Wales will go into lockdown this weekend in an attempt to slow the spread of Coronavirus, with the picture in North Wales being ‘mixed’.
Health minister Vaughan Gething announced during today’s Welsh government briefing that Llanelli will go lockdown on Saturday, Cardiff and Swansea will follow on Sunday.
It means that almost half of the Welsh population are now facing new tougher restrictions.
People living in Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport are already subject to local lockdown regulations
Mr Gething said North Wales is currently seeing lower levels of coronavirus infections, but there’s evidence of an increase in positive cases – and positive proportions from testing.
The Health Minister will meet local authority leaders from North Wales next week.
He said: “We continue to keep a close watch on the situation in North Wales where the picture is mixed, cases overall are much lower than we’re seeing in South Wales at present.”
“There is evidence that COVID is increasing in some parts of North Wales. So we will be meeting North Wales local authority leaders next week to discuss the developing situation.”
Mr Gething added: “We’ve seen a more significant spread around the South, so we have to consider again whether we can take a local, regional approach or national approach.”
“We’ll be having meetings with colleagues across the government but also with local authority leaders through the weekend and we’ll have to make choices.”
“Because the pattern of coronavirus can change so significant so quickly it is possible that the decision we make on one day may change by the next day.”
It was revealed earlier this week that Flintshire, along with Denbighshire, Anglesey and Conway are now on the Welsh Government’s daily ‘watch’ list. That’s because the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 – over a seven day period – has reached a key boundary of cases per 100,000 population.
On Tuesday Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales said the four north Wales counties were now in the “amber zone” and the number of cases is being “closely monitored.”
Today we asked about the ‘mixed picture’ across North Wales and asked for detail on the comments, if it was closed settings or community transmission, and asked which areas were causing concern.
Mr Gething said: “You will have seen from the figures that we’ve published the local authorities giving us more cause for concern than others are in the middle of North Wales, Conwy and Denbighshire at present.”
“We are still testing regularly, our care homes in north Wales were picking up our positive cases within the staff cohort.”
“The good news is very low rates of staff members testing positive, less than 1 percent of all being tested, we’re not seeing a take-off from the community going in with staff into care home.”
“Our understanding is, we are seeing a similar pattern to South Wales where increases are primarily driven by personal contact by people not following the rules on household contact, or indeed if they’re going out and seeing people in indoor venues.”
“It is still the same message, reduce your household contacts, make sure you follow the rules and make sure that you don’t have people who don’t need to be in your own home, because that’s a bigger risk for you, your friends, and your family
“Follow the rules if you’re going up for a drink or a meal as well. We want businesses to do the right thing. But we need customers to do the right thing, as well.”
You can view the briefing and Q&A session below:
Yn fyw nawr gyda’r Gweinidog Iechyd Vaughan Gething | Live now with Health Minister Vaughan Gething https://t.co/RtizAs2hjz
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) September 25, 2020
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