New coronavirus cases in Wales continue to decline – however 885 COVID-19 related patients remain in hospital
The number of new coronavirus related cases across Wales are continuing to decline – however the head of the Welsh NHS said today there is the equivalent of three large hospitals full of COVID-19 patients.
Speaking at today’s Welsh Government briefing Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, said that nearly all local authority areas in Wales are now reporting small numbers of positive cases – with many reporting zero cases.
Currently new daily case totals remain highest in North Wales.
Around 7000 people have been discharged from hospital who had COVID-19 related admissions.
However it was stated that there are still 885 coronavirus related patients in hospital beds in Wales.
Mr Goodall said: “The number of new cases has been steadily declining since April. Even though we are doing many more tests.
“The test positivity rate has declined to under two per cent and the number of people dying from coronavirus has been falling since the middle of April
“Most people who have had coronavirus have not needed hospital treatment.
“About 28 per cent of our acute hospital beds are empty. That’s around 1,850 beds. There are 885 COVID related patients in hospital beds. This is lower than last week and has reduced over the last two weeks.
“Whilst lower, this still means the equivalent of three large hospitals full of COVID related patients.
“There are 335 available critical care beds in Wales, including our additional capacity. Around 60 per cent are empty and available for use. 32 people are being treated in critical care for coronavirus. This is again lower than last week and the lowest since the 25th of March.
“The majority of people being treated in critical care now do not have coronavirus, which importantly shows more NHS work is taking place.”
Looking ahead to the next stage of returning to non-coronavirus related services, Mr Goodall said that there will have to be changes in many NHS environments in Wales as part of the “new normal.”
This could include the installation of plastic screens at reception areas, hand sanitiser stations, and the redesign of appointment systems to limit the number of people coming in and out of clinics at any one time.
Mr Goodall added: “We’re still limiting those needing to physically attend our healthcare facilities by accessing alternative services, maintaining changes in practice and use of technology, even whilst we are taking steps towards resetting and restoring NHS activity.
“We will need to promote the new normal experience for patients passing through our system.”
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