THE leader of Swansea Council has urged people to follow the rules to limit the impact of what could turn out to become the second peak in coronavirus infections.
The good news for Swansea, said Cllr Rob Stewart, was that infection levels have remained fairly stable in recent days, unlike other parts of Wales and the UK.
Official figures suggest Swansea had 12.1 cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, a lot fewer than the Wales average of 35 and far fewer than Rhondda Cynon Taf’s 83.7. Ceredigion, with 1.4 cases per 100,000, had the lowest number.
Scientific advisers in England said the virus’s reproduction number is between 1.1 to 1.4, meaning it is spreading among the population. England-wide restrictions are being discussed.
“We have always been clear that a second wave was likely, looking at previous pandemics,” said Cllr Stewart. “We should not be surprised about that.”
The challenge, he said, was to minimise its impacts should it happen in Wales.
“That’s the big prize,” said the Swansea Labour leader. “And this time we are better prepared.”
It has been a tricky time for many pupils at Trallwn, Burlais and Dunvant primary schools along with Olchfa comprehensive sixth formers who have been asked to self-isolate in line with Welsh Government guidance.
Olchfa School, Sketty, sent home 455 learners on September 17 after a pupil tested positive for the coronavirus.
Cllr Stewart said there was a particular reason for this “safety first approach” at Olchfa.
He said: “One of the things we need to make sure is that bubbles which are formed in our schools are well controlled and well defined so that if an outbreak occurs it limits the numbers that have to self-isolate.”
He added: “Our priority is to protect pupils and staff, as well as families and the wider community.”
He said everybody, including university students starting the new academic year, should be focused on hand hygiene, social distancing and mask-wearing.
Cllr Stewart also urged parents to maintain social distancing when they dropped off and picked up their children at school.
“The majority of people and businesses are being really good,” he said.