TWENTY new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the Hywel Dda health board area, according to Public Health Wales figures released today (Wednesday, February 10).
Today’s figures show 14 new cases in Carmarthenshire, four in Pembrokeshire and two in Ceredigion.
In Wales, 323 new cases have been confirmed and 21 new suspected Covid-19 deaths have also been reported by Public Health Wales.
The total number of cases in Wales is now 197,344, with 5,032 deaths.
Seven more deaths were recorded in the Hywel Dda area, bringing the total up to 396 throughout the pandemic.
The total number of cases across the three counties is now 14,941 – 10,114 in Carmarthenshire, 3,155 in Pembrokeshire and 1,672 in Ceredigion.
There have been 5,728 tests carried out since the last report.
Across Wales, 655,419 have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 3,687 the second dose.
In Hywel Dda the health board has administered 52,926 vaccinations up to February 3 – 24,866 in Carmarthenshire, 15,986 in Pembrokeshire and 9,530 in Ceredigion.
A further 2,541 have been given to council or health board staff working in the area but living elsewhere.
Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“Although the data currently shows that on an all-Wales level the numbers of cases are reducing and that the incidence is now below 120 cases per 100,000 population, the rates in some areas – particularly in North Wales – are still at nearly double that, and there have been small increases in others.
“It is encouraging to see that the numbers of people being treated for Coronavirus in our hospitals is reducing, there are still a large number of people who are extremely ill, which means that the pressure on services is still very high.
“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We recognise that complying with the restrictions can be challenging, but Coronavirus is still active in our communities and can cause severe illness and death. The reduction in the number of cases does not mean that people can meet people from other households (apart from one person for socially distanced exercise), as this can cause the virus to spread.
“As a nation, we have made so many sacrifices throughout the course of the pandemic that we really don’t want to squander the gains that have been made in recent weeks.
“Media reports regarding the effectiveness of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine against the South African variant of concern relate to preliminary data from a study involving a small group of people which is not yet peer-reviewed. In trials this vaccine has demonstrated high levels of protection against COVID-related hospitalisation and death from 28 days after vaccination, and protection was reported to be consistent across trial sites, including in South Africa where almost all infections are due to this variant.
“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, socio-demographic and ethnicity, to have the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered it. We also stress the importance of seeking information from a trusted source such as Public Health Wales, the Welsh Government, local health board or GP.
“We continue to work to identify and investigate cases of variant Coronavirus in Wales. To date, 13 cases of the South Africa variant have been identified in Wales. Multi-agency investigations continue into two separate cases that do not have clear links to international travel. There are no cases of the variants associated with Brazil.”
“The vaccination programme, run by Welsh Government and the local health boards, is continuing at pace, with more than 600,000 people in the first four priority groups having now received their first vaccination.
“The UK variant of Coronavirus prevalent in many parts of Wales is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, and as reported recently there is evidence which suggests that it may lead to a higher risk of death than the non-variant. Public Health Wales welcomes the recent evidence that the ChadOx1 (AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine Group) vaccine is effective against the UK variant.
“We have been alerted to a number of increasingly sophisticated ‘scam’ emails in circulation claiming to be from the NHS which purport to offer appointments for vaccination. Coronavirus vaccines currently can’t be bought privately in the UK. Do not share any of your personal information. Correspondence will only come from your health board and your vaccination will be free.
“Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone. The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time and everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe.
“Under current UK Coronavirus restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.
“If you are due to travel out of the UK, please be aware of the changing situation and keep an eye on the FCO website for up to date details.
“If you or a member of your household develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test, either by calling 119 or by visiting www.gov.wales/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19.”