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Local & National News for Wales

TWENTY-five new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the Hywel Dda health board area according to today’s figures (Monday, March 15).

Public Health Wales data shows there were 16 new cases in Carmarthenshire, six in Pembrokeshire and three in Ceredigion.

Across Wales, 248 new cases have been confirmed and two new suspected Covid-19 deaths have also been reported.

The total number of cases in Wales is now 206,653, with 5,454 deaths.

No further deaths were recorded in the Hywel Dda area, with the total standing at 468 throughout the pandemic.

The total number of cases across the three counties is now 15,655 – 10,580 in Carmarthenshire, 3,338 in Pembrokeshire and 1,737 in Ceredigion.

There have been 10,140 tests carried out since the last report.

Across Wales, 1,122,931 have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 264,255 the second.

In Hywel Dda the health board has administered 149,334 vaccinations up to March 10 – 19,191 over the last seven days.

There have been 61,873 first doses and second doses 7,862 administered in Carmarthenshire, 42,382 first doses and 5,438 second doses in Pembrokeshire and 24,057 first doses and 2,565 second does in Ceredigion.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“Welsh Government has announced a phased approach to easing lockdown, starting with moving to a stay local requirement.

“From today, all primary school pupils and students in years 11 and 13 will return to school, and schools also have the flexibility to bring back years 10 and 12.

“We need your continued support to control the spread of Coronavirus, so please do not send your child to school if they are unwell, even if you are not sure if they have Coronavirus.  Please continue to work from home if at all possible.

“When you take your child to school, always keep your distance from other parents, wear a face covering, and don’t stay around and chat.  Please don’t invite other children or their parents to your home to play or stay, even outdoors, and even if they are in the same bubble at school.

“Make sure your child understands the importance of washing their hands regularly.

“Four people from two households can now meet outdoors and outdoor sports facilities can open.

“Indoor care home visits, by one designated visitor for each resident, can now restart.  Access to visits will depend on the circumstances of the visits and individual care homes will be able to provide information on how these visits can be facilitated.

“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, social demographic and ethnicity, to have the vaccine when they are offered it.

“Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the regulatory body, has said that it has not been confirmed that the reports of blood clots were caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.  It has said that given the large numbers of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.

“People’s safety will always come first. We continually monitor vaccine safety and we are keeping this issue under close review, but evidence currently available does not confirm this vaccine is causing blood clots. People should still go and get their vaccine when asked to do so.

“The weekly incidence of COVID-19 infections is now below 50 cases per 100,000  population in more than half of the local authorities in Wales, with the overall rate at 39.1 cases per 100,000.

“Coronavirus cases by variant in Wales are reported on the UK Government website.  The dominant strain in Wales is the Kent variant, and there is currently no evidence of widespread community transmission of other Variants of Concern in Wales.

“The Welsh Government also announced an expansion of workplace and community testing, with workplaces with more than 50 employees now eligible for support to regularly test their workforce, helping to reduce the spread of the virus and allowing them to operate safely.

“Restrictions on UK and international travel remain in place.  More information on current travel guidance is available on the Welsh Government website.

“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.”

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