A FURTHER 54 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, according to Public Health Wales figures released today (Monday, February 8).
Today’s figures show 38 new cases in Carmarthenshire, 11 in Pembrokeshire and five in Ceredigion.
Over a rolling seven day period of January 28 to February 3 PHW has recorded 264 cases in Carmarthenshire, 88 in Pembrokeshire and 41 in Ceredigion.
In Wales, 610 new cases have been confirmed and 12 new suspected Covid-19 deaths have also been reported by Public Health Wales.
The total number of cases in Wales is now 196,670, with 5,001 deaths.
Three more deaths were recorded in the Hywel Dda area, bringing the total up to 389 throughout the pandemic.
The total number of cases across the three counties is now 14,891 – 10,084 in Carmarthenshire, 3,140 in Pembrokeshire and 1,667 in Ceredigion.
There have been 11,013 tests carried out since the last report.
Across Wales, 603,976 have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 2,792 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:
“Today we reached a sobering milestone. There have now been 5,000 deaths of people with Coronavirus in Wales reported to Public Health Wales.
“That’s one life lost every 90 minutes since March last year. 5,000 families grieving. We offer our sincere condolences to everyone who has lost someone.
“Media reports regarding the effectiveness of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine against the South African variant of concern relate to prelimary data from a study involving a small group of people which is not yet peer-reviewed.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.
“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.
“The pressure on our hospitals is still severe, so it is extremely important that everyone sticks to the rules and stays at home as much as possible.”
“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 500,000 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.
“This is a crucial time. We must ensure that we stick to the rules over the next few weeks so that the number of cases continues to reduce and that hospitals can start to recover, while the vaccination programme is underway to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
“It is important to remember that all current variants of Coronavirus are still spreading and can cause severe illness and death. Therefore it is important to stay at home, and to reduce opportunities for spread by keeping your distance, washing hands regularly, and covering your face.
“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We ask that the public adopts the same mindset for this lockdown as they did in March 2020. We understand that people are fatigued but because the new, more infectious variant of Coronavirus is circulating across Wales it is vital that we all keep to the lockdown restrictions and do not meet other people.
“This means that you must stay at home. Shop online, but if you do need to visit essential retail then do this alone, if possible, to minimise numbers of people in retail spaces, and avoid stopping to chat with people outside your household. If you must leave home keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face mask when required according to the regulations.
“Public Health Wales is working closely with the Welsh Government as they deploy Coronavirus vaccinations through local health boards. Welsh Government is leading on the deployment of the vaccine in Wales.
“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.
“Members of the public should not phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine. When someone is in one of the groups eligible for the vaccine, they will be invited to attend a dedicated clinic which will have been set up to ensure patient safety and that of the healthcare professionals.
“UK nationals returning home from travel abroad must provide evidence of a negative Coronavirus test result taken up to three days before departure.
“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.”