“WE face a virus which is cruel and relentless, especially in its pursuit of the most vulnerable.
“As cases rise again and pressure on our NHS increases, we need further national effort. We’ll work with partners this weekend to finalise arrangements and major financial support.”
That was the main message from the First Minister of Wales today, Friday (Nov 27) during his briefing.
The First Minister said that the numbers of Covid cases were beginning to rise again across Wales and that the advantages of the firebreak have begun to fade. He said that 16 out of the 22 local authorities had seen a rise in cases over a rolling seven-day period.
There are now 187 cases per 100,000 population when it was 160 last week. “It shows how quickly it can change.” He said.
The First Minister said that each and every death represented a family grieving and that there had been an increase in cases in the under 25’s.
He gave the latest R number as around 1.4.
The First Minister reiterated the need to protect the NHS, which he said was under ‘sustained pressure’. He said that there were 1,700 people with Covid in hospitals across Wales whereas it was around 400 in September. “We cannot claim freedoms for ourselves at the expense of their welfare and wellbeing.” He said.
The first Minister urged the people of Wales to act together. He reiterated the different approach to the pandemic in Wales when fielding questions from journalists. He thanked everyone and said 2020 had been a long and difficult year but that there was hope on the horizon in 2021 with potential vaccines.
The main questions from the press surrounded the restrictions on hospitality venues, which come into force next Friday. He stated that cinemas, bowling alleys and theatres would close. He also suggested that a firebreak was not likely before Christmas.
We asked the First Minister: Given that the May elections are the pinnacle of democracy in Wales and we have seen how the USA conducted their elections during the pandemic. Does the First Minister agree that the election must not be delayed and that the people of Wales should be given every opportunity to vote in person or by postal vote and given the possible long term situation of Covid-19 a move to establishing an online voting system?
He replied: “I am very committed to having an election in May. It has been five years since we had the last election and the Senedd needs a democratic refresh.
“It is right that the decisions about who is put into the Senned are made by people here in Wales. We will be doing more as a government to promote the use of postal votes. My fear about May is simply is that if coronavirus were to be back again and we were