North Wales returns highest number of coronavirus infections as latest figures released by health officials

PUBLIC health figures reveal more than half of the latest number of coronavirus infections across the country came from North Wales.

In the latest daily data released by Public Health Wales (PHW) on Wednesday, July 22, it showed that 22 cases have been identified across Wales – with 17 reported in the North Wales region covered by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

In this local figure, 11 were recorded in Wrexham with four in Flintshire and one each in Denbighshire and Conwy. This means Anglesey and Gwynedd reported no new cases.

Wrexham remains the county with the highest total of positive cases of COVID-19 infection at 1,227 people. This is compared to 775 in Denbighshire, 711 in Conwy, 685 in Flintshire, 588 in Gwynedd and 455 in Anglesey.

BCUHB reported the only additional coronavirus-related death on July 22, meaning the current total remains at 375 – which is still the highest total across all Welsh health boards according to PHW records.

The headline data from PHW from across Wales shows that 16,987 people have tested positive for the virus to date and, sadly, 1,548 people have lost their life to a suspected COVID-19 death.

Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Today Public Health Wales is publishing data relating to transmission of COVID-19 in healthcare settings.

“This data shows that the spread of Coronavirus in healthcare settings is under control, and it is safe for people to access health services in Wales.

“As in other parts of the world, hospital transmission has taken place in Wales, and the infectiousness of the virus has presented challenges for the health service.”

Dr Howe adds that there were “significant numbers” of hospital acquired infections early on in the pandemic, with cases peaking in the week of April 5.

He says: “However, real progress has been made, and rates have come down considerably since the peak – by more than 90 per cent. Overall, approximately 11 per cent of Coronavirus cases in Wales have been hospital acquired.

“We continue to caution and remind the public and business-owners that we all have a vital role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus by always sticking to social distancing guidelines – staying two metres away from others, and washing hands regularly. When travelling you should also avoid car sharing with people outside your household.

“Anyone with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 infection – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of smell or taste (anosmia) – must self-isolate and seek an urgent test.

“Confirmed cases must isolate for seven days, with members of their household isolating for 14 days until the risk of passing on further infection has gone. Combined, these simple but effective actions will ensure the virus does not spread.”

Dr Howe adds that there have been no new updates – or confirmed infections – linked to the localised outbreaks at Wrexham’s Rowan Foods and Anglesey’s 2 Sisters, saying control measures put in place have been ‘effective’.

He said: “Public Health Wales can confirm that there are no new cases of Coronavirus linked with the 2 Sisters outbreak. The total therefore remains at 221 cases linked to the outbreak which is linked to the site at Llangefni in Anglesey.

“The fact that no new cases have been recorded is a positive sign and indicates that control measures have been effective.

“The multi-agency team managing the outbreak of Coronavirus associated with Rowan Foods Ltd in Wrexham has recorded 309 cases. There continues to be no evidence that this outbreak is factory-based, and the results we have identified are what we would expect to see when a focused testing takes place.

“The Food Standards Agency advise that it is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food. Coronavirus is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.”

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey