OVER 100 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across our region by Public Health Wales (PHW) on Tuesday.
There have now been almost 31,150 lab-confirmed cases of the virus from the combined counties that make up the North Wales region since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Public Health Wales confirmed that 103 of today’s 351 newly confirmed Welsh cases were from the northern region.
They can be broken down as such:
• Anglesey – One (1.4 per 100,000 population as of today)
• Conwy – 17 (14.5 per 100,000 population as of today)
• Denbighshire – Seven (7.3 per 100,000 population as of today)
• Flintshire – 27 (17.3 per 100,000 population as of today)
• Gwynedd – 17 (13.6 per 100,000 population as of today)
• Wrexham – 34 (25.0 per 100,000 population as of today)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – the largest health board in Wales – has reported 808 people have sadly died since the start of the pandemic, according to PHW data.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics, which are considered a stronger indicator of the overall impact of the virus, and which are based on all deaths where COVID is mentioned on the death certificate, stand at 1,024 for the health board area.
The national picture:
Across Wales, another 351 COVID cases were confirmed in Tuesday’s figures, meaning that 197,021 people are now known to have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
There were 10 newly reported deaths, meaning the number of people to have died with confirmed cases of coronavirus sadly stands at 5,011 in Wales.
This is what Public Health Wales’ has to say:
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “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the South African variant of concern relate to prelimary data from a study involving a small group of people which is not yet peer-reviewed.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.”
Dr Shankar stressed that all of Wales remains in lockdown and that people should continue following the rules.
He continued: “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.”