‘A little less’ than one in 100 in Wales have Covid, according to ONS chief

Cardiff Queen Street. Photo by Shengpengpeng Cai on Unsplash

A ‘little less’ than one in 100 people in Wales now have Covid, according to the head of the Office for National Statistics.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond says that while there remains an increase in the number of Covid cases, the data shows a “slowdown in the rate of growth” across the UK.

The R rate was lowest in England, then Wales, then Northern Ireland, and then Scotland, he said.

“The good news is – yes – we are seeing a slow down in the rate of growth,” Ian Diamond told Sky News.

“That means we’re still increasing and we are now in England at 1.25 per 1,000. That means that one in 85 people in England, we believe, have the virus.

“In Wales, a little less at one in 100, in Scotland one in 135 and Northern Ireland one in 105. So yes we are continuing to increase the numbers, but the rate of growth is slowing.”

Public Health Wales’ statistics suggested that the Wales-wide infection rate had increased slightly on Sunday after another 1,333 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed. Another 16 people with the virus were reported to have died.

Wales came out of a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown a week ago, while England will remain in lockdown until the beginning of next month.

The Welsh Conservatives, however, have argued for “local measures” to help slow down Covid-19 cases in communities to avoid “such draconian measures as a firebreak lockdown or just a straight lockdown”.

 

‘Openness’

When asked if data had been selected by the UK Government in order to back up arguments, Ian Diamond told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday that this was a view he did not support.

“During the first wave, some of my colleagues were embedded into the heart of Government to make sure that the quality of the presentations that were made to the public were at the highest level, and I think that’s incredibly important,” he said.

“My experience and my conversations throughout this pandemic with Government has been a real wish, right across Government, for openness and for transparency.

“Some of my colleagues will now be going back into the heart of Government, really to work on making sure that the communication of statistics, the graphs you may see, are at the highest possible level.”

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