A man has been criticised online after threatening to visit his caravan in the north of Wales to “cough on everyone I see and lick every door handle”.
The man from Greater Manchester was responding to criticism on Facebook of people deciding to self-isolate in holiday homes and caravan parks in Wales.
“I’m coming on Saturday to my caravan,” he said. “And I’m going to cough on everyone and lick every door handle.
“I an others, put £1000s every year into your local economy and I’ll use my caravan as much or as little as I like.”
The man later removed his Facebook account from public access after receiving a barrage of criticism in response to his message.
The post came after MPs and GPs voiced criticism of visitors from other parts of the UK self-isolating in rural Wales, due concerns that if the people fall ill, or bring the coronavirus with them, it will put further pressure on the already over-stretched Welsh NHS.
Treflan Surgery in Pwllheli said they had sent a letter to nearby caravan parks asking them to tell customers to avoid unnecessary travel.
“We cannot emphasise enough how concerned we are about this influx of visitors to the area over the past week and we are gravely concerned about their welfare and potential inability to access healthcare during this pandemic,” the letter said.
“Our healthcare services are already stretched beyond their limits and it is highly unlikely that the healthcare infrastructure in the Dwyfor/Gwynedd locality will be able to cope with any additional demand during the outbreak. We also must inform you that the usual Temporary Resident Service that we normally commission will be non-existent.
“We have also been advised by our pharmacy colleagues that they will not be providing a minor ailments service to any patients with respiratory symptoms.
“You should also make your customers aware that those who have travelled here on public transport may not be able to return home as services may be suspended due to staff shortages.”
Conservative Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb urged tourists to stay away from the west of Wales while the pandemic was ongoing.
“I have spent 15 years urging people to come to wonderful Pembrokeshire on holiday,” he said.
“And I will carry on doing so when we are through this thing. But right now people need to avoid travelling if possible. Local Health Board extremely concerned about extra pressures on services.”
Yesterday four MPs wrote to the UK Health Secretary asking him to place travel restrictions on people fleeing the rest of the UK to self-isolate in rural Wales.
NHS Wales has a lower number of critical care beds for the size of the population than the rest of the UK. Wales also has a higher population of over 60-year olds than the UK average.
Wales reported its third death from coronavirus today, at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.
“I am writing to express my concern about reports of a substantial increase in the population of rural areas as people seek to escape the coronavirus,” Dwyfor-Meirionydd MP Liz Saville Roberts writes in the letter.
“Such a population churn poses a risk in Wales, whose health services are under great pressure already. Wales has around five intensive care beds per 100,000 people, as opposed to the UK average of 6.6 beds per 100,000.”
The letter has also been signed by Ben Lake, MP of Ceredigion, Jonathan Edwards, MP of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, and Hywel Williams, MP of Arfon.
Public Health Wales have announced 89 more people have tested positive for Covid-19 – bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Wales to 280. Three have died so far.
Dr Chris Williams, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “89 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 280, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales.
“Three people in Wales who tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have now died.
“We are working closely with health boards, NHS 111 and the Welsh Government to develop systems so that NHS Wales and members of the public have appropriate access to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. Based on careful risk assessment, a phased rollout of testing will commence starting with health care workers involved in frontline patient-facing clinical care.
“Testing capacity is being expanded and is currently prioritised for patients, health care workers involved in frontline patient-facing clinical care, and others where recommended by health board medical directors. As our testing capacity increases, further guidance will be issued on those who are eligible for testing.
“Members of the public should follow the latest public health advice.”