‘Cases rising across Wales’: First Minister ‘very confident’ R rate in Wales is above 1 in ‘sobering week’

Mark Drakeford the First Minister of Wales. Picture by the Welsh Government

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that they are now “very confident” that the R rate in Wales has crept back above 1.

He said that in the last week cases had gone from 20 per 100,000 to almost 35. 41 people were now being treated in hospital for the virus across Wales.

Cases are rising across Wales. But much of this was being driven by Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf and other hotspots, he said.

“This has been a sobering week as the Coronavirus position has worsened,” he said.

He said that some of the things they were considering in England as part of a national re-tightening of the lockdown had always been implemented in Wales.

The case for a number of national measures in Wales had not been made, he said, as there were different levels of Covid-19 everywhere. “Ceredigion is not Bolton,” he said.

 

Welsh system

Mark Drakeford said it was unfortunate that the UK testing system was sending people into areas under lockdown in Wales for testing.

However, he said that Wales would not consider turning its back on the UK’s testing system altogether.

“It is not many weeks ago that I was being urged by voices in Wales to make more use of the UK system,” he said.

In the meantime, he said Wales will increase the number of tests that can be done within the Welsh system.

He said the extra capacity will be used to redirect some of the testing that would go into the lighthouse lab system to labs in Wales.

 

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