Covid case rates in Wales return to levels recorded in early April
The proportion of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Wales is back to the levels recorded in early April, according to the latest figures released by Public Health Wales.
The national case rate currently stands at 15.00 per 100,000 of the population, the highest since 11 April, with the number of people testing positive creeping up after weeks of decline.
Just six of 22 local authorities have case rates in single figures as concern mounts about the threat posed by the Delta variant of the virus.
PHW also reported one further death due to coronavirus, in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area, taking the total number of deaths in Wales since the start of the pandemic in March last year to 5,571.
Conwy is at the centre of a cluster of cases linked with the Delta variant, which is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant that sparked the second wave of the pandemic late last year.
Public Health England published a report on Friday based on a new analysis of data from England and Scotland which also concludes there is a reduction in vaccine effectiveness against “symptomatic infection” for Delta compared to Alpha of between 15-20% for people that have received just one jab. Vaccine effectiveness against Delta is higher after two doses but remains lower than was achieved against Alpha.
Twelve new cases have been reported by PHW in Conwy for the 24 hours up to 9am on Friday, taking the total for the week to 50, and the case rate to 42.7, up from 34.1 in Thursday’s report.
Swansea has the second highest case rate in Wales at 29.6 and the highest positive test proportion at 3.1% per 100,000 tests, over double the national rate of 1.5%.
The Delta variant is now dominant across the UK with over 42,000 cases detected so far, and accounts for more than 90% of all new infections.
PHE estimates the number of new cases is doubling every 4.5 days in some areas of England.
Public Health Wales has reported 87 new cases in the last week, taking the total numbers detected to 184.
Last week, Dr Giri Shankar, PHW coronavirus response incident director, warned, “I think we are on the cusp of moving from limited household close contact transmission to contained community transmission, but the concern is that could progress to become sustained community transmission.”