Covid cases climbing in Wales again say Welsh Government’s health advisors
Covid cases in Wales are climbing again according to the Welsh Government’s health advisors, who have said that there is a need to monitor the situation after a return to Alert Level 0 last week.
In advice published today, the Health Protection Advisory Group and COVID-19 Intelligence Cell advised that positivity rates would rise and could soon overshoot England. All but five of Wales’ local authority areas had seen a rise in cases on the previous week, with Newport seeing a 24% rise, they said.
The UK Health Security Agency said than Wales had a reproduction rate of between 0.9 and 1.1, with anything over 1 leading to a rise in cases.
“Overall cases of COVID-19 and test positivity have increased across Wales,” the report says. “With the return to alert level 0 and easement of restrictions, there is a need to continue monitoring trends.”
Hospital admission of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 positive patients were falling the report said. The number of hospitalisations per day were projected to decrease from around 70 to around 40 per day over the next three weeks.
However, it warned that “there is the potential for significant harm in the community (and our hospitals) for people with non-COVID illnesses or injuries, Omicron levels have led to health boards having to postpone significant levels of routine elective activity in early 2022 which may exceed the direct harm from COVID-19 at this point in time.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that Wales would scrap almost all remaining Covid restrictions a week ago today.
Nightclubs reopened, the rule of six no longer applied to gatherings at hospitality venues, 2m social distancing was no longer be required, and working from home was no longer be a legal requirement.
The move completed the Welsh Government’s phased lifting of the alert level two restrictions, which were put in place on Boxing Day as the omicron wave swept across the country.
Some protections remain in place at alert level zero, including mandatory face coverings in most indoor public places, including on public transport.
The next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 10 February, when all the measures at alert level zero will be reviewed.
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