Covid deaths in Wales fall for the ninth consecutive week
The total number of deaths recorded in Wales has fallen below the five-year average for the third consecutive week as the number of deaths involving Covid-19 declined for the ninth week in a row.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics there were 49 deaths involving Covid in the week ending 19 March, accounting for 7.9% of all deaths and the lowest weekly total since 16 October.
Over the previous week the number of deaths registered involving Covid was 68 (9.9% of deaths from all causes).
The number of excess deaths, a comparison of the number of all registered deaths to the previous five years has fallen by 14.6 % for the latest week as the number of deaths decreased from 685 in the week ending 12 March to 621.
Since the start of the pandemic the number of deaths from all causes was 40,075 and of these, 7,764 deaths mentioned Covid-19, 6,017 deaths above the five-year average.
Deaths counted by the ONS are when Covid-19 is mentioned by doctors on the death certificate and which occur in all settings – including hospitals, care homes, hospices and people’s homes.
The daily figures released by Public Health Wales only include the deaths of a hospital patients or care home resident where Covid-19 has been confirmed with a positive laboratory test and the clinician suspects this was a causative factor in the death.
There were no new deaths reported by Public Health Wales in today’s bulletin, meaning that according to its figures the death toll from the start of the pandemic is 5,506.
PHW reports 94 new positive tests for the virus in the last 24 hours with only Cardiff (14) and Gwynedd (10) reporting a double-digit increase in case numbers. There were no new infections reported in Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen.
The highest weekly case rate in Wales is in Merthyr Tydfil where the number of cases has increased from 127.6 per 100,000 people to 132.6 since yesterday’s report and the positive test proportion is also highest in the country at 7.1% per 100,000 tests
Anglesey has the second highest proportion of new cases at 112.8, down from 118.5 yesterday.
The case rate across Wales has fallen from 38.1 to 37.6 and the positive test proportion has dropped by .1% to 2.7%, the lowest weekly figure recorded since the week ending 13 September.
Since the start of the mass vaccination programme on 8 December, Wales has fully vaccinated a higher proportion of than population than the other UK nation.
Today’s figures confirm another seven thousand people received a second dose of vaccine yesterday, taking the total number fully vaccinated to 424,016 and 1,413 have received a first dose.
Meanwhile, Swansea Bay University health board has urged people to attend their Covid vaccination appointments after confirming that more than a quarter of people booked in for jabs on Monday failed to turn up.
The health board covers Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, both of which currently have among the highest case rates in Wales. Swansea has recorded 161 new positive tests for Covid-19 over the last week, more than any other local authority in the country and the weekly case rate is 65.2 per 100,000 people, the third highest in the country.
There have been 74 new infections in Neath Port Talbot in the last seven days and the case rate is the fifth highest among the 22 local authorities in Wales at 51.6.
A statement issued by the health board yesterday said: “Today, more than a quarter of those scheduled to have the Covid vaccine in our Mass Vaccination Centres failed to turn up.
“Out of 1,750 appointments, 492 were classed as DNA (did not attend). That’s 28%. The vaccination is safe, effective and one of the ways we will overcome this pandemic.
“We urge everyone invited to attend their appointment. If you can’t make it or don’t want the vaccine, PLEASE let us know.”