Health chief says surging Covid rates in Wales could be starting to fall
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has indicated Covid infection rates in Wales could be starting to decline, following the recent surge sparked by the BA.2 Omicron variant.
The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, released yesterday, recorded infections had risen in Wales for the sixth straight week.
According to the ONS, in the week ending 9 April 231,900 people were estimated to have coronavirus in Wales, 7.63% of the population and the highest level of any of the UK nations.
Covid-19 infections fell in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the same period.
In his statement following the Welsh Government’s latest review of the Covid regulations this week, Dr Frank Atherton also warned of the threat future Covid variants could pose later in the year.
He wrote: “Community transmission of the BA.2 Omicron wave of COVID-19 continues at a very high level across Wales and the UK but there are signs that this may be starting to reverse.
“Hospitalisations for treatment of COVID-19 may also have recently started to fall but the health and care system continues to struggle with COVID-19 demands and high levels of staff absence.
“Fewer patients are requiring mechanical ventilation than in previous waves.”
He added: “As the current wave of infection subsides, we must prepare for future resurgences over the summer and into the autumn.”
“I caution against complacency in assuming that future variants will be as (relatively) benign as Omicron; we should plan our response to future surges on the basis that more harmful, immune-evading variants may evolve.
“We should also review our arrangements for protecting vulnerable individuals and groups and continue to follow JCVI advice with regard to further vaccination boosters.”
Following the government’s latest review First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings will remain in place for the next three weeks but the legal requirement for businesses to undertake specific coronavirus risk assessments will end on Monday 18 April.
Businesses will continue to be encouraged to take steps to operate in a Covid-safe manner.
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