Minister warns of ‘very serious’ Covid outbreak in Conwy County as cases climb
Wales’ Health Minister Eluned Morgan says a cluster of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Conwy County is “very serious” and could set back plans to further ease Covid restrictions.
Health officials have now confirmed 35 cases of the variant in Llandudno, Llandudno Junction and Penrhyn Bay after Public Health Wales revealed on Friday that 18 cases of the variant, originally detected in India in April, had been identified.
The Delta variant is now the dominant Covid mutation in the UK after a surge in cases across England and Scotland and early research suggests it is up to 50% more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha variant, which originated in Kent last summer.
Covid vaccines also appear to offer less protection against the new variant, especially after just the initial jab.
The minister warned the outbreak could be starting to move freely in the community and said swift action was needed to get the outbreak under control.
“This is becoming very serious, we need to make sure that we try and nip this in the bud in that particular area and obviously all of this will play into how we assess the situation on Friday,” she told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.
“I don’t think we’d define it quite yet as community transmission, but it’s on its way to becoming that and that’s why we really need people in the area to co-operate with us… to make sure that we can try and suppress this particular variant.
“The last thing we want to see is this spreading across the whole of Wales,”
Betsi Cadwaladr health board is urging residents to get tested, even if they do not have symptoms of the virus.
First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce a further easing of Covid restrictions in Wales on Friday, which could include proposals allowing up to six people from different households to meet in private dwellings and allowing up to 30 people to meet outdoors.