Parts of Wales hit hard by first Covid-19 wave could bear brunt again, data suggests

Merthyr Tydfil. Picture by John McLinden (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Parts of Wales hit hardest by the first wave of Covid-19 are unlikely to be spared a second, according to new data.

A study by the Financial Times pinpoints Cwm Taf Health Board as one of the parts of the UK that bore the brunt of the first wave of Covid-19 which is also among the areas hit hardest so far this Autumn.

The health board area includes Merthyr Tydfil, which has the highest rate of infections in Wales with 207.2 cases per 100,000 people based on a rolling seven-day average, up from 205.5 on Monday.

Cwm Taf also includes Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is in third place with 178.2 per 100,000 of population (up from 151.7)

The Financial Times article calls into question the idea that herd immunity policies could provide an alternative to harsh lockdowns.

It points to the latest European data show that many of the same places that suffered the worst virus outbreaks in the spring — such as Paris, Madrid and northern Italy — are among those with an autumn resurgence.

“We do not know yet how long immunity will last, so achieving herd immunity may not be simple,” James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute in the UK, told the FT.

“We don’t have herd immunity to the common cold.”

 

Rate

Yesterday it was announced that five more people had died with coronavirus and 764 new positive cases had been identified in Wales, a jump on 487 on Monday.

Wrexham now has the second-highest rate at 181.7 per 100,000 of population, up from 165.5 the day before.

The other local authority areas recording more than 100 cases per 100,000 included Flintshire with 168.5, Cardiff with 161.4, Bridgend with 142.1, Conwy with 122.9, Swansea with 120.7, Denbighshire with 113.9, Neath Port Talbot with 113.7 and Blaenau Gwent with 103.1.

The Wales overall infection rate is 110.1 per 100,000, which is up on 103.6 recorded the day before.

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