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‘There are no more doctors and nurses’: ICU full and field hospital filling up says Welsh council leader

20 Dec 2020 3 minutes Read
The Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. Picture by Mick Lobb (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A council leader has warned that hospitals ICU’s in his area are full and that the field hospital created to handle a Covid-19 peak is also filling up quickly.

Bridgend Council Leader Huw David warned that the Bridgend Field Hospital, Ysbyty’r Seren, was one of the busiest across the UK.

He also said that the new strain of Covid-19 that is thought to transmit more easily was in the area.

“Bridgend’s Field Hospital, is now one of, if not the busiest in the UK,” he said.

“There are 100 admissions to Ysbyty’r Seren. All intensive care units are full. There are no more doctors and nurses. The new strain of COVID-19 is spreading in Bridgend.”

Ysbyty’r Seren in Bridgend, located at the site of the old Harman Becker unit, has 217 beds with room to expand to 450 if needed, but staff in addition to beds are in short supply.

Bridgend has some of the highest number of cases in the UK at 1,118  per 100,000 people for the past seven days.

Only Merthyr Tydfil at 1,225 is higher. The Covid-19 case rate across Wales is 613.3 cases per 100,000/

 

‘Mutations’

The warning comes as almost 70 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported by Public Health Wales today.

The 69 deaths is the highest ever figure reported in one day, after 62 on Thursday. Both dwarf the highest number of recorded daily deaths in the first wave, at 43 on the 19th and 13th of April earlier this year.

There were 34 deaths recorded today in the Cwm Taf health board area, which covers Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf, alone.

It means a total of 3,115 have died in Wales after testing positive for Covid-19 during the pandemic.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the pandemic outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said they were working to investigate and respond to the new variant of Covid-19.

“As indicated by the Welsh Government, the immediate introduction of new restrictions is related to the identification of a new more transmissible variant of Coronavirus,” he said.

“It is normal for viruses to undergo mutations, and we expect this to happen.  Although the variant is easier to transmit, there is currently no evidence that it is more severe.

“We are reminding people that all current guidance relating to Coronavirus continues to apply to the new variant, including advice relating to symptoms, social distancing, self-isolation, and vaccination.

“The new variant shows up as positive in Public Health Wales’ existing Coronavirus tests, and people must continue to seek a test in the usual way if they develop Coronavirus symptoms.”

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