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We’re no longer in a pandemic, First Minister says – but Covid ‘could catch fire again’

23 Apr 2021 2 minutes Read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

Mark Drakeford has said that Wales is no longer in a pandemic, but said there was no guarantee that things could get worse again.

He was reacting to comments by University of Oxford professors researching coronavirus, who said that the pandemic situation was over.

Sarah Walker, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford and chief investigator on the National Covid Infection Survey, told The Telegraph that Britain had “moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation”.

Mark Drakeford agreed but warned that Covid-19 could “catch fire again” and the Welsh Government may have to take the kinds of “blunt actions” as they did at the end of last year.

“There are worrying signs in Europe and further afield of how the virus can spread,” he said. “There are also new variants elsewhere in the world.”

He said that there may need to be a second vaccine due to the need for an immunization boost or other new variants coming in. “An endemic disease is still a disease but will still need action by the government,” he said.

‘Control’

Earlier today Mark Drakeford said that a third wave of Covid-19 was “likely” but he hoped the Welsh Government would not need to act as it had over the winter.

“The modelling does show a third spike is likely to happen in the summer,” he told PA. “But there’s a tension there. If it happens in the summer, in some ways that makes it more manageable.

“On the other hand, every week we can push it back is another week where we vaccinate people and that might make that wave a smaller one and less steep.

“In a way, governments are not in control of where those waves come. I am hopeful that when we see a further wave that it will not be of the sort that will need us to take the sorts of very blunt actions we’ve had to take in the last calendar year.”

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