All the theories on why Gwent is the most affected place in Wales by the coronavirus


Every part of Wales has been affected by the coronavirus and cases have been reported in each area of ​​the board of health.

Cases have been reported across the country and the number continues to increase daily.

Thursday, 284 new cases were announced in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,121.

The Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. Aneurin Bevan's board of health has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales
The Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. Aneurin Bevan’s board of health has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales

But a small part of Wales has always had higher figures than anywhere else.

On Thursday, April 2, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Council had 766 cases of the virus – the highest in Wales.

The health council covers Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire.

Many theories have been put forward as to why the area was so badly affected and even though some have been debunked, there is still no conclusive answer.

These are some of the theories that have been given so far on the prevalence of cases in the region.

It’s near England

On March 26, the Chief Physician for Wales gave his explanation for the peak coronavirus around Newport.

Speaking at a press conference, Dr. Frank Atherton gave a reason for the increase in cases in this part of Wales. He said: “Aneurin Bevan has seen a higher number of cases than elsewhere in Wales and there are several reasons for this.

“First of all, it is closer to England. We know that the “hotspot” in the UK is around London and therefore being on the border with England is a problem. “

More tests

Dr. Frank Atherton speaking to the media at a press conference

Dr. Atherton said earlier that there have been “many more” tests in the area of ​​health counseling “and that, therefore, there have been more cases identified”.

Premier Mark Drakeford also said that “the tests were done more vigorously and more widely and earlier than in other parts of Wales.”

“It’s just luck”

An infectious disease expert said the region may have seen more cases than elsewhere.

Dr. Richard Stanton works in the Division of Infection and Immunity at the Cardiff University School of Medicine.

We asked Dr Stanton several questions to readers, including why Gwent is the epicenter of the epidemic in Wales.

On Friday, he said, “I am afraid I do not have specific information about this. Some areas will have more than others, it’s just a chance to find out where the infected people have traveled. “

You can read more of Dr. Staton’s responses here.

Drakeford also said on March 30, “Chance also plays its part. “

An infected health worker

On March 30, another reason was given to explain the number of cases.

Officials said a health worker was diagnosed early in the epidemic and infected colleagues. Drakeford said the diagnosis was also the reason the region saw more testing at first.

He said that a “group of people” on the board of health ended up contracting the virus, adding, “This is part of the story of the Gwent epidemic. “

A rugby match

The Dragons took on Benetton, based in Treviso, Italy, during the Rodney Parade in Newport in a revamped Guinness PRO14 clash on March 6 and rumors have spread that the game was causing the epidemic in the region .

Italy is one of the most affected countries in the world with thousands of deaths from Covid-19.

But an infectious disease expert said there was no evidence linking the situation in south-east Wales to the event.

Dr. Andrew Freedman is an infectious disease expert and honorary medical consultant at Cardiff University School of Medicine.

Just under 2,000 people attended the match on March 6, five days after the first case in Wales was confirmed.

Read more

Coronavirus last

“There are all kinds of other possibilities,” said Dr. Freedman.

“It only takes one person who has it, but doesn’t know they have it for it to spread to other people.

“Obviously, the first cases we had in the UK have been imported and there are a lot of trips going on.

” It is possible that [rugby match] was the way it got there, but there are also a lot of people who come from Italy or other countries who have seen the infection before us.

“You can’t say and I don’t think we will ever know to be honest. “

London’s journey

Dr Atherton also said that the higher number of cases may be related in part to the journey to London via the M4.

Drakeford also said earlier that “there is evidence that the disease is traveling from east to west across the UK and that Newport is in the eastern tip of Wales.”

But others have pointed out that other UK hotspots are not near London, such as Birmingham.


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