Nine more coronavirus deaths in Wales as NHS boss urges public not to “waste efforts” over holiday weekend


The number of people who died after being tested positive for coronavirus in Wales has increased by nine, it was reported.

Wales Public Health (PHW) confirmed on Thursday May 21 that the death toll has reached 1,247 since the epidemic began in March.

In addition, NHS confidence said the total number of Covid-19 cases has now risen to 12,846 after 166 others have been reported.

And while the NHS testing capacity currently stands at more than 5,000, only 1,843 tests were performed on Wednesday.

Map: The regions of Wales that have seen the most cases of coronavirus in the past seven days

The latest figures were released after a press conference with NHS CEO Dr. Andrew Goodall.

He began by pointing out that most boards of health operated under “level one status” – the lowest level of demand.

But he admitted that three hospitals were operating on top of that on Thursday morning.

“We had three of our hospital sites in Wales reporting level two (out of four), so this is only a small increase in activity that occurs at these sites,” he said. declared.

“All of these sites said they were reporting de-escalation by [Thursday] afternoon. To me, this is just a sign that we are witnessing a more normal resumption of some of our access to our NHS services, and I hope that while the sites report that they are under pressure, which they report also, it is their plans and actions to reduce this again.

“So I have no concerns about it. “

Dr. Andrew Goodall, Director General of NHS Wales, speaking to the press at Cathays Park

Dr. Goodall has also read a series of figures on how the virus affects the NHS in Wales.

These included:

  • 38% of acute hospital beds are empty, equivalent to about 2,600 beds, down from last week due to “return to normal NHS activity”;
  • There are 493 people with coronavirus in the hospital and 355 other suspected cases, less than last week;
  • There are 357 intensive care beds available, including extra capacity. 60% of them are empty and available;
  • 55 people are currently being treated in intensive care for Covid-19, which is lower than last week;
  • The majority of people in intensive care do not have coronaviruses.

Dr. Goodall added that as of Wednesday, based on operational data, the total number of people admitted to hospital for symptoms of coronavirus since the start of the epidemic was just over 7,000.

He said 464 of them had been treated in intensive care, while more than 5,000 patients had been released.

“Most people infected with the virus have not needed hospital care,” he added.

He added that in the past week there have been between 100 and 200 confirmed cases a day in Wales.

Chart: The number of coronavirus cases reported in Wales each day

Chart: The number of coronavirus deaths reported in Wales each day

Dr Goodall said that although community transmission appears to be decreasing in Wales, there may have been a “late epidemic outbreak” in north Wales.

But he said he thought it could be attributed to increased testing capacity and targeting specific parameters like nursing homes.

“These have not translated into a higher level of hospitalizations. Cases in hospitals and intensive care beds in North Wales have decreased from their peak, “he added.

Meanwhile, the NHS CEO has confirmed that less than 10% of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus require intensive care. He said they originally thought this figure would be much higher.

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“The average age of a person being treated in intensive care is 56 – you may have expected them to be older,” he added.

He added that the majority of people in intensive care with coronavirus were men.

“People are usually only hospitalized for a day or two before being transferred to intensive care,” he said.

“Three quarters of people in intensive care are ventilated mechanically in the first 24 hours. “

Dr. Goodall concluded his statement by asking the public not to “waste their efforts” over the next weekend on statutory holidays.

He asked people to continue supporting the NHS and the healthcare system by staying at home and staying local if they ventured.

Asked about the antibody tests now available in some street stores, Dr. Goodall said the public should be “wary” of people wanting to understand whether they had the virus or not.

Across the UK and across all four countries, he said they are developing proposals to ensure that these tests can be accessed and used – and that they will have a 98% accuracy rate.

He said he was concerned that people could access the tests with an accuracy of less than 98%.

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And when asked why Wales isn’t more forgiving of outdoor socialization, Dr. Goodall said there is an ongoing discussion among the four countries about these approaches.

He said that decisions on lockdowns and how they are implemented rest with Prime Minister Mark Drakeford and Cabinet.

He said he remains focused on the need to ensure that the “R rate” (infection rate) is limited and that Wales should stay as low as possible.


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