ANOTHER 42 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the Hywel Dda health board area according to today’s figures (Friday, February 19).
Today’s Public Health Wales figures show 23 new cases in Carmarthenshire, 15 in Pembrokeshire and four in Ceredigion.
Across Wales, 533 new cases have been confirmed and 16 new suspected Covid-19 deaths have also been reported by Public Health Wales.
The total number of cases in Wales is now 200,989, with 5,205 deaths.
Three more deaths have been recorded in the Hywel Dda area, with the total standing at 429 throughout the pandemic.
The total number of cases across the three counties is now 15,237 – 10,299 in Carmarthenshire, 3,238 in Pembrokeshire and 1,700 in Ceredigion.
There have been 15,667 tests carried out since the last report.
Across Wales, 839,065 have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 25,433 the second dose.
In Hywel Dda the health board has administered 103,989 vaccinations up to February 17 – 48,230 in Carmarthenshire, 38,828 in Pembrokeshire and 18,701 in Ceredigion.
A further 3,230 have been given to council or health board staff working in the area but living elsewhere.
Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“Public Health Wales welcomes the indication from Welsh Government that children aged 3-7 in Foundation Phase years in primary schools will be able to return to face-to-face learning from Monday.
“As children return, we would ask all parents and carers to help us control the spread of Coronavirus by:
Not sending your child to school if they are unwell even if you are not sure if it is coronavirus
Continuing to work at home if at all possible
When you take your child to school – always keep your distance from other parents and don’t stay around and chat
Don’t invite other children (or their parents) to your home to play or stay, even outdoors and even if they are in the same bubble at school
Unless you have no choice, please do not share a lift to school or other activities with other families
Make sure your child understands the importance of washing their hands regularly
“Welsh Government have also indicated that the number of people who can meet for exercise will be increased from two to four, and that more elite athletes will be able to return to training.
“Public Health Wales has produced a report analysing inequalities in coverage of COVID-19 vaccination by sex, socioeconomic deprivation and ethnic group.
“Mirroring a trend across the UK the report, which covers the period from 8th December 2020 up to 14th February 2021, highlights emerging inequalities in coverage of COVID-19 vaccination in Wales.
“The report found that the largest inequality in uptake was seen between ethnic groups in adults aged 80+ years. Inequalities were also apparent between adults living in the most and least deprived areas of Wales.
“The full report has been published on the Public Health Wales data dashboard.
“You can now not travel directly to Wales if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days. These banned countries are often called ‘RED list’ (countries where new variant covid strains have been found). You will only be able to enter Wales from RED list countries via a designated port of entry and isolate for 10 days in a nearby managed quarantine hotel. There are no designated ports of entry in Wales.
“For more information on current guidance go to: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-travel
“Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, continues at a pace but is a significant task and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone. The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time and everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe.
“Although the data currently shows that on an all-Wales level the numbers of cases are reducing and that the incidence is now below 85 cases per 100,000 population, the rates in some areas – particularly in North Wales – are still significantly higher, and there have been small increases in others.
“It is encouraging to see that the numbers of people being treated for Coronavirus in our hospitals is reducing, but there are still a large number of people who are extremely ill, which means that the pressure on services is still very high.
“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We recognise that complying with the restrictions can be challenging, but Coronavirus is still active in our communities and can cause severe illness and death. The reduction in the number of cases does not mean that people can meet people from other households (apart from one person for socially distanced exercise), as this can cause the virus to spread.
“As a nation, we have made so many sacrifices throughout the course of the pandemic that we really don’t want to squander the gains that have been made in recent weeks.
“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, socio-demographic and ethnicity, to have the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered it. We also stress the importance of seeking information from a trusted source such as Public Health Wales, the Welsh Government, local health board or GP.
“We continue to work to identify and investigate cases of variant Coronavirus in Wales. To date, 17 cases of the South Africa variant have been identified in Wales. Multi-agency investigations continue into three separate cases that do not have clear links to international travel. There are no cases of the variants associated with Brazil.”
“The UK variant of Coronavirus prevalent in many parts of Wales is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, and as reported recently there is evidence which suggests that it may lead to a higher risk of death than the non-variant. Public Health Wales welcomes the recent evidence that the ChadOx1 (AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine Group) vaccine is effective against the UK variant.
“We are aware of a number of increasingly sophisticated ‘scam’ emails in circulation claiming to be from the NHS which purport to offer appointments for vaccination. Coronavirus vaccines currently can’t be bought privately in the UK. Do not share any of your personal information. Correspondence will only come from your health board and your vaccination will be free.
“If you are due to travel out of the UK, please be aware of the changing situation and keep an eye on the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for up to date details.
“If you or a member of your household develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test, either by calling 119 or by visiting www.gov.wales/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19.”