In a coronavirus briefing on Friday 12th, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford gave some important updates on the ongoing pandemic.
According to his briefing, COVID-19 transmission rates fell in every North Wales county except for on Anglesey. The county’s rate of positive test results was 11.5% higher than its neighbours Gwynedd and Conwy.
Some areas – such as Deganwy/Llandudno Junction North, Kimmel Bay & Towyn, and Upper Colwyn Bay – have reported 0 new cases.
This adds up to Wales’ coronavirus rate falling below 200 cases per 100,000 for the first time since early November, when the virus began peaking again.
Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, had this to say on the recent statistics:
“We are increasingly confident in the data which is showing a consistent downward trend in the numbers of positive cases in Wales.
“However, the number of cases is still high, and this is placing extreme pressure on our NHS Wales hospitals.
“This is a crucial time. We must ensure that we stick to the rules over the next few weeks so that the number of cases continues to reduce and that hospitals can start to recover, while the vaccination programme is underway to protect the most vulnerable in our communities”.
The briefing also came with the announcement of a mild relaxation of some of the lockdown restrictions we have had to follow for nearly a year.
According to Mr Drakeford, the lockdown will remain in place for another three weeks, but two people from different households living locally will now be able to meet to exercise together.
Primary schools could also begin a phased return from February 22nd, dependent on the data given to them over the next few weeks.
In addition to this, vulnerable people in Wales have been advised to continue to shield at home until March 31st.
He also emphasized that “we will all need to stay at home – and work from home – for a little while longer” to beat the virus.