The number of new positive coronavirus cases in Wales has risen by the highest number this month with dozens of new cases in RCT, which is going into local lockdown.
There was another significant rise in the number of fresh cases in locked-down Caerphilly.
Public Health Wales (PHW) has said 199 new lab-confirmed cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday, September 16.
Wednesday’s confirmed cases are the greatest daily change since June and come after PHW reported 110 new cases on Tuesday and 183 new cases on Monday.
The nation’s weekly rate of infections now stands at 23.3 for every 100,000 people.
During his lunchtime briefing on Tuesday, Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething said four local authority areas are being closely monitored for rising rates of coronavirus. They include: Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport and you can follow developments here.
In RCT the weekly rate of infections has hit 82.1 cases per 100,000 people.
In Caerphilly, there has been a small increase in the seven-day rate of new cases to 83.4 per 100,000 after “very high levels of compliance” during the local lockdown.
The rate in Merthyr has jumped again and is now 39.8 compared to 29.8 on Tuesday, while in Newport, the seven-day rate is 47.8 compared to 46.5 cases per 100,000 on Tuesday.
The latest figures come as Wales struggles with its coronavirus testing “shambles” and the chaos is expected to continue for weeks before more capacity becomes available.
Yesterday Mr Gething unveiled a Winter Protection Plan for the NHS which outlined how Wales is going to deal with Covid-19 as the cold weather arrives.
Wednesday’s figure brings the total number of cases to 19,880 in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic.
There were once again no reported Covid-19 deaths by PHW. So far there have been no deaths in September of anyone who had been diagnosed with coronavirus in the last month. Two people died with Covid-19 on August 31.
These are the key details on Wednesday:
- Deaths reported today: 0
- Cases reported today: 199 (compared to 110 the day before)
- Number of new tests: 9,831 (up from 7,902)
- Total deaths with lab-confirmed coronavirus in Wales: 1,597
RCT had the highest number of new cases at 52 while Caerphilly recorded 36 new positive cases compared to 12 the day before. Newport reported 15 new cases, Cardiff 14 cases and Flintshire recorded 10.
Bridgend saw nine new cases while Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea recorded eight. Blaenau Gwent was next with seven and Gwynedd had six. The Vale of Glamorgan had five while Conwy, Denbighshire and Neath Port Talbot had four apiece. Torfaen, Anglesey and Powys all recorded three each while Monmouthshire, Wrexham and Pembrokshire had two.
Carmarthenshire had just one new case while Ceredigion was the only area to record no new cases at all.
These are the areas with the highest seven-day rolling totals for new cases. All figures are reported as cases adjusted for population (per 100,000 people):
Caerphilly: 83.4 (up)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 82.1 (up)
Newport: 47.8 (up)
Merthyr Tydfil: 39.8 (up)
Bridgend: 21.1 (up)
Blaenau Gwent: 20 (up)
Flintshire: 19.9 (up)
Conwy: 19.6 (down)
Torfaen: 14.9 (unchanged)
Cardiff: 14.4 (up)
Anglesey: 12.8 (down)
Denbighshire: 10.4 (down)
Neath Port Talbot: 9.8 (up)
Swansea: 9.3 (unchanged)
Powys: 9.1 (down)
Wrexham: 8.1 (down)
Vale of Glamorgan: 7.5 (up)
Gwynedd: 6.4 (down)
Carmarthenshire: 5.8 (down)
Pembrokeshire: 4.8 (up)
Monmouthshire: 3.2 (up)
Ceredigion: 1.4 (unchanged)
Wales: 23.3 (up)
Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “We welcome new measures announced today by the Welsh Government relating to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases there. These measures are essential to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus.
“Under the measures, people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council area without a reasonable excuse. People will only be able to meet outdoors for the time being. People will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household. All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm.
“As is the case across Wales, everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas.
“The new measures, which apply to everyone living within the Rhondda Cynon Taf area, will come into force from 6pm on Thursday 17 September.
“Previously announced enhanced public health action in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil local authority areas continues in addition to the Welsh Government measures announced today.
“These include limits on the use of public transport to essential purposes only, and that local people should not visit care homes, unless it is an end-of-life visit. In such cases full PPE will be required.
“Appointments for the temporary testing centre at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council offices at The Pavilions, Clydach Vale, CF40 2XX can be made in advance via the online portal.
“We are now seeing a steady increase in cases in a number of communities across Wales, and our investigations show that many of these have been transmitted due to a lack of social distancing.
“Coronavirus has not gone away. It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus to protect older and vulnerable family members and friends. They should do this by self-isolating when asked to do so, staying two metres away from others, and by washing hands regularly.
“Face coverings are now mandatory for everyone over age 11 in public places, and only six people from an extended household can meet now indoors in areas of Wales where local restrictions do not apply.
“Public Health Wales supports the restrictions which have been put in place in Caerphilly by the Welsh Government and Caerphilly Council. The full list of rules for this area can be found on the Welsh Government website.
“Members of the public in Newport are also being advised of the need to be vigilant for the symptoms of Coronavirus, and of the vital need to stick to social distancing guidelines, as a rise in cases there causes concern.
Our role in testing and sampling
“Public Health Wales does not run any drive-through or walk-in sampling centres. These services are delivered either by local health boards, or by the UK Department of Health and Social Services.
“Public Health Wales does have a role in processing tests and delivering test results, but the majority of tests for Welsh residents are processed by the Lighthouse Labs run by the UK Department of Health.”
“Advice on travelling abroad, including the latest information on quarantine requirements on returning home, can be found on the Welsh Government and FCO websites.
“Anyone returning to Wales from countries which have been identified as high risk must quarantine in accordance with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regulations even if they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have had a negative test result.
“Anyone with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 infection – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of smell or taste (anosmia) – must self-isolate and seek an urgent test.
“Getting a coronavirus test is free and simple to do, either by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling the free number 119.
“Confirmed cases must isolate for 10 days, with members of their household isolating for 14 days until the risk of passing on further infection has gone. Combined, these simple but effective actions will ensure the virus does not spread.”