One of the worst-hit hospitals in the whole of Wales and the UK is now free from coronavirus for the first time in five months.
Newport’s Royal Gwent hospital saw one of the highest number of infections outside of London when the pandemic took hold. At the height of the crisis in April, over half of the staff working in the hospital’s A&E department tested positive for Covid-19.
But Aneurin Bevan University Health Board confirmed today that the hospital’s wards are free from confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time since February.
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The news was broken last night by the hospital’s clinical operational manager for medicine, Aimee Holden, who shared the good news via Twitter.
“It’s been hard work and it has changed the way we work as a hospital in terms of making sure patients are safe to discharge back to the community but staff spirits have been high everyone’s pulled together,” said Ms Holden.
“I’m proud of all the teams and to work for the organisation I just hope as a community we can protect each other and remain safe.”
At its peak, Newport was statistically the most heavily affected local authority in the United Kingdom in terms of diagnosed coronavirus cases – although a true comparison on how acutely each area was affected in early April was difficult due to different approaches to official covid-19 statistics in Wales and England and a lack of data on hospital admissions.
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In April, among the top five local authorities worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Wales, four were within the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
Father-of-four Scott Howell, 48, was the first intensive care patient at the Royal Gwent.
Leaving the intensive care unit at the end of April, after eight weeks of treatment, Mr Howell said: “The staff here saved my life – I was in a coma in intensive care and my heart stopped twice.
“The care I’ve received has allowed me to be a husband and father again and it’s wonderful.”