The number of people catching coronavirus in hospital is growing massively again

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Growing numbers of people are catching coronavirus in hospitals in Wales again, the latest figures have shown.

The latest figures show that 68 people diagnosed with coronavirus in Wales in the last week definitely caught it in hospital and a further 26 almost certainly did. These figures are for the week ending October 11.

There are also 20 people who were diagnosed with Covid-19 several days after arriving in hospital who may have caught it there but that cannot be said for certain.

These figures have risen significantly from a week earlier. Then there were only 37 definite cases where people had caught coronavirus in hospitals. Back in August, there were several weeks when there were no cases of coronavirus caught in hospital in Wales.

In the early days of the pandemic, Welsh hospitals were full of Covid-19 thanks to spiralling cases, shortages of tests and a lack of PPE. Yet it was hoped that processes had improved significantly and that patients in hospitals would be better protected in a second wave.

The recent spike in hospital-acquired coronavirus infections is dominated by the outbreak at hospitals in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board area, most notably the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant. The health board has accounted for 48 of the 67 definite cases of hospital-onset Covid in the last week.

There have also been significant numbers of cases in the Aneurin Bevan health board area, which covers Newport and the south-eastern corner of Wales, with 12 definite hospital-onset Covid infections, and in the Swansea Bay health board area with seven definite hospital onset infections.

Cardiff, Hywel Dda and Powys all had no definite cases and Betsi Cadwaladr health board in north Wales one.

The risks of the virus spreading in hospital are significant as, alongside care homes, they are the most vulnerable settings to an outbreak. You can read WalesOnline’s analysis of the risks here.

This graph shows how the virus has been spread in Welsh hospitals:

As of the summer, More than 1,700 people are believed to have contracted Covid-19 while they were in Welsh hospitals.

This figure makes up in excess of 10% of all confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales.

The hospital transmission data is just over a week behind and the situation is moving very fast.

Cwm Taf Health Board has had 184 cases recently including outbreaks at Maesteg Hospital in Bridgend, the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital and Princess of Wales Hospital (16 cases and 1 death). You can read more details here.

How is the data worked out?

The figure is calculated by looking at how long after someone was admitted to hospital they tested positive for the virus.

The figures in this article include both definite and probable cases.

Speaking about the issue, Dr Giri Shankar, incident director at Public Health Wales said: “The Public Health Wales dashboard is a rapid reporting tool designed to give our stakeholders accurate and timely information in order for decisions to be made promptly. We work closely with our colleagues in local health boards to provide guidance and support to ensure their processes for managing hospital acquired infections are as robust and effective as possible.’

A Welsh Government spokesman added: “Health Boards have implemented a range of measures to prevent transmission of Covid-19 in hospitals. These include the testing of patients coming into hospitals for procedures, extensive use of PPE and ensuring Covid and non-Covid patients are separated through the creation of ‘green zones’ within hospitals.

As the transmission rate of coronavirus rises, we have seen an increase in Covid-19 infection in some of our hospitals. We work closely with health boards and Public Health Wales to ensure any hospital outbreak is brought swiftly under control.”



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