'The pattern in Gwent is the same seen in Italy'
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Coronavirus: Health board says 'pattern is the same seen in Italy'

The NHS in one area of Wales could be "following Italy" and faces being overwhelmed by a rapid increase in coronavirus cases, a senior official has warned.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has seen 309 confirmed cases of Covid-19 - almost half the total for Wales and more than twice the number in any other area.

No explanation has been given by the Welsh Government for the "random" cluster.

Sarah Aitken, the board's director of public health, has urged people to stay at home to give the NHS "essential time" to increase capacity.

"In Gwent we are seeing a rapidly rising increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the community, the number of people being admitted to hospital and the number of people dying of the virus," she said.

"The pattern we are seeing in Gwent is the same pattern seen in Italy where their healthcare system is now overwhelmed.

"Without a huge effort by all of us we are heading to the moments where our health service will be overwhelmed too.

"We won't have enough hospital beds for everyone who needs life-saving ventilators and intensive care."

  • 25 Mar 2020
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