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Live Reporting

Chris Wood, Max Evans and Rhiannon Beacham

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from the live updates team tonight - we'll be back with the latest in the morning.

    Here are Thursday's key points:

    • People in Wales offer a national applause to NHS workers and care staff fighting coronavirus
    • Public buildings are also lit up blue to show appreciation for those on the frontline
    • Nineteen more people die in Wales, taking the total with coronavirus to have died in Wales to 117
    • 2,121 people have tested positive for Covid-19, but the true figure is likely to be much higher
    • Minister says the economic impact will be "at least as bad" as the 2008 financial crash
    • Fewer than 1.5% of NHS Wales staff have been tested for the virus, amid hopes testing can be ramped up next week
    • More than 6,000 new beds are being created at sport stadiums and other venues, NHS Wales boss says
  2. 'Protect people with mental illness'

    A mental health charity is calling on Health Minister Vaughan Gething to protect people in Wales with a serious mental illness and their carers during the Covid-19 crisis.

    Mair Elliott, chair of Hafal, wrote in an open letter: “I am writing to you urgently to express my grave concerns about the safety of the most vulnerable mental health patients and their carers and families in Wales during the coronavirus outbreak and to seek your assurance that their safety will not be compromised.

    “We need a guarantee that services will keep patients and their families and carers safe in these difficult times.”

  3. Parking charges waived

    Pembrokeshire council has waived parking charges for health and social care workers.

    Councillor Phil Baker, the cabinet member for infrastructure, communities, licensing and major events, said: “We are very aware that our car parks provide our NHS, health and social care workers with access to essential services such as food and medical supplies."

  4. NUS seeks support for student renters during crisis

    NUS Wales wants authorities to ensure students who leave their accommodation early due to the coronavirus will not have to pay for it.

    It has written to the Welsh Government seeking support for student renters.

    "We want to work with ministers and universities to make sure all students who have left their accommodation early don't have to pay for it," NUS Wales tweeted.

    View more on twitter
  5. Rhondda's 'thank you' to NHS staff fighting the coronavirus

    cross on hillside and letters NHS
    Image caption: This cross dedicated to NHS workers has appeared on the hillside above Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  6. Update on Wrexham firefighter

    As we reported yesterday, Wrexham firefighter Steve Landon has spent almost a week in intensive care after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

    His wife, Becky has posted an update on social media.

    His condition is described as stable and doctors are said to be happy with his progress.

    View more on facebook
  7. Man gets 'humane' jail term due to coronavirus

    Mold Crown Court

    A man has been handed a six-week jail term today, served already due to his time remanded in custody, in a “humane” act by a judge because of the coronavirus crisis.

    Matthew Hatfield, 41, of Bryn-y-Baal, Mold, had admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order by deleting the internet history on his mobile phone.

    Judge Niclas Parry, at Mold Crown Court, said he was taking an exceptional course because of Hatfield's health and fears for him.

    Allowing him to self-isolate and receive medical equipment could save Hatfield’s life, he said.

  8. Claim NHS protective mask 'does not fit' doctor

    A medic in protective gear

    The father of a doctor on the front line of the fight against coronavirus has started a crowdfunding drive to get protective gear for her amid claims her supplied mask does not fit properly.

    Mark Sharpe, from Anglesey, said his daughter had been working on Ysbyty Gwynedd’s emergency department but had been redeployed to the respiratory ward.

    He said she could not work on the Covid-19 ward because the FFP3 masks supplied by the NHS did not fit her as she is too slight.

    The FFP3 Mask is an oral nasal disposable mask recommended by the World Health Organisation and should be “face-fit tested before use” to guarantee adequate protection.

    A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which runs the hospital, said: “Trained staff at all three of our acute sites are providing fit testing to ensure our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protects our staff correctly.

    “There are processes in place for staff who have any concerns about the fit of PPE to seek expert guidance.”

  9. 'Huge challenges on the horizon'

    A hospice has lost 90% of its income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Officials from north west Wales-based St David's Hospice have predicted "huge challenges on the horizon".

    Their frontline clinical staff continue to care for vulnerable patients in Llandudno’s 14 bed inpatient unit, as well as community services.

    Due to the closure of charity shops and events being cancelled, nearly 90% of the hospice’s income has stopped.

    To raise funds, officials have devised an Easter indoor and outdoor activity pack with recipes, games and activities for family members to get involved with.

    Head of fundraising, marketing and communications Margaret Hollings said: “St David’s Hospice is currently fundraising through the most challenging times the hospice has ever faced and at the same time our inpatient and community services remain open to patients who are vulnerable.

    "Our staff are very much on the frontline along with the NHS and it’s down to us fundraisers to make sure that end of life care can continue for those who desperately need it through the pandemic in north west Wales”.

    Hospice
  10. 'We are ready'

    A Welsh doctor has described the huge effort being made to treat an increasing number of patients diagnosed with coronavirus.

    Dr Martin Bevan, who is the unit medical director at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, spoke outside a Covid ward which is currently treating five patients – but until a week ago was a rheumatology unit.

    "It's been re-purposed, it’s now an acute medical unit where we admit patients who are either suspected or known to be [Covid] positive," he said.

    "So we're able now to admit patients direct from the community or transferred from Singleton and Morriston hospitals.”

    There are five on the unit and another four who have tested positive for coronavirus on the medical wards.

    Dr Bevan – who himself suffered with the symptoms of the illness - said the patients started arriving just a few days ago, but they expect many more in the coming days.

    “We only have five beds out of 17 used on the admission unit and we have a 40 bed ward upstairs ready as well for transfers from the medical unit," he said.

    "I anticipate within the next few weeks we will be probably fill up.

    “But we still have plenty of capacity in the hospital. So we hope that we will have sufficient capacity to cope with the projected demands that are predicted at the moment.”

    He said that the staff there are ready for what comes next.

    “We are confident that we can cope with whatever's thrown at us. Obviously, no one knows what is going to happen," Dr Bevan added.

    "But I think we are as well prepared as we can be. And you know, all eventualities have been considered.”

    “All this is challenging. My role has changed considerably over the last week.

    "I am a consultant rheumatologist but now I am working in acute medicine and doing resident on calls. So that is a big change. But everyone is stepping up to the challenge. And there have been a lot of volunteers to work in the Covid areas. “

    Dr Martin Bevan
  11. Luke Evans takes to Twitter to say 'thank you'

    Luke Evans

    Actor Luke Evans has joined other stars of stage, screen and sports to thank NHS staff.

    The Beauty and the Beast star, who was brought up in Aberbargoed, tweeted a YouTube video with fellow stars offering their support and thanks.

    Evans recently praised staff at Swansea's Morriston Hospital who saved his father's hand after an accident with a circular saw.

    View more on twitter
  12. Senedd in a blaze of blue in tribute to keyworkers

    The Senedd

    The Senedd has once again been turned blue as the Welsh assembly joined the country is saluting those people on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Welsh assembly tweeted to say the building would be turned blue in the same way as it was during last week's clap for the NHS.

    It said the gesture was to say "thank you to all of those caring for us right now".

    It will stay that way until 21:00 BST.

  13. Relive the clapping

    You can watch people around the country showing their support for keyworkers as part of a Clap for Carers news special.