Coronavirus: Nine new cases in Wales brings total to 15

A drive-through testing centre in a former playing field changing rooms off the M4 in SwanseaImage source, Swansea Bay University Health Board
Image caption,
Testing times in Wales: This coronavirus drive-through station has been established in Swansea

Nine more individuals in Wales have tested positive for coronavirus, health officials confirmed on Tuesday evening.

It brings the number of cases in the nation to 15, after the first case was confirmed in Swansea 12 days ago.

Wales' chief medical officer said seven of the new infections were identified following a resident in the Neath Port Talbot area contracting the virus.

The other two new cases are from the Carmarthenshire area and had recently returned from northern Italy.

Five of the new cases linked to the first Neath Port Talbot patient identified on Monday are living in the same council area.

Image source, AFP

Another is from Swansea, while the seventh is a resident in the Cardiff area.

Earlier on Tuesday, a call centre in Cardiff was closed after an individual there was diagnosed with Covid-19.

The Sky contact centre was evacuated at 14:30 GMT and is undergoing a "deep clean".

In a statement, Sky said: "We can confirm that a Sky colleague in our Cardiff contact centre has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and they are self-isolating at home."

Image caption,
The Sky call centre office in Cardiff will stay closed until Thursday

Sky's senior corporate communications manager Dale Bihari said the office would re-open on Thursday, adding: "Protecting our people is - and always will be - our top priority and so we are closing the contact centre today and sending everyone home as a precaution.

"We're contacting anyone who has been in contact with our colleague."

Public Health Wales has not revealed whether this is the case it has identified in the city, adding it had a "responsibility to protect individuals tested and patients being treated".

"The process of identifying and contacting close contacts of the new cases is under way, and we are taking all appropriate actions to protect the public's health," said Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton.

"The nine new patients are being managed in clinically appropriate settings based on the assessment of a specialist infectious disease consultant."

Public Health Wales has now opened a number of community testing units (CTUs) across the country.

In north Wales, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it had opened three drive-through units at Rossett Clinic in Wrexham, Bryn y Neuadd Hospital in Llanfairfechan, Conwy county, and Ysbyty Alltwen in Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has also opened two CTUs - one in Cardigan in Ceredigion and another in Carmarthen.

Swansea Bay University Health Board said it had opened a drive-through testing centre in a former playing field changing rooms off the M4.

Visits to all units must be arranged through the 111 service.

Media caption,
Steps the NHS says you should take to protect yourself from Covid-19

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned assembly members the coronavirus outbreak could put "enormous strain" on public services in Wales, including the NHS.

Across the UK, the number of coronavirus cases has now reached 382, with a sixth person dying from the virus.

"We have always been clear that we expected the number of positive cases to increase, which is in line with what has happened in other parts of the world," said Dr Atherton.

He said the investigation identifying seven people in Neath Port Talbot showed contact tracing and community testing by Public Health Wales "is working as it should".

"I'd like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is prepared for these types of incidents," he reiterated.

"Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Hand sanitiser has been installed at horse racing's Cheltenham Festival, which attracts big crowds

In other developments:

  • The UK Foreign Office warned Britons against all but essential travel to Italy after the country extended its coronavirus measures, including travel restrictions
  • Italian tourists have been told to self-isolate on arrival in Britain as several UK airlines cancelled flights to and from Italian airports
  • The owner of Nottingham Forest FC, Evangelos Marinakis, has tested positive after returning from Greece
  • Staff at chocolate maker Cadbury are having their temperatures taken as a "precautionary measure"
  • Great Ormond Street children's hospital cancelled some non-essential cardiac operations for two weeks after a health worker in its cardiology department tested positive for the virus
  • Royal Bank of Scotland said it would allow customers to defer mortgage payments if needed
  • The NHS partnered with technology firms to help promote official health advice online
  • And new research showed that, on average, it took five days for people to show symptoms of the virus

Italy's extended quarantine measures require residents to stay home, seek permission for essential travel, and justify leaving the country.