Wales

Coronavirus: Prince Charles thanks NHS staff on return to Wales

Prince Charles at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales Image copyright AFP
Image caption It was the first visit to Wales by the Prince since the coronavirus lockdown

The Prince of Wales has thanked NHS staff for their hard work at a hospital named after him.

It was the first time Prince Charles has been in Wales since recovering from coronavirus himself.

He visited the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, and also called at a coach company to see how they were coping with the Covid-19 crisis.

The prince has not been in Wales since surveying the flooding caused by Storm Dennis across south Wales in February.

The flooding emergency was one of the topics of conversation when the 71-year-old prince arrived at the Edwards Coaches in Mountain Ash to meet members of the family run firm.

Staff at the company helped people from 90 homes in nearby Nantgarw to safety when Storm Dennis hit Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Driver Nicholas Evans, 45, told Prince Charles how he had been due to go to the depot to start the day, when he was diverted.

"I had a phone call saying 'ignore the route, get to Nantgarw as soon as possible'," he said.

"Within 10 minutes we were over there. It was devastating. There was 8ft to 10ft of water but the residents were all in good spirits."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Staff at Edwards Coaches shared stories of flood rescues and the covid pandemic

Managing director Jason Edwards said: "It was such an honour and a privilege for someone like him to come to a small family business from a small community in south Wales.

"He did ask about whether we are seeing the possible signs of recovery, which we are starting to see.

"We've had a lot of people wanting to book coach holidays as soon as they can."

"We will come back stronger for it, but it has been really tough."

After visiting the coach company, Prince Charles went to his namesake hospital, where he thanked teams for their dedication in fighting coronavirus.

The town has been a hotspot for the illness, following a recent outbreak at a food processing plant.

About 140 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded since April linked to the Kepak Merthyr meat plant.

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