Coronavirus: Hospital admissions rise in hotspot areas

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RhonddaImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Council leaders in Rhondda Cynon Taff have warned about potential local lockdowns here

Hospital admissions of patients with coronavirus in a health board covering the south Wales valleys have doubled in the last week.

There were 72 admissions in Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board in the week to Tuesday, according to figures from NHS Wales.

It is the highest figure since the start of August.

There has been concern about rising infections in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil.

Welsh Government ministers and officials had been meeting on Thursday to discuss potentially introducing tighter restrictions within the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, but no announcement was made by the evening.

Instead, local councils issued voluntary advice to wear masks in work and shops in an effort to avoid local lockdowns.

Earlier on Thursday, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg executive director of public health Kelechi Nnoaham said local lockdowns for Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil were "not very far", but were "not inevitable" if people abided by the rules.

"There is more we can do to limit these infections within our communities and not go straight into lockdown territory."

Image caption,
Kelechi Nnoaham says he is worried by rising cases but the problem can be tackled by working together

Mr Nnoaham said some people who had come home from holidays who should be isolating were not, and that people needed to stop attending parties.

"I know how hard lockdown has been for people, and that they want to let go a little bit, that is perfectly human, but coronavirus has not gone away," he said.

"I am worried, but it is not hopeless. It is not an insurmountable problem, it feels like something we can tackle if we are working together with our communities."

Numbers have also risen in the Aneurin Bevan health board area, which covers Caerphilly county, the area put into local lockdown earlier this week.

Hospital admissions with Covid-19. Numbers by week.  Up to 8 September.

There were 76 hospital admissions in the week to 8 September - the highest total for 10 weeks.

Caerphilly has the second highest rate for coronavirus infections in the UK in the last seven days, after Bolton, Greater Manchester.

But there are concerns if those infections start translating down the line into hospital admissions.

The seven-day average in total daily admissions to hospitals of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases in Wales is currently 54, about the same as last week.

Overall, numbers of patients in hospital with coronavirus in Wales have continued to fall.

These include those in critical care.

Critical care in Wales. Numbers in invasive ventilated and critical care beds.  Normal critical care bed capacity is 152 beds.

The figures show:

  • There were 249 coronavirus-related patients in hospital beds - 42 fewer than last week
  • Of those - 13 were confirmed Covid-19 patients, 150 were suspected and 86 were recovering from the virus
  • A total of nine people were being treated on invasive ventilated beds, including in critical care, for confirmed or suspected coronavirus - five fewer than the week before
  • Aneurin Bevan, Betsi Cadwaladr, Cardiff and Vale and Swansea Bay health boards each had two patients in critical or ventilated care and one in Cwm Taf Morgannwg - all suspected Covid-19 patients apart from one of the Cardiff patients, who is a confirmed case
  • Hywel Dda had no Covid-19 patients in critical care.

Meanwhile, separate weekly figures for the "test, trace, protect" system for contacting people with coronavirus and tracing contacts, shows 98% of the 1,860 positive cases since 21 June were reached and were able to provide details of their recent contacts.

In the most recent week, 96% of the 424 positive cases were reached.

Of the 5,834 close contacts that were eligible for follow-up, 94% were successfully contacted and advised, according to NHS Wales.

The Welsh Government said this shows it was reaching more contacts than the system in England.