Covid-19 cases continue to fall in Wales after firebreak lockdown

16 November 2020, 14:43 | Updated: 16 November 2020, 14:57

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething was cautiously optimistic about today's Covid-19 figures
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething was cautiously optimistic about today's Covid-19 figures. Picture: Welsh Government

The Welsh health minister has hailed "very positive signs" as Covid-19 cases continue to fall in the country following a national firebreak lockdown.

At a press conference on Monday, Vaughan Gething revealed new data which shows the infection rate in Wales is now 160 cases per 100,000 people - a significant drop of 70 from last week.

"On Friday, I said we're starting to see some early very positive signs that cases of coronavirus are beginning to fall," he said.

"In Merthyr Tydfil, which had the highest rates in the UK just over a week ago, the rate has more than halved to around 330 cases per 100,000 people."

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Mr Gething said that other parts of the South Wales Valleys, which also saw "very high" rates, now had an incidence rate of less than 300 cases per 100,000 people.

Data from the Public Health Wales shows falling Covid-19 cases
Data from the Public Health Wales shows falling Covid-19 cases. Picture: Public Health Wales

People in Wales should not expect a "definitive statement" on Christmas in the next few days or weeks, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said.

Mr Gething told a press conference that he had seen images of people who had "forgotten about social distancing and are returning to a more normal way of behaving".

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"If that continues, then we really will face difficult choices and we're likely to see the trend that we've already seen with reducing cases, that could easily reverse," Mr Gething said.

"This is a highly infectious virus that thrives on human contact. It's also why we can't have a definitive view at this point about what Christmas might look like.

"Whatever happens with Christmas and the festive season this year, it won't be like normal.

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"We're still discussing issues about where we can get to with other governments across the UK on travel, and we're still looking at the evidence about what we might be able to do around contact, but it does rely on the picture that we'll see in the developing evidence over the coming weeks."

There have been a further 892 cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 67,106.

Public Health Wales reported another two deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 2,209.