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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday virus update from Public Health Wales


Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This statement will be updated daily at 2pm
Updated: 2:00pm Saturday 28 March
Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“172 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1093, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. 
“4 further deaths have been reported to us of people who had tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the number of deaths in Wales to 38.
“We offer our condolences to families and friends affected, and we ask those reporting on the situation to respect patient confidentiality.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales.  The single most important action we can all take in fighting Coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, and save lives.
“We know that staying at home can be hard, and we want to thank each and every person across Wales for doing their bit to help slow the spread of the virus.”
“Members of the public must adhere to social distancing rules about staying at home, and away from others, introduced by the UK and Welsh Government.  These rules are available on the Public Health Wales website.
 “People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Information about the symptoms to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.
“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.  They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.
“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111.  We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.
“The public play a very important role in slowing the spread of infection. By strictly following the latest measures, you will protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable and help to reduce the pressure on NHS Wales and minimise the impact of the virus.”
Numbers of confirmed cases by local health board 
Health Board
New cases
Cumulative cases
Aneurin Bevan
50
482
Betsi Cadwaladr
19
64
Cardiff and Vale
62
256
Cwm Taf
22
90
Hywel Dda
2
54
Powys
1
19
Swansea Bay
11
104
Resident outside Wales
0
6
To be confirmed
5
18
Wales Total
172
1087
Total
172
1093

“We are looking at ways of providing information for the public and media in a routine or automated way, and we ask that the public and media bear with us while these systems are put in place.”

Latest roadworks alert

Latest roadworks alert from one.network for Llangollen is:


30 March — 01 April

Delays unlikely - Traffic control (give & take)

Works location: OUTSIDE 4 VICARAGE ROAD...

Works description: Boundary box Install 25mm Job in Footway (6mm Bitmac (Tarmac) )...

Responsibility for works: Dee Valley Water

Current status: Advanced planning

Works reference: ZU0028102/000012372363


Coronavirus - Saturday update


* Officer Delia at North Wales Police with
donations from local businesses.
Picture by Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group.

As demand grows for its services in the area the online appeal set up by Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group currently stands at £1,375 of its £2,000 target.

Yesterday, in her latest update on Facebook, group co-ordinator Cat Meade said: “This group is run by volunteers, the majority of us are all doing our own jobs working from home and assisting the community, may I ask for your patience in responding to calls, newspaper deliveries, shopping request etc.. We are all working as hard as we can to support you and your requests.

“I shall be revisiting our methods over the weekend and putting rotas in place for volunteers as the demand is growing by the hour of each day, if you wish to volunteer (mainly drivers) please email catherine@wingetts.co.uk.

“Thank you Llangollen for the incredible donations to date, today’s funds went to Llangollen Fechan Nursing Home, a box of male & female toiletries , hair curlers, brushes, sprays, tissues, sweets, crisps, puzzle books, pens tissues and cakes were delivered by our lovely Delia at North Wales Police with a beautiful donation of flowers from Stans on Berwyn St.


Mike Connolly has been a huge support to this group from day 1 and to me personally, he works daily advising, supporting, delivering and checks in daily.

Our daily volunteers, too many to name but I will do a post on them soon, I fire out requests, they jump to the task. You are much appreciated.

“SHOPS - I have spoken with every store and will commend those that are supporting. Williams, Dee Valley fruit & veg, all takeaways.
.
“Heart warming applause last night at 8pm, let’s keep the NHS in our thoughts.

“Next post will be Monday as I review this past week and a way forward, you will all be updated. Keep safe, stay home #llangollenfamily

Work has been carried out over the last week by Denbighshire County Council officers with input from County Councillors and City, Town and Community Councils, to pull together and map out a list of resources available during the Covid-19 outbreak across Denbighshire.


The list contains information about local emerging groups and businesses across Denbighshire offering support across including information about food deliveries, grocery services and support services. As well as community based information it also contains links to a variety of support agencies and networks which operate locally, regionally and nationally.

The county council says: “Please share this widely with your friends, relatives, neighbours and community.

“We are aware that the Excel spreadsheet may not be accessible to all and not easy to access by mobile devices. Officers are exploring alternative ways of sharing this information with our communities and this will be updated and shared soon.

“This list of key information will be updated on a regular basis and should you have any information or links that you feel would be useful to residents please email community.development@denbighshire.gov.uk.

New police enforcement powers have been granted by the UK and Welsh Government yesterday (Thursday 26 March), to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
From now on if members of the public do not comply with government advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel, North Wales Police officers may:
·        Directed to return home or removed from where they are and returned home
·        Issue a fixed penalty notice of £30, which if not paid within 14 days will double to £60
·        If they are issued with a second or subsequent notice the charge will be £120
Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.
However, in the first instance the police will always apply their common sense and discretion and seek to Engage, Explain and Encourage. Where individuals refuse to comply, or repeatedly breach the legislation, our officers are ready to enforce the regulations as the public would expect us to do.
North Wales Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “This is a public health emergency and compliance with these measures is considered necessary to achieve the objective of effective social distancing. 

“We have all heard the scientific advice which clearly states this will slow the spread of the virus and save people’s lives.
“These new powers will support my officers in dealing with those that have not yet fully understood the gravity of the situation. The Government has been clear that it expects people to do the right thing in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
“Disappointingly we saw a large influx of visitors to North Wales last weekend, however with the caravan and camping sites now closed we hope people will continue to adhere to the messages and stay away. We urge anyone who may be considering visiting North Wales to think again.
“Maintaining the best service to the public, protecting our officers and staff, and supporting the nationwide response are our top priorities.
“We urge self-compliance within all of North Wales’ communities. Officers and staff will encourage everyone to do so, remind those who we see in public who we believe may not be following them to do so, and only resort to enforcement action as a last resort.
“We’re in this together and each and every one of us has a role to play by following government advice. The vast majority are following the advice, and we thank them for listening.
“It’s at times like this we see the very best of community spirit and partnership working and I’d like to thank all those, including our officers and staff going above and beyond the call of duty, who are working as one to respond to this situation.”
Individuals will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:
·        Shopping for basic necessities and supplies, which should be as infrequently as possible
·        One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household
·        Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, and
·        Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot reasonably practicably work from home.
Members of the public should continue to call 999 in an emergency where a crime is in progress or there is a threat to life.

If your call is not urgent, we would urge people to make use of our online reporting service or webchat facility wherever possible, in order to release the pressure on our emergency lines and resources.
If you are seeking advice around COVID-19 and what it means for you, please visit the UK Government or Welsh Government website in the first instance. This will enable our call takers and officers to focus purely on policing matters and ensure resources are being utilised effectively.
For the latest health advice please visit Public Health Wales
On Facebook yesterday Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes posted a message urging people to act responsibly if they are able to leave the house to exercise or walk their dog.

He said: Remember it is lambing season, avoid farms wherever possible, especially fields with livestock and keep your dog under control.”

And he posted a copy of the leaflet below to illustrate his point:



Denbighshire Countryside Service and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty posted a message which said: “Following the UK Government’s most recent announcements and followed up with new powers from Welsh Government, Denbighshire County Council have taken the following Action.

“The busiest sites in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB will be closed to the public. There will be no access to these areas until further notice, this includes Moel Famau Country Park and Coed Moel Famau, Loggerheads Country Park, Llangwyfan Forest and Pen y Cloddiau, Coed Nercwys and Horseshoe Falls.

“In co-operation with Natural Resources Wales we have closed all our main countryside car parks.

There will be no parking available for access to the most popular sites in the AONB. Please only walk in areas close to your home.

“We have taken these steps to help reduce the spread of the virus, to protect the NHS and to save lives. Please help by staying at home.

“Our Information Centre at Loggerheads Country Park is closed until further notice. We have set up a remote enquiry system – the public can contact 01824 712757 or email loggerheads.countrypark@denbighshire.gov.uk with visitor enquiries for all areas.”

Locally, Davies Brothers builders posted yesterday: “Due to the unprecedented situation regarding COVID-19, Davies Brothers have been forced into the decision of suspending all of our works as of the 27th of March 2020, as of now our current target date to resume works is Monday 20th of April 2020, although we realise there is a lot of uncertainty at this time.

“This decision comes with deep regret as we realise the implications this will have on both our employees and our subcontractors."

Friday, March 27, 2020

Warning over criminals exploiting virus fears


Denbighshire Trading standards is warning residents of unscrupulous criminals exploiting fears about COVID-19.

Criminals are preying on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends, and Denbighshire County Council is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams nationally that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty.

Members of the public should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19.

In some cases individuals may be pressurised on their own doorsteps to buy anti-virus kits or persuaded into purchasing products advertised on social media.

In addition, some call centres that previously targeted UK consumers with dubious health products are now offering supplements that supposedly prevent COVID-19.

Cllr Mark Young, the Council’s lead member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “We have great communities here in Denbighshire and we want people to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals.

“There are some fantastic, genuine, volunteer groups providing help during self-isolation, but there have been reports nationally of criminals preying on residents – often older people or people living with long-term health conditions – by cold-calling at their homes and offering to go to the shops for them.

“The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and I would advise people not to answer their doors to unexpected strangers at this moment.

“I would urge all residents in Denbighshire to remain vigilant at this time and to look after each other.”

COVID-19 scams identified nationally include:

Doorstep crime

•             Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.
•             Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams

•             Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
•             Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.
Refund scams
•             Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Counterfeit goods

•             Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.
Telephone scams
•             As more people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.
Donation scams
•             There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.
Loan sharks
•             Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.

NTS is also issuing urgent advice to help prevent people falling victim to COVID-19 scams through its Friends Against Scams initiative.

Members of the public are being urged to keep in contact with family members regularly and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them. If someone has been targeted by a scam it can be reported to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

* For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/  or call 0808 22 31133 or Welsh language 0808 22 31144.

Open letter from the First Minister of Wales


27 Mar 2020


Our lives have changed drastically over the past two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Every one of us has made changes to the way we live our lives.

This is a truly unprecedented time and we are all adjusting to this new way of life.

We have had to take a series of difficult decisions in Wales, and across the UK, to slow the spread of the virus. 

Schools and businesses have closed and most people are working from home. The streets are quiet.

These measures have been introduced to protect all of us and to protect our NHS.

The message is simple stay at home and save lives. 

We should only go out for essentials as infrequently as possible. There is no need to stockpile as there is plenty of food available. We can go out once a day for exercise, close to home but we should not take any unnecessary risks. 

The Welsh Government is working with all its partners across Wales, including local authorities, the NHS and social care services, trade unions and others, to do everything we can to respond to the pandemic.

I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has offered to help in their local community. We’ve had a tremendous response to people offering to help – from phoning a friend to picking up shopping. But please do this safely and protect yourself and others.

I’d also like to thank our NHS and social care staff who are doing a fantastic job. People are offering to come out of retirement and back into the NHS and social care to help with the effort against coronavirus.

There has been a terrific response across Wales.

Let’s pull together and all play our part, to protect each other and our NHS.  The actions of every single one of us matters.

For more information visit: gov.wales/coronavirus

Mark Drakeford
First Minister of Wales

Latest virus update from Public Health Wales

Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This statement will be updated daily at 2pm
Updated: 2:00pm Friday 27 March
Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“180 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 921, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. 
“Six further deaths have been reported to us of people who had tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the number of deaths in Wales to 34.
“We offer our condolences to families and friends affected, and we ask those reporting on the situation to respect patient confidentiality.
“We realise how important it is to keep people updated, and we can confirm that around 5,000 Coronavirus tests have so far been carried out in Wales. 
“We are looking at ways of providing information for the public and media in a routine or automated way, and we ask that the public and media bear with us while these systems are put in place.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales.  The single most important action we can all take in fighting Coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, and save lives.
“Members of the public must adhere to social distancing rules about staying at home, and away from others, introduced by the UK and Welsh Government.  These rules are available on the Public Health Wales website.
“People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Information about the symptoms to look out for is available on the Public Health Wales website, or members of the public can use the NHS Wales symptom checker.
“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.  They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.
“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111.  We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.
“The public play a very important role in slowing the spread of infection. By strictly following the latest measures, you will protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable and help to reduce the pressure on NHS Wales and minimise the impact of the virus.”
Numbers of confirmed cases by local health board

Health board
New cases
Cumulative cases
Aneurin Bevan
74
432
Betsi Cadwaladr
20
45
Cardiff and Vale
38
194
Cwm Taf Morgannwg
14
68
Hywel Dda
7
52
Powys
2
18
Swansea Bay
18
93
Resident outside Wales
1
6
To be confirmed
6
13
Wales Total
179
915
Total
180
921