Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
This statement will be updated daily at 12pm
Updated: 12:00 Saturday 21 March 2020
Dr Chris Williams, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“89 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 280, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales.
“Three people in Wales who tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have now died.
“We are working closely with health boards, NHS 111 and the Welsh Government to develop systems so that NHS Wales and members of the public have appropriate access to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. Based on careful risk assessment, a phased rollout of testing will commence starting with health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care.
“Testing capacity is being expanded and is currently prioritised for patients, health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care, and others where recommended by health board medical directors. As our testing capacity increases, further guidance will be issued on those who are eligible for testing.
“Members of the public should follow the latest public health advice.”
The latest guidance is:
People who live with others should stay at home for 14 days if they, or anyone in their household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
People who live alone should stay at home for seven days if they develop a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
Everyone should avoid non-essential contact with others and unnecessary travel; Pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut to prevent infection spreading in closed spaces
Everyone should work from home where they possibly can
People over 70, and vulnerable groups of any age will be advised in the next few days to be shielded from social contact for several weeks
People who are staying at home for 14 days due to another case of illness in the household, who develop symptoms, should then self-isolate for seven days from the onset of the symptoms.
People who are self-isolating, or in a household with someone who is self-isolating, should read the full stay-at-home guidance: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
For the guidance in full, visit the Department of Health and Social Care website: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Dr Chris Williams said: “People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Advice about the virus is available on the Public Health Wales website.
“People with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone, or 14 days if they live with others. Anyone who lives with someone displaying coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days. They 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 following the latest advice, you will protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable and help to reduce the pressure on NHS Wales and minimise the impact of the virus.”