A total of 154 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire today, (Monday, January 4).
Public Health Wales figures released today (Monday, January 4) indicate 116 new cases in Carmarthenshire, 23 new cases in Pembrokeshire and 15 in Ceredigion.
The total number of cases in Hywel Dda now totals 11,530 – 8,011 in Carmarthenshire, 1292 in Ceredigion and 2,227 in Pembrokeshire.
There were 1,898 new cases reported throughout Wales, bringing the total amount of cases since the start of the pandemic to 157,209.
In Wales there have been 3,645 deaths with suspected links to coronavirus, 25 of those were reported today.
In the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire there has been a total of 239 Covid-19 related deaths, with three more reported in the Hywel Dda area in the last 24 hours.
There have been 12,974 tests carried out since the last report.
Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:
“We wish everyone a Happy New Year, and hope that 2021 will be a better year for us all. With vaccinations for COVID-19 progressing, we welcome the announcement by the Welsh Government of the roll-out of the second Coronavirus vaccine (from Oxford/AstraZeneca) in Wales, which starts this week.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued a short statement outlining the case for optimising the vaccine programme within the UK to achieve maximum short term impact.
“Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task, and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone. The epidemiology of COVID-19 throughout the UK in late 2020 showed a clear need for rapid, high levels of vaccine uptake among vulnerable persons.
“The JCVI supports a two-dose vaccine schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. Given the data available, and evidence from the use of many other vaccines, Public Health Wales fully supports the JCVI advice to increase a maximum interval between the first and second doses of 12 weeks for both vaccines.
“It can be assumed that protection from the first dose will wane in the medium term, and the second dose will still be required to provide more durable protection. The JCVI advises initially prioritising delivery of the first vaccine dose as this is highly likely to have a greater public health impact in the short term and reduce the number of preventable deaths from COVID-19.
“Members of the public should not to phone your GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine. When someone is in one of the groups eligible for the vaccine, they will be invited to attend a dedicated clinic which will have been set up to ensure patient safety and that of the healthcare professionals.
“The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time, and with Wales at alert level four we must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe. Stay at home, meet only the people you live with, maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and work from home if you can.
“As indicated by the Welsh Government, the new restrictions were brought forward due to the identification of a new more transmissible variant of Coronavirus. Public Health Wales has been working with UK partners to investigate and respond to this variant.
“It is normal for viruses to undergo mutations, and we expect this to happen. Although the variant is easier to transmit, there is currently no evidence that it is more severe.
“We are reminding people that all current guidance relating to Coronavirus continues to apply to the new variant, including advice relating to symptoms, social distancing, self-isolation, and vaccination.
“The new variant shows up as positive in Public Health Wales’ existing Coronavirus tests, and people must continue to seek a test in the usual way if they develop Coronavirus symptoms.
“If you or a member of your household develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test, either by calling 119 or by clicking here.
“If you are due to travel out of the UK, please be aware of the changing situation and keep an eye on the FCO website for up to date details.
“Due Bank Holiday arrangements, the data released today – Sunday January 3 – will be as at 9am on 2 January at 9am. It is important to note that these data will cover a 48 hour period (from 9am 31 December to 9am 2 January) instead of the usual 24 hour period and so should be interpreted with caution, as it is likely to be around double the usual 24 hour value.
“This will not affect individuals receiving their results, and anyone who tests positive will be contacted by their local authority’s Test, Trace, Protect team in the usual way.
“The Public Health Wales public-facing data dashboard is a rapid reporting tool which is subject to correction and reconciliation. Official statistics are provided by the Office of National Statistics.
“Public Health Wales urges everyone to follow the rules, to avoid transmission of Coronavirus and to protect everyone in our communities, including the most vulnerable.”