IN a recent statement Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at Public Health Wales, said:

“Public Health Wales welcomes the new local restrictions being brought in by Welsh Government in the council areas of Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport from 6 pm this evening (Tuesday, September 22).

“We are continuing to see a steady increase in cases in many communities across Wales, and our investigations show that many of these have been transmitted due to a lack of social distancing.

“The council areas of Cardiff, Swansea, the Vale of Glamorgan, Carmarthen, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire are all areas of concern to us and we are watching the data from there carefully, but numbers of cases are increasing in all parts of Wales so there is no room for complacency in any area.

“We are also seeing an increase in the number of people who are seriously ill and have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

“We are concerned that much of the good work conducted over the past few months is at risk of going to waste. If the situation continues to worsen, we may find ourselves at the same levels of infection that we experienced earlier this year in March and April; and with that comes the potential for more extended restrictions to be imposed nationally.

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“Coronavirus has not gone away.  It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus to protect older and vulnerable family members and friends.  They should do this by self-isolating when asked to do so, staying two metres away from others, and by washing hands regularly.

“Public Health Wales is urging all eligible people in Wales to have their free flu vaccine as NHS Wales begins its largest ever national flu vaccine programme.

“Flu (also known as influenza) can be serious, particularly for those who are older or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the flu. Having a flu vaccine every year is one of the most effective ways to protect against flu.

“Those eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine include people with long term health conditions, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children aged two to ten years old, carers, domiciliary carers and care home staff with regular client contact as well as care home residents.

“For the latest information, visit www.beatflu.org or www.curwchffliw.org or search Beat Flu or Curwch Ffliw on Twitter and Facebook.

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