How is Covid-19 affecting Wales? Nearly a month since the newest lockdown got here into drive, hospitals have extra sufferers with the virus than ever earlier than and weekly deaths are near the peak ranges seen at the finish of April.
But case charges appear to be easing off and the vaccination rollout has began, if a little bit stutteringly.
Here is a snapshot – in six charts – to indicate the place we’re.
Wrexham nonetheless a hotspot as instances ease
In the week earlier than Christmas, Merthyr Tydfil had the highest case fee in the UK for Covid-19.
From that peak of 1,349 instances per 100,000, it has been minimize significantly. The newest figures present 545.5 instances per 100,000, which is 29 constructive instances in the previous week.
But whereas the south Wales valleys and Bridgend had been displaying up as hotspots for weeks, considerations have switched to north Wales – and the north east area in specific.
Health officers imagine the sooner-spreading variant of Covid-19 has taken root and is chargeable for at the very least 70% of instances in north Wales.
Wrexham has seen a gentle rise in its case fee. It now stands at 970.9 instances per 100,000 – its highest level.
Twelve of its communities make up the highest 20 localised hotspots in Wales, when these figures are damaged down additional.
With at the very least 30% of current constructive instances in south Wales additionally as a result of the new variant, well being officers will probably be anxious to maintain a lid on its unfold.
The case fee in Wales as a complete was for a interval in December considered one of the highest in the world but it surely has been falling since the week earlier than Christmas.
Indeed England – together with six of its areas – and Northern Ireland are actually forward of it.
The chief medical officer for Wales Frank Atherton cautiously welcomed this “small fall.” He additionally mentioned round 20% of exams had been now coming again constructive, down from 25% final week.
“This is heading in the right direction but is still too high and shows that there’s still a lot of coronavirus circulating in the community,” he mentioned.
Hospital numbers at a document
Doctors imagine it could possibly be at the very least a month earlier than falling case charges work their method via to hospitals.
The pressures inside Welsh hospitals have been rising – with 36% of all sufferers in beds having Covid. This is twice the proportion we noticed in May.
In the Cwm Taf Morgannwg well being board, which covers Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf, greater than half its hospital sufferers have the virus.
There are additionally document numbers of recovering Covid sufferers – now greater than 1,000. These are individuals who not have the virus however are too sick from the results of it to be allowed house.
The numbers in important care or on ventilators are the highest seen since the peak of the pandemic in April.
The challenges of containing Covid-19 infections inside hospitals themselves have proved tough. There have now been greater than 3,300 infections linked to hospital outbreaks since the begin of October, with 271 new instances in the most up-to-date week.
Not seen in the figures themselves are the results on employees, who had been mentioned by NHS Wales bosses on Wednesday to be exhausted and on a “constant treadmill.”
Deaths persevering with to rise
The variety of Covid-19 deaths throughout the pandemic passed the 5,000 mark in Wales in the newest weekly replace from the Office for National Statistics.
Rhondda Cynon Taf has the worst mortality fee – and by one measure has the highest throughout England and Wales.
On the day the most up-to-date lockdown got here into drive, there have been 65 deaths involving Covid-19 in Wales – the worst in a single day since April.
It is nonetheless working at a mean of 43 a day in the previous week.
Looking at the 5-12 months common – seen as a dependable measure – to this point this 12 months there have been 3,945 “excess” deaths in Wales.
How Wales is staying at house
Behaviour has modified over lockdowns, as revealed by the cellphones we feature round. Mobility data tracked from the likes of Google present dramatic drops in journeys to work, on public transport and to retailers. This data is gleaned by scientists and coverage-makers as a part of the general image on formulating the restrictions to scale back transmission of the virus.
We can see once more how the lockdown simply earlier than Christmas prompted a few of the most dramatic shifts but – however partly after all, folks could be spending extra time at house anyway.
More folks in Wales had been again grocery purchasing, and extra shortly, than after earlier lockdowns. But it is nonetheless not again to the interval earlier than Christmas and is 20% beneath the baseline, the place we had been again in May.
Workplace knowledge additionally suggests not as many are working from house than throughout the April-May lockdown.
Vaccinations selecting up?
After an admittedly gradual begin off the blocks, Wales’ vaccine rollout programme noticed greater than 10,000 first doses administered at the begin of the week, virtually double the quantity the earlier day.
Although the general proportion is nonetheless behind the different UK nations, there was an indication of drawing nearer to England and Scotland’s fee in the newest each day figures.
Wales will hope to catch up because it goals to succeed in 1.5 million folks in the first part.
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