Further patient dies in Wales after developing coronavirus

A further patient in Wales who tested positive for coronavirus has died, bringing the country’s total to 17.

Public Health Wales said 60 new cases had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the number to 478, but warned the true number of cases is likely to be higher.

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the novel coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “One further death of an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus has been reported to us, taking the number of deaths in Wales to 17.

“We offer our condolences to the family and friends affected, and we ask those reporting on the situation to respect patient confidentiality.”

The total cases of coronavirus by health board are: 49 in Swansea Bay; 248 in Aneurin Bevan; 19 in Betsi Cadwaladr; 96 in Cardiff and Vale; 23 in Cwm Taf; 27 in Hywel Dda and 11 in Powys.

There are three cases of people who are resident outside Wales and two yet to be confirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday, First Minister Mark Drakeford told the Senedd that the public “must change their way of life”.

“Wales is facing the worst medical crisis for over a century. We must act to safeguard our communities, protect the health service and save lives,” he said.

“We must all change our way of life. Every part of society has to respond for the benefit of all. The Welsh Government is totally focused on this challenge. We will persevere in working closely with our partners to respond to the crisis and to protect the people of Wales.

“The demand on our NHS services is already significant and could become overwhelming.

“That is why we are all being asked to take a series of unprecedented steps to change the way we live our lives, because that is the best chance we have to slow the spread of the virus.

“And slowing the speed allows us to protect our NHS, and to save lives.”

On Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed the UK on a police-enforced lockdown with drastic new measures in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

He ordered people only to leave their homes under a list of “very limited purposes”, banned public gatherings of more than two people and ordered the closure of non-essential shops.

Pictures emerged at the weekend showing full car parks and busy paths at popular walking spots such as Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons.

In response, the Welsh Government closed down caravan parks, camp sites, tourist hotspots and beauty spots.

Mr Drakeford added: “All of our lives have changed, and that includes the way in which this Senedd will work.

“They will last for three weeks, when they will be reviewed. The UK Government will provide the police with the powers necessary to enforce these measures, but of course, I hope very much that we do not reach that point.”

Angela Burns, Conservative shadow health minister in the Welsh Assembly, said: “We have woken up to a new UK today, one that libertarian politicians and other people alike hoped would never be required.

“The stark fact is that these measures are required to defeat Covid-19 and what was advice is now a set of rules.

“Just to reiterate, this is not an option, but how we must live and behave for the time being so that – as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last night – these measures can be reviewed in three weeks.

“This is for our health, and our national safety, and I urge all people in Wales to adopt these measures.

“What is an already stretched NHS Wales will be stretched further, so to get behind our outstanding doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied healthcare workers, please abide by these rules.”

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