Lockdown in Wales is working, says First Minister

The tough restrictions enforced in Wales amid the Covid-19 pandemic are working as the country braces itself for its fourth week in lockdown, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford spoke out as Public Health Wales revealed the number of people who have died after contracting Covid-19 rose by 15 to 384, as a total of 5,610 have now tested positive for the virus.

He said that the benefit of the public staying at home over the Easter bank holiday weekend and sticking to the strict social distancing guidelines would be seen in the weeks to come.

“Thanks to everyone who’s staying home. I know this is hard. For some people it’s even tougher,” Mr Drakeford said.

“Thank you for sticking to the rules, there are signs this is working.

“Our actions and decisions over the Easter break and weeks to come will have an impact.”

Last week Mr Drakeford had warned the restrictions could get worse if people flouted social distancing rules.

It comes after a weekend when two further NHS staff in Wales died after testing positive for the virus.

Donna Campbell worked at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff as a healthcare support worker while Gareth Roberts was a nurse at the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Donna Campbell died after contracting Covid-19 Velindre University NHS Trust/PA)
Donna Campbell died after contracting Covid-19 (Velindre University NHS Trust/PA)

Police patrols of beaches, coastal areas and other public spaces were continuing across Wales over the holiday period.

In Pembrokeshire, one motorist was given a fixed penalty notice and turned away after travelling from the Birmingham area to collect a motorbike, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

Seconds after posting the above, the driver and passenger of this vehicle have travelled from the Birmingham area to collect a motorbike.

This is clearly not an essential journey. Fixed penalty notices issued and vehicle turned around. #StayHomeSaveLivespic.twitter.com/nphuAMbRyB

— Pembrokeshire RPU 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@PembsRPU) April 13, 2020

In Brecon, a motorcyclist “out for a ride” from Newport was given a fixed penalty notice for breaching the lockdown restrictions.

In other developments, former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has spoken of developing coronavirus-like symptoms, describing it as a “blur”.

She said her partner Ian first began to feel ill and then a couple of days later, she did too.

“By the Thursday afternoon I started to develop a headache.

“By the time we were out on the front door clapping the key workers at 8pm, I felt dreadful,” Ms Wood said.

“The next two days are a blur.

“The headache got worse. Much worse. And was accompanied by a feeling of nausea and diarrhoea.

“For most of Friday I couldn’t lift my head up from the pillow and opening my eyes was very painful.

“Saturday was much the same. Blinding headache, but nothing else – no other obvious symptoms.

“By the Sunday, the headache had eased. Both my partner and myself were left with no symptoms, but absolute exhaustion.

“The tiniest of tasks necessitated a big rest and we both wanted to sleep all the time.

“This has lasted up to yesterday. Our daughter has had no symptoms at all.”

Leanne Wood believes both she and her partner had contracted coronavirus (Jane Barlow/PA).
Leanne Wood believes both she and her partner had contracted coronavirus (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ms Wood said it neither she or her partner knew for certain whether they had coronavirus or not.

“It looks like it’ll be some time before tests are available to be able to know, which is a shame because if we have had it and are now immune, we could potentially be useful,” she said.

“My 14-day quarantine period is up on Wednesday.

“It’s been a scary time, and I’m sure there are plenty of others who have gone through similar and I know much worse in recent weeks.”

Wales is also playing a role in a UK-wide programme for treating coronavirus patients using blood donated from people who have recovered from the illness.

The plasma will be used to help patients develop immunity to Covid-19.

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