By Zoe Kramer | Head of News
The number of COVID-19 cases in Wales has been falling steadily since January.
The infection rate stands at 91.6 per 100,000 members of the population, down from 95.1 last Sunday. This is the lowest it has been since September, and a significant drop from the 379.1 rate observed on January 13.
Rates are also dropping within the capital. Within a week, three areas of Cardiff reported 0-2 new cases. This indicates that tier 4 restrictions and their enforcement have been largely successful.
Between January 30 and February 5, Llandaff and Danescourt, Victoria Park and Rhiwbina all counted themselves among the 0-2 cases category, while on the upper end, the regions with the highest number of cases were Heath and Tremorfa and Pengam, which both had 15 cases.
COVID-19 deaths have also been falling. In the first week of February, there were 361 deaths, which was 86 fewer deaths than the previous week. The total number of pandemic in Wales has reached 6,843.
North-east Wales has had the highest number of deaths recently, accounting for 2/3 of the 42 deaths in north Wales hospitals.
“Our community prevalence rates are down, they are down very significantly from where we were in December,” said NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall, speaking with BBC Radio 4.
“We see the positivity rates and the reproduction values are well down within Wales now.
“Just over the last two or three weeks or so the number of patients in hospitals for coronavirus has actually reduced by about a quarter.”
He added, however, that these positive changes in regards to COVID-19 cases shouldn’t mean throwing caution to the wind.
“Although the data currently shows all-Wales numbers of cases are reducing and that the incidence is now below 120 cases per 100,000 population, the rates in some areas – particularly in north Wales – are still at nearly double that, and there have been small increases in others.
“It is encouraging to see that the numbers of people being treated for coronavirus in our hospitals is reducing, [but] there are still a large number of people who are extremely ill, which means that the pressure on services is still very high.”
There were 84 patients being treated on invasive ventilated beds as of February 9, with Betsi Cadwaladr having the most people in critical care, 23. In addition, there has also been a temporary drop in vaccine supply.
In light of the changing figures, First Minister Mark Drakeford plans to announce an updated pandemic roadmap on Friday.
“We want to be clear to people that any changes will be marginal, but we are always keen to see if there is any opportunity to allow the outdoors to be more than is possible at present. To see if there are any marginal steps that we might be able to take for families, but it will depend,” said Mr. Drakeford.
“We will not be making those decisions until Thursday (February 18), when we have the very latest information.
”Schools remain our top priority. Getting our children back into school is the most important thing we can do and then we will see if there is any marginal room for us to offer any other easements.”