A further 56 people have died in Wales after being diagnosed with coronavirus and more than 4,000 new cases have been confirmed, according to the latest data published by Public Health Wales on Sunday afternoon.
According to the latest figures on January 3, 4,011 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded bringing the total number since the outbreak of the virus to 155,311.
The overall death toll in Wales now stands at 3,620.
The latest number of new cases has increased from 2,764, which was reported on January 2. However, the number of tests carried out has also increased greatly to more than 35,000 compared to fewer than 15,000 reported on the previous day.
Due to Bank Holiday arrangements, Public Health Wales has said that the data released on Sunday covers a 48-hour period instead of the usual 24-hour period and so should be “interpreted with caution”.
The latest infection rate now stands at 445.7 per 100,000 population, a number which is based on the seven days up to December 29. Figures are based on the date tests were done, not the date test results were included on the system, meaning it is an accurate reflection of the extent to which the virus is spreading rapidly in Wales.
The positive proportion of tests carried out in Wales is now at 25.3%, meaning that more than a quarter of people getting tested have coronavirus. The latest figures come following news that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine with its rollout across Wales starting in the coming week.
Deaths reported today: 56
Cases reported today: 4,011
Number of tests carried out: 35,742 (up/down from 14,816 reported on January 2)
Total deaths with lab-confirmed coronavirus in Wales: 3,620
Bridgend remains the local authority with the highest infection rate in Wales with a seven-day rate of 905.8 cases per 100,000 population, an increase from 855.5 which was reported on Saturday.
Merthyr Tydfil is still the county with the second-highest rate with 697.9, although that figure is down from the 782.4 reported on Saturday.
Wrexham is now the county with the third-highest infection rate – it now stands at 669.3 per 100,000 population, up from 581.8.
The three areas with the highest percentage of tests coming back positive are Bridgend with 36.6%, Torfaen with 30.6%, and Neath Port Talbot with 30.2%.
In terms of the highest number of new cases reported in Sunday’s data (correct as of Saturday morning), Cardiff had the highest amount with 413, followed by Bridgend with 397, Rhondda Cynon Taf with 367, Wrexham with 281, Newport with 276, Caerphilly with 252, Flintshire with 239, Swansea with 231, Carmarthenshire with 207, Vale of Glamorgan with 166, Torfaen with 140, Neath Port Talbot with 137, Merthyr Tydfil with 111, Blaenau Gwent with 103, and Monmouthshire with 100.
Other local authorities reporting high numbers are Powys with 99, Pembrokeshire with 73, and Denbighshire with 67.
Those reporting cases below 40 are Ceredigion with 33, Conwy with 32, Anglesey with 25, and Gwynedd with 14.
Cases per 100,000 for rolling seven days (December 23 to 29)
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Newport: 548.9 (up from 523.0)
Caerphilly: 507.0 (up from 505.3)
Blaenau Gwent: 561.1 (down from 657.0)
Torfaen: 571.5 (down from 588.5)
Monmouthshire: 314.0 (down from 326.7)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Wrexham: 669.3 (up from 581.8)
Flintshire: 430.5 (up from 372.8)
Denbighshire: 319.8 (up from 247.7)
Conwy: 151.0 (up from 133.1)
Gwynedd: 78.7 (down from 85.9)
Anglesey: 165.6 (up from 125.6)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cardiff: 456.8 (down from 460.9)
Vale of Glamorgan: 549.5 (up from 520.3)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 697.9 (down from 782.4)
Bridgend: 905.8 (up from 855.5)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 548.4 (down from 574.1)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 424.3 (up from 412.1)
Ceredigion: 192.6 (up from 141.7)
Pembrokeshire: 184.4 (up from 171.7 )
Powys Teaching Health Board
Powys: 163.1 (up from 151.0)
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Neath Port Talbot: 549.1 (down from 580.5)
Swansea: 406.1 (up from 400.0)
Wales total: 445.7 (up from 435.4)
All of Wales is now in full lockdown at alert level four which means that:
- people must stay at home except for very limited purposes
- people must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with
- many types of businesses are required to close
The level four restrictions apply to the whole of Wales and will be reviewed after three weeks but there is no end date.
The Welsh Government has announced that those who are shielding should no longer attend work or school outside the home.
How many cases are there in your area? Find out with your post code:
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task, and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone.
“The epidemiology of COVID-19 throughout the UK in late 2020 showed a clear need for rapid, high levels of vaccine uptake among vulnerable persons.
“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) supports a two-dose vaccine schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. Given the data available, and evidence from the use of many other vaccines, Public Health Wales fully supports the JCVI advice to increase a maximum interval between the first and second doses of 12 weeks for both vaccines.
“It can be assumed that protection from the first dose will wane in the medium term, and the second dose will still be required to provide more durable protection. The JCVI advises initially prioritising delivery of the first vaccine dose as this is highly likely to have a greater public health impact in the short term and reduce the number of preventable deaths from COVID-19.”