More than 100 people have so far been tested in Wales for Coronavirus (COVID-19) with no confirmed cases to date, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr. Frank Atherton has said in a statement.
The outbreak of coronavirus in China continues to evolve and a number of cases have been reported in over 20 countries around the world.
“Although the risk to the public remains moderate we continue to plan and implement targeted services so that we can mount a swift and proportionate response.” Dr. Frank Atherton said.
The statement goes on to say:
“Following weeks of preparation our virology laboratory at University Hospital of Wales commenced testing for COVID-19 on the 7th February.
Prior to this, testing was undertaken by Public Health England.
I would like to thank Public Health Wales for their expertise and dedication in providing this important testing service and for developing and supporting the wider NHS response.
More than 100 people have so far been tested in Wales and we have had no confirmed cases to date.”
Dr Atherton said:
I wrote to the NHS earlier this week advising on the importance of immediate implementation of community assessment and testing services and the establishment of Coronavirus Testing Units separate from Emergency Departments.”
Implementing community assessment and testing services allows for people with mild symptoms to remain self-isolated at home where they are attended by trained clinical professionals who can assess their health and undertake the necessary tests.”
The Coronavirus Testing Units will ensure that individuals who present to acute hospitals because of concerns they are at risk can receive prompt assessment in an area separate from Emergency Departments.
Last week The Countess of Chester Hospital allocated a designated Countess Coronavirus Support Centre that is a 24/7 isolation area on site following the decision by the UK Chief Medical Officer to raise the threat level for Coronavirus from low to moderate.