Welsh public urged to be cautious with new lockdown freedoms to ensure R figure remains low
Wales needs to be cautious with the new freedoms announced yesterday to ensure the rate of coronavirus spreading does not “creep back up”, First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned.
At Friday’s Welsh Government press conference North.Wales asked the First Minister for the current R figure – a reproduction rating of the disease’s ability to expand – and why the 0.8 level has not changed over the last three weeks, despite the lockdown being in place.
We also asked about the potential loosening of restrictions and how he expects that situation to improve.
The R figure is the number of people that one infected person will pass it onto, and how it impacts the amount of individuals infected.
A table was previously presented by Mr Drakeford which illustrated that an R rating of 0.8 could mean a further 800 deaths in the coming months and whether the new announcement was an acceptance that taking place.
He said: “I think it is inevitable that there will be future deaths in the days and in the weeks to come.
“Now, the number of deaths in Wales has fallen week by week, and we do expect that to continue, but are we at the end of the risk of people dying from from coronavirus in Wales? Definitely not.
“That is why I play such an emphasis today on saying to people in Wales, that the new freedoms that we are able to offer have to be used carefully and responsibly. Otherwise we will find this R number, not just staying steady, but beginning to rise.”
The First Minister highlighted the severe nature of the virus and how it continues to attack people even with lockdown measures in place.
He said hundreds of new people were being infected and the government was still trying to understand why.
He said: “What we’re learning about the virus is, it’s a very determined virus and it continues to circulate even when we made all the efforts we have.
“The advice we have about a measure that we are introducing today is that so long as it is the one measure that we introduce, and we monitor it carefully, the risk of R creeping back above where it is today is at the minimum end of the spectrum.
“That is why we taken the opportunity to do it.
“That’s why we’re not doing anything else at this point, because unless we continue to be cautious and careful, we could end up back in the sort of position that I think you were hinting at.”
You can view the full briefing from the First Minister on the below video, complete with Q&As:
🎥 Yn fyw nawr | 🎥 Live now: https://t.co/NPVCF6WrkZ
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) May 29, 2020
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