Posted: Sat 16th Jan 2021

First Minister says high rate of Covid cases in north west England has contributed to problems in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jan 16th, 2021

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Wales’ First Minister has said a high rate of coronavirus cases in north west England is likely to have contributed to problems in north east Wales

Infection rates in Flintshire and neighbouring Wrexham remain the worst in the country though there are signs they may have plateaued.

The rolling seven day infection rate as of Saturday for Flintshire now stands at 552.9, nearly 19 per cent lower than where it stood on January 3rd.

Wrexham stands at 840.7 per 100,000, 7.5 percent lower than January 3rd.

The new strain of the virus has been highlighted as one major factor in driving the number of cases up.

Mark Drakeford said he also believed there was a direct correlation between infection rates in the area and those just over the English border.

Speaking at yesterday’s Covid-19 media briefing, he said: “I think we can be certain that the fact that a new variant of the disease has established itself in North Wales to such an extent is driving up the numbers because it is so much more contagious and so many more people fall ill quickly with it.

“The permeability of the border between north east Wales and north west England is bound to be having an impact as well.

“In Liverpool today, for example, the rates are over 1,000 per 100,000 and rates in the north west of England are rising faster than any other part of England.

“When you have a population that lives so close to one another, where people cross that border every day for legitimate reasons, then I think it’s not an unfair speculation to suggest that that’s probably having a greater effect in that Flintshire and Wrexham area than it is further west in Gwynedd or Ynys Mon.”

Mr Drakeford said there had been a recent drop in the percentage of people testing as positive in Wrexham and Flintshire.

However, he said the situation in both counties was still serious.

He said: “For the first time in many weeks, we have seen the all-Wales incident rate drop well below 400 cases per 100,000 people and the current rate today is some 365 cases per 100,000 people.

“We’re also now starting to see some falls in North Wales, although the situation remains very serious in Wrexham and in Flintshire in particular.

“This is all a welcome change from the very worrying position that we faced just before Christmas, and which led to our lockdown decisions.

“The percentage of tests which are positive is also coming down steadily. That’s now around one in five tests is positive.

“These signs of improvement show that all the hard work and sacrifice that people across Wales have made over the last six weeks is really paying off.”

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