Posted: Tue 11th Feb 2020

Health Minister gives Coronavirus update – “no imported cases” in Wales – considering legislation to mirror England’s enforced ‘supported isolation’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 11th, 2020

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services has given an update on Coronavirus today, saying he is considering if Wales needs ‘equivalent provisions’ in law to allow enforced supported isolation if required, as has been activated in England.

In a statement the Minister said, “You will be aware that the UK Government has introduced legislation with the primary purpose of enforcing supported isolation in England.

I am currently considering whether our current legislation is sufficient to protect the wider public from coronavirus or other high consequence infections or whether we need to make equivalent provisions in Wales.”

“The evolving 2019-nCoV outbreak, the increasing number of countries reporting cases and the change to the case definition have led to a significant increase in individuals requiring assessment and testing.

The aim is to manage as many people as possible outside hospital Emergency Departments. Yesterday the Chief Medical Officer wrote to health boards advising on the importance of immediate implementation of community assessment and testing services and the establishment of Coronavirus Testing Units separate from Emergency Departments.”

“To date there have been no imported cases of the novel coronavirus to Wales. UK figures on the number of people tested are published daily on the Public Health England website.”

“The Chief Medical Officer will be updating Assembly Members in person later today to advise on the current situation. I will continue to provide AMs with a written update every Tuesday and more frequently if necessary.”

Yesterday the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced strengthened legal powers to “bolster public health protections against coronavirus”. The UK Government say the strengthened powers, effective immediately, will ensure that NHS staff dealing with possible cases can be confident the necessary powers are in place to keep individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

The note that the Chief Medical Officer has written to health boards advising of the establishment of Coronavirus Testing Units separate from Emergency Departments would mirror the action of the Countess of Chester which opened a dedicated Coronavirus isolation area on site on Friday.

UK figures state as of 2pm on 11 February, a total of 1,358 people have been tested, of which 1,350 were confirmed negative and 8 positive.

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