Posted: Mon 9th Mar 2020

Welsh Health Minister says “no need” to close schools or cancel large events despite small increase in coronavirus cases

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 9th, 2020

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There is no need to close schools or cancel large events in Wales despite a small increase in the number of coronavirus cases, according to Health Minister Vaughan Gething.

Public Health Wales has today confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total amount up to six.

They relate to two patients in Neath Port Talbot and Newport who have recently returned from different parts of Italy.

There have been no confirmed cases in North Wales to date.

This morning it was announced GP surgeries across Wales would receive packs of face masks, gloves and aprons to protect staff as they treat people suspected to have the virus.

Providing an update on the situation, Mr Gething said the whole of the UK was still in the containment phase but added it was expected to spread.

He said: “We have said for a long time that we expect there to be more cases and we still expect more cases in the coming days and weeks ahead as well.

“We’ve seen the progression of the coronavirus in other UK countries, but also in other parts of Europe too.

“This morning at COBRA, ministers from across the UK government have been talking about a range of measures to take.

“We’ve reiterated that the current scientific advice is there is no need or no justification for asking for schools to close or indeed ending mass gatherings or events.

“We have though in Wales taken some action in the sense of providing personal protective equipment, which is going out to all GP surgeries.”

There were fears that the Six Nations game between Wales and Scotland could be cancelled after it was announced that France’s game against Ireland had been called off.

But Mr Gething said the match in Cardiff would go ahead as planned on Saturday, adding he expected to be in attendance himself.

Last week, it was revealed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that a drive-through coronavirus testing centre had been set up in Rossett, Wrexham for the east area of North Wales.

In a letter to residents of the village, the health board said it would not place them at any increased risk of contracting it.

Mr Gething reiterated the advice that people should wash their hands regularly, and stay at home if they are feeling unwell.

A new symptom checker for suspected coronavirus, which was recently launched online by the Welsh NHS, can be accessed here.

You can watch the press conference below:

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