Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “71 new cases have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 347, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales.
“12 people in Wales who tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have now died.
“Starting tomorrow, Welsh Government will be writing to all the GPs and vulnerable individuals in Wales with the details of the shielding guidance published.
“Members of the public should continue to follow the latest public health advice on social isolation if they have symptoms of the coronavirus infection, however mild, and the social distancing guidance to reduce the risk of transmission.”
The latest guidance is:
• People who live with others:
o if you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for seven days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
o for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for seven days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
• People who live alone: if you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for seven days.
• Everyone, including children, should avoid non-essential contact with others and unnecessary travel
• Everyone being asked to work from home where they possibly can, and avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues
• People over 70, and vulnerable groups of any age will be asked within days to be shielded from social contact for several weeks
For the guidance in full, visit the Department of Health and Social Care website: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Dr Shankar said: “People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Advice about the virus is available on the Public Health Wales website phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus.
“Symptoms include: a high temperature, where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back; and a new, continuous cough. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.
“If you live with others and are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for seven days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
“For anyone else living in the same household and starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for seven days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
“If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, you must stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.
“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on-hold to 111. We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.
“The public play an important role in the ‘delay’ phase. By following the latest advice, you will protect yourself, protect the most vulnerable, and delay and flatten the peak, which will reduce the pressure on NHS Wales and minimise the impact of the virus.”
More information on Public Health Wales is available at www.phw.nhs.wales