POWYS County Council (PCC) is preparing for the Coronavirus pandemic.

At the Health and Care scrutiny committee on Monday, February 24, it was revealed that there had been a suspected case of the virus in the county earlier this month, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Cllr Ange Williams (Action for Powys – Knighton) asked: “It’s a bit of a trendy question at the moment but, do we have any plans for the Coronavirus?”

Corporate Director for Adult and Children’s Social Services, Ali Bulman, answered: “Yes we do, we are working with our colleagues throughout Wales.”

“We have our business continuity lead actually working with Public Health Wales on arrangements here.

“I have also joined a national group as the social services representative to advise on a social care capacity.

“Plans are at quite and early stage at the moment and we don’t have any  recorded or reported cases in Powys.

“We had one suspected case a couple of weeks ago but it was ruled out very quickly.”

The virus now officially called Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) , started in China has spread to 27 other countries, including the UK.

Public Health Wales have issued guidance:

Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “We would encourage travellers to check the revised advice, which now includes guidance for travellers returning from Iran, Northern Italy, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

“Public Health Wales is working closely with the Welsh Government, the other UK nations, the wider NHS in Wales, and others to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China, and have implemented our planned response.

“We are well prepared, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.

“There are no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wales, although it is likely that Wales will see cases at some point.

“Four further patients in England have tested positive bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13.

“All Welsh residents who meet the current testing criteria  are being offered testing.

“209 people in Wales have been tested for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and all received negative results.

“The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic test has now been developed in the Public Health Wales’ specialist virology laboratory at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

“Public Health Wales’ trained scientists are now conducting the specialist test in Wales – ensuring we are well prepared should we see cases in Wales.

Dr Howe added: “Members of the public can help protect themselves and others by always carrying tissues, and using them to catch coughs or sneezes.

“They should bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash their hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.

“This is the best way to slow the spread of most germs including the Coronavirus.”

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.

For more advice visit: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/coronavirus/