Thousands of people in Powys have been shielding during the coronavirus lockdown.

Work to help people in the "shielded group" identified by the NHS began early in the lockdown period, and is now scheduled to continue until at least August 16.

On March 25, Powys received its first data from the Welsh Government, identifying 538 residents in this group .

Since then another 16 updates have been received from Welsh Government as further health conditions were added to the list and GP’s identified more patients, bringing the total to 5,766.

On top of this a further 4 538 people were  identified as vulnerable from data held by PCC’s social care, housing and customer services.

At a meeting of Powys Council's economy, residents, communities and governance scrutiny committee on Thursday, councillors are due to learn more about the processes that have been involved in keeping people safe.

A report explains that “The Shielded Group” were identified by the NHS, and have been advised by letter to self-isolate.

Portfolio holder for corporate governance and engagement, Councillor Graham Breeze, said: “The role of the authority has been vital in supporting our vulnerable residents throughout this challenging period.

“The letter sent from Welsh Government to the shielded group asked them to rely on family, friends and other local support networks to help with anything they may need during the period that they were being asked to isolate.

“If the shielded person did not have anyone to rely on for help, they were asked to contact their local authority.”

These people received  a basic package of food and household essentials, delivered direct to their door each week by a food service supplier.

They were also included in welfare calls.

At the moment, 10 council workers are redeployed from other departments to make the calls to people who are shielding, while calls to the council are being dealt with by the customer services team.

Up to June 13, a total 18,383 calls have been made or received by the council

At the outset, the Welsh Government received 915 request for food boxes, this was 15.8 per cent of the people classed as shielding. This figure has now dropped to 589.

On the June 4 the Welsh Government announced that “shielding” was to be extended until the August 16.

PCC is talking to  the Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations to recruit volunteers to be able to allow the service to continue.