DEATHS involving Covid-19 in Wales have risen to the highest weekly total since early May, with 24 new cases reported in Powys today (Tuesday, November 24).

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of the virus in Powys since the outbreak of the pandemic now stands at 1,358.

There have been four deaths with the virus in Powys recorded since last week, meaning the total number of people to have died from Covid-19 in the county now stands at 28.

Public Health Wales' figures mostly involve hospital deaths and only include cases when the virus has been confirmed in a laboratory test.

The figures do not include deaths of residents from Powys in hospitals in England, although these are included in Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

ONS figures, considered a stronger indicator of the overall impact of the virus, and which are based on all deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate, stand at 102 in Powys.

Powys stats:

Confirmed cases – 1,358

New cases in November 24 data – 24

Rate of new cases per 100,000 in week to November 21 – 90.6

Powys position among Welsh local authorities for rate of new cases – joint 17th out of 22

Newly-confirmed cases day-by-day:

Monday, November 23 – 9

Saturday/Sunday, November 21/22 – 26

Friday, November 20 – 15

Thursday, November 19 – 37

Wednesday, November 18 – 5

Tuesday November 17 – 15

The national picture:

A total of 190 deaths were registered in the week ending November 13, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is 24 more than the previous week and account for a quarter of all deaths in Wales.

Another 21 people have died with coronavirus in Wales, taking the total to 2,406, according to latest figures. Of the new deaths, 11 were in the Cwm Taf health board area, which covers Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. There were also five in the Aneurin Bevan area, three in Hywel Dda, and one in Swansea Bay and Betsi Cadwaladr.

Deaths in care homes involving the virus have also risen to their highest total – 36 – for five months.

The proportion of Covid deaths compared to all deaths is higher in Wales than in England in this latest week.

There were 56 deaths registered across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area, which covers Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Merthyr. Of those, 44 were in hospital.

There were also 51 deaths in the Aneurin Bevan health board area, across all settings, 29 deaths in Swansea Bay, 27 in Betsi Cadwaladr and 14 in Cardiff and Vale. There were 10 deaths in Hywel Dda and three hospital deaths involving Powys residents.

There have been 158 deaths from Covid-19 infections caught in hospital outbreaks in Wales up to last week.

In Wales, the number of deaths fell to 742 in the latest week, but this was still 84 deaths (12.8 per cent) higher than the five-year average.

Public Health Wales data also showed 595 more people have tested positive for Covid-19, making a total of 73,828.

The area of Wales with the highest seven-day case rate is Blaenau Gwent, where 407.9 in every 100,000 of the population have tested positive for the virus.

Public Health Wales' statement:

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales is encouraging everyone who lives, works or studies in Merthyr Tydfil to attend the mass testing service at the Leisure Centre as soon as they can – even if they do not have symptoms.

“Thank you to those who have already attended and undertaken a test, as this will help us to break the chains of transmission in the area. However, in order for the exercise to be as successful as possible then we need as many people in the area as possible to be tested.

“Anyone aged 11+ without any symptoms can have a test, but children under 18 will need parental consent. The more people who get tested, the more chances we have to reduce the spread of the virus.

“People with symptoms should also get tested but need to book a test either by calling 119 or by clicking here.

“Public Health Wales strongly advises the public to take personal responsibility for their actions and to ensure that we are all doing as much as possible to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.

“We would remind everyone that coronavirus is still active in our communities, and therefore this does not mean a return to normality.

“We ask the public to observe the new regulations and to limit their contact with other people as much as possible so that we all work together to bring the numbers of positive cases down.”