ANOTHER 24 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Powys in the last 24 hours.

Public Health Wales (PHW) statistics show that the total number of cases in the county since the pandemic began now stand at 3,761.

According to those PHW figures there has been one more death in Powys, rising to 56, although that number is significantly higher according to more reliable Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. ONS stats reveal Powys deaths stand at 201, though that was the same as yesterday. The lag in stats is typically down to fluctuating and delayed reporting figures.

Deaths of Powys residents can also be skewed because many of the county’s patients deemed acute are transferred to hospitals in England. ONS figures are therefore usually 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.

Powys stats:

Confirmed cases – 3,737

New cases in February 14 data – 14

Rate of new cases per 100,000 in week to February 9 – 120.1

Powys position among Welsh local authorities for rate of new cases – Joint 10th out of 22

Newly-confirmed cases day-by-day:

Monday, February 15 - 24

Sunday, February 14 – 14

Saturday, February 13 – 12

Friday, February 12 – 41

Thursday, February 11 – 37

Wednesday, February 10 – 8

Tuesday, February 9 – 21

The national picture:

Another 16 people have died from Covid-19 in Wales, with the nation’s total number of Covid-related deaths now standing at 5,137.

There have been a further 363 cases reported, with Wales' overall case rate falling to 92 cases for every 100,000 people.

A total of 784,809 people have received their first Covid vaccine dose, with second Covid jab doses having been given to 5,402 people.

Public Health Wales' statement:

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “We welcome the news that the vaccination programme in Wales, carried out by Welsh Government and the local health boards, has reached the significant milestone of 20 per cent of the population having had their first dose of the vaccination. This is a great achievement and is a big step towards ensuring the reduction of serious illness, and deaths, from Coronavirus.

“Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone. The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time and everyone - including those who have been vaccinated - must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe.

“Although the data currently shows that on an all-Wales level the numbers of cases are reducing and that the incidence is now below 100 cases per 100,000 population, the rates in some areas - particularly in North Wales - are still at nearly double that, and there have been small increases in others.

“It is encouraging to see that the numbers of people being treated for Coronavirus in our hospitals is reducing, but there are still a large number of people who are extremely ill, which means that the pressure on services is still very high.

“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We recognise that complying with the restrictions can be challenging, but Coronavirus is still active in our communities and can cause severe illness and death. The reduction in the number of cases does not mean that people can meet people from other households (apart from one person for socially distanced exercise), as this can cause the virus to spread.

“As a nation, we have made so many sacrifices throughout the course of the pandemic that we really don’t want to squander the gains that have been made in recent weeks.

“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, socio-demographic and ethnicity, to have the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered it. We also stress the importance of seeking information from a trusted source such as Public Health Wales, the Welsh Government, local health board or GP.

“We continue to work to identify and investigate cases of variant Coronavirus in Wales. To date, 13 cases of the South Africa variant have been identified in Wales. Multi-agency investigations continue into two separate cases that do not have clear links to international travel. There are no cases of the variants associated with Brazil.”

“The UK variant of Coronavirus prevalent in many parts of Wales is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, and as reported recently there is evidence which suggests that it may lead to a higher risk of death than the non-variant. Public Health Wales welcomes the recent evidence that the ChadOx1 (AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine Group) vaccine is effective against the UK variant.

“We have been alerted to a number of increasingly sophisticated ‘scam’ emails in circulation claiming to be from the NHS which purport to offer appointments for vaccination. Coronavirus vaccines currently can’t be bought privately in the UK. Do not share any of your personal information. Correspondence will only come from your health board and your vaccination will be free.

“Under current UK Coronavirus restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

“If you are due to travel out of the UK, please be aware of the changing situation and keep an eye on the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for up to date details.