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Weekly Covid-19 deaths hit zero for the first time; No weekly Covid-19 deaths for first time in Wales.

Byline: IAN JONES and MARK SMITH newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

NO DEATHS in Wales have been registered to Covid-19 for a week for the first time since the pandemic began, new figures show.

None of the 573 deaths registered in Wales in the week ending June 18 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The last time this happened was in the week ending March 13, 2020. The following week, to March 20, saw two Covid-19 deaths registered in Wales. Since then, there have been deaths involving Covid-19 registered in

Wales every week. The number peaked at 413 during the first wave of the virus, in the week to April 24, and at 467 during the second wave, in the week to January 15.

The latest ONS figures suggest a different trend in England. There, the number of registered Covid deaths stood at 102 in the week to June 18, up from 83. It is the first time the total for >>>> turn to page 6 >> from page 1

England has been above 100 since the week to May 14, when registrations were affected by delays caused by the bank holiday on Monday, May 3.

This is still a very low level compared with the peak of the first and second waves of the virus, however.

the total number of deaths registered in England in the week to June 18 was 8,874 - just 0.8% above the average for non-pandemic years.

Some 21 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England were registered in the week to June 18, up from 14 in the previous week.

This means 42,546 care home residents in England and Wales have now had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate.

The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

It comes as more than 280 new coronavirus cases were reported in Wales the past 24 hours.

Latest figures from Public Health Wales, published yesterday, identified 281 more positive cases of Covid-19, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 217,732.

But no further deaths were reported, meaning the total number of deaths since the pandemic began remains at 5,575.

However, latest figures from the

Office for National Statistics, which include deaths in all settings, including people's homes and in hospices and is seen as giving the fullest picture, has recorded 7,899 deaths in Wales.

PHW confirmed that the overall infection rate in Wales now stands at 58.7 cases per 100,000 population based on the seven days between June 18 and June 24, up from 53.1 on Monday.

The figures are based on the date a test was done, not the date a test was put on the system, meaning it is an accurate reflection of how fast the virus is spreading in Wales.

There continues to be growing concern over Delta strain of coronavirus, with figures released by First Minister Mark Drakeford on Friday showing that the cases had more than doubled in a week from 500 to 1,100.

The area with the highest infection rate in Wales remains Flintshire with 145.4 cases per 100,000 population, up from 142.9 cases the day before.

This is followed by Denbighshire with 112.9 cases per 100,000 and

Wrexham with 112.5.

The percentage of tests coming back positive across Wales over the last week is now 3.9%, up from 3.6% reported on Monday. Flintshire has a far higher rate of 8.1%.

However, despite rising infection rates, crucially, there were just 20 people across Wales in hospital with confirmed coronavirus on June 28, and three with either confirmed or suspected Covid in an invasive ventilated bed, two of which were in Cardif f and Vale UHB and one in Betsi Cadwaladr UHB.

Unlike the infection rate, hospital admissions do not appear to be increasing.

To date, 2,255,039 people in Wales have had at least one coronavirus vaccine - 88.8% of the adult population - with 1,642,788 having both doses - 64.7% of the adult population).

Cardiff reported the most amount of cases on Tuesday with 40 followed by Flintshire with 27, Denbighshire with 21, and Caerphilly and RCT with 18 each.

Wrexham had 16 new cases, Conwy had 14, Gwynedd had 12 and Neath Port Talbot had 10.

Meanwhile, Swansea recorded nine new cases, Torfaen and Bridgend had eight, Vale of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire had seven,

Monmouthshire and Powys had six, Newport, Anglesey and Carmarthenshire had five, Blaenau Gwent had two and Ceredigion had one.

Merthyr Tydfil was the only local authority not to record any new positive cases.

Dr Eleri Davies, an incident director at PHW, said: ""he Delta variant is known to be most common variant in all new cases in Wales and is shown to be more easily transmitted from person to person than the previously dominant Alpha variant. t. his means we all need to take steps to keep ourselves safe and reduce the risk of transmission.

"Our advice is particularly relevant to people travelling to areas where there are known clusters of coronavirus as community transmission of the variant is evident.

"We are seeing cases increase all over Wales but particularly in north east Wales where travel to and from England for work and leisure purposes is commonplace."

>> More: Pages 8&9

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Covid infections are rising across Wales, but deaths and hospital admissions remain low
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Author:IAN JONES and MARK SMITH newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 30, 2021
Words:888
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