Posted: Thu 30th Jul 2020

Calls for immediate measures to avoid full Wrexham lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Calls have been made for the Welsh Government to take urgent action to avoid the need for a full local lockdown in Wrexham as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Although there was only a modest increase of three COVID-19 cases in the area today, (Thursday, 30 June) health officials said the figures did not include the results of around 400 tests carried out at two new mobile testing centres.

Almost 200 people attended each of the sites in Hightown and Caia Park, which are being run by the army, yesterday.

They were established after more than 100 cases were reported in Wrexham within the last fortnight, accounting for just under a third of the overall total for Wales.



Plaid Cymru wants ministers in Cardiff to intervene by introducing a requirement for people to wear face coverings in busy areas of the town, as well as intensive targeted testing.

It follows Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board confirming to politicians that three of the five COVID-19 related deaths recorded in the region on Wednesday were at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Two further deaths were reported in north Wales today, although the exact location has not been disclosed.

Plaid’s shadow health minister Rhun ap Iorwerth said his party’s suggestions could prevent the need for a full local lockdown such as the one seen in Leicester, asking for free face coverings to be distributed to the public.

It follows similar actions being taken following a significant amount of cases in Blackburn.

He said: “With Covid-19 levels in Wrexham now higher than in Blackburn, and three out of the five deaths yesterday in Wales at the Maelor Hospital, it’s crucial that the Welsh Government responds promptly with interventions to prevent further transmissions.

“Following a similar model to that in place in Blackburn – with targeted testing in problematic areas and the mandatory use of face coverings in busy and critical areas – could prevent the need for a full local lockdown such as in Leicester.

“The measures in Blackburn have so far succeeded in lowering the spike in cases.

“As well as making face coverings mandatory, consideration should also be given to distributing them to the public for free so that everyone can adhere to these temporary safety measures.”

He said Deeside’s coronavirus field hospital should be opened up to take the pressure off the Maelor hospital, where infections acquired by patients during their stay have become a concern.

It has resulted in the health board closing 25 beds to prevent the spread within the hospital.

Health bodies are also looking at whether the spike in cases is linked to a previous outbreak at the Rowan Foods factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

It’s been claimed that localised clusters of the virus have also been detected in the two areas where testing centres have been set up.

Public Health Wales has thanked those who have come forward to be tested so far and encouraged others to follow.

While he noted the number of positive cases in Wrexham was high, health protection consultant Dr Chris Johnson said he did not believe it was growing significantly.

He said: “We are very grateful to people in Wrexham for their quick and whole-hearted response to this opportunity to be tested.
“Please come forward for testing, even if your symptoms are mild.

“The more people with symptoms who come forward, the more cases we will find.

“More people can then be referred into the Test, Trace, Protect programme, allowing contact tracers to take action to put a stop to the spread of coronavirus in the area.

“We are seeing a larger number of coronavirus cases in Wrexham than in other parts of Wales.

“Although we haven’t received the results from these testing sessions yet, we are reassured that there is no evidence of a rapidly escalating situation.”

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment.

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter



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