Another 70 people have died with coronavirus in Wales and more than 4,000 new positive cases have been identified.
Latest figures from Public Health Wales published on December 27 show 4,142 new cases of the virus have been recorded to bring the total since the pandemic began to 139,642
The overall death total now stands at 3,368 in Wales.
Following the latest figures, the infection rate is now 558.6 cases per 100,000 people based on the seven days up to December 22. That is a drop on the 602.8 previously.
These figures are based on the date tests were done, not the date test results were included on the system, meaning it is an accurate reflection of the extent to which the virus is spreading rapidly in Wales. They data is correct up to 9am on December 26.
Public Health Wales has urged people to consider day-to-day fluctuations with caution as “data flow issues” may affect the figures. Though these figures seem very high there is likely to be some backlog because of delays over Christmas.
The percentage of tests being done that produce positive results is now 20.4% in Wales, meaning more than a fifth of people getting tested have the virus. However this has dipped slightly in recent days from a peak of 27% on December 13.
The rise in cases has been partly blamed on a “new variant” of the virus, however estimates from the ONS suggest it not the dominant strain in Wales yet and is causing far fewer of the infections than in parts of England. This data suggests is it causing only just over 10% of infections in Wales.
Chart: How the percentage of tests producing positive results has fluctuated since the start of September
Deaths reported today: 70
Cases reported today: 4,142
Number of tests carried out: 36,994
Total deaths with lab-confirmed coronavirus in Wales: 3,368
The virus has fallen in every part of Wales except north Wales
Merthyr Tydfil remains the local authority with the highest infection rate in Wales with a seven-day rate of 1,089 cases per 100,000 population, down on 1,241.6 last time.
Bridgend has the second highest rate with 1,025.5 per 100,000 population, down slightly from 1,117.3 yesterday.
Blaenau Gwent is third with 854.5 cases per 100,000, down from 906.1 yesterday.
The three areas with the highest percentage of tests coming back positive remains Neath Port Talbot with 29.2%, Bridgend with 28.8% and Merthyr Tydfil with 26.5% in the week to December 22.
Cardiff has the highest number of new cases with 486, followed by RCT with 393, Bridgend with 380 and Caerphilly and Swansea who both have 280.
Wrexham with 148 and Neath Port Talbot with 274, and Newport has 234.
Blaenau Gwent had 138, Torfaen 185, Flintshire 128, the Vale of Glamorgan 210, Merthyr Tydfil 146 and Carmarthenshire has 253 where as Monmouthshire has 92.
Anglesey had 26 new cases, Ceredigion 37, Powys 55 and Pembrokeshire 51. Conwy 61, Denbighshire 67 and Gwynedd 30 have lower figures.
Cases per 100,000 for rolling seven days (December 14 to 20)
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Newport: 739 (Down from 822.4)
Caerphilly: 611.6 (Down from 787)
Blaenau Gwent: 906.1 (Down from 906.1)
Torfaen: 655.6 (Down from 717.3)
Monmouthshire: 413.4 (Down from 475.7)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Wrexham: 553.9 (Up from 503.8)
Flintshire: 336.3 (Up from 312.6)
Denbighshire: 199.6 (Up from 169.3)
Conwy: 101.5 (Up from 88.7)
Gwynedd: 85.1 (Up from 72.3)
Anglesey: 62.8 (Up from 60)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cardiff: 660.4 (Down from 689.3)
Vale of Glamorgan: 636.3 (Down from 669.2)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 1089.1 (Down from 1,241.6)
Bridgend: 1025.5 (Down from 1,117.3)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 741.5 (Down from 788.3)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 603.4 (Down from 685)
Ceredigion: 217.3 (Down from 253.1)
Pembrokeshire: 213.8 (Down from 236.9)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Powys: 182 (Down from 211.4)
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Neath Port Talbot: 854.7 (Down from 916.2)
Swansea: 617.8 (Down from 700.4)
Wales total – 558.6 (Down from 602.8 )
On Tuesday, data from the World Health Organisation showed Wales now has the second worst coronavirus infection rate in the world.
All of Wales is now in full lockdown at alert level four in Wales means that:
- people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- people must not visit other households, or meet other people they do not live with
- many types of businesses are required to close.
The level four restrictions apply to the whole of Wales and will be reviewed after three weeks, but there is no end date.
The Welsh Government has announced that those who are shielding should no longer attend work or school outside the home.
Public Health Wales will not be reporting coronavirus data on its public facing data dashboard or social media channels on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day which will lead to a backlog of data flowing through to the system a day later.
Dr Chris Williams, incident director for the novel coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “We hope everyone has had a healthy and safe Christmas. The lockdown restrictions remain and we advise everyone to stay at home as much as possible, and to limit your social contacts.
“Travellers who have been in or transited through South Africa in the last 10 days are no longer allowed into the UK. We advise anyone returning to Wales from South Africa to regularly check gov.uk for the latest guidance and advice on self-isolating.
“Public Health Wales will not be reporting Coronavirus data on its public facing data dashboard or social media channels on Friday 25 December or Friday 1 January.
“Users should be aware that there will be a backlog of data that will flow through to the system on Saturday 26 December and Saturday 2 January. Numbers reported on 27 December and 3 January will include new tests from two days’ reporting.
“This will not affect individuals receiving their results, and anyone who tests positive will be contacted by their local authority’s Test, Trace, Protect team in the usual way.”