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Coronavirus: Wales can ‘rise to challenge’ for over-70s


Boris Johnson

Coronavirus: Wales can ‘rise to challenge’ for over-70s

Image copyright Jaggery / Geograph Image caption The patient died at Morriston Hospital A second patient in Wales has died from coronavirus, it has been confirmed.The 96-year-old patient was being treated at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.It comes as the older people’s commissioner said elderly people in Wales needed to know “we are looking out for…

Coronavirus: Wales can ‘rise to challenge’ for over-70s

Morriston HospitalImage copyright
Jaggery / Geograph

Image caption

The patient died at Morriston Hospital

A second patient in Wales has died from coronavirus, it has been confirmed.

The 96-year-old patient was being treated at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

It comes as the older people’s commissioner said elderly people in Wales needed to know “we are looking out for them”.

Heléna Herklots said she believes the nation “can rise to the challenge,” as everyone was urged to stop non-essential contact with others .

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the advice was particularly important for those over 70.

On Tuesday afternoon, chief medical officer for Wale, Dr Frank Atherton confirmed the latest death in Wales.

“I’m sorry to report that a second patient in Wales who tested positive for Covid-19 has sadly died,” he said.

“I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their request for privacy is respected.”

A person at Wrexham Maelor hospital was confirmed on Monday.

There are 136 confirmed coronavirus cases in Wales, though the overall number of cases is likely to be higher.

A series of new measures were outlined by the prime minister on Monday, including advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, work from home where people can, and avoid all unnecessary travel.

“I think we are all really facing a change to the way of living for some weeks and months,” Ms Herklots said.

“It’s about changing the way we live our lives.

“We need to find other ways of showing that we are holding people close – even if we can’t do that physically.”

What is happening on Tuesday?

  • Health Minister Vaughan Gething – who himself is in self-isolation at home because a child developed new cough symptoms – will give an update on the outbreak to the Senedd
  • The Welsh Local Government Association will set out how councils are responding
  • Campaigners have called for evictions to be banned during the crisis
  • Plaid Cymru calls for final-year medical students to be “fast-tracked” through courses to help fight the virus.

Ms Herklots has held talks with the Welsh Government, Age Cymru and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

“A lot of community groups and voluntary organisations are really having to change what they are doing,” she said.

“They are not going to be running day centres in the usual way.”

She said Wales needed to be “really creative” to make sure “every older person knows they have people who are looking out for them, who are caring for them and are in touch with them”.

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Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Chief Medical Officer Frank Atherton said the advice for those over 70 remained to reduce social contact.

“That means avoiding any gatherings, avoiding going into busy places as much as possible,” said Dr Atherton.

But he emphasised: “What we are not saying is not to go outside. Go have a walk in your local park, just don’t congregate with a lot of other people.”

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