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Update from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr. Frank Atherton on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

First published:
21 February 2020
Last updated:

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Although the outbreak of coronavirus in China and the number of counties affected by imported cases of COVID-19 continues to increase the risk to the public remains moderate. To date in Wales we have provided assessment and testing for over 200 individuals, all who were negative for coronavirus. 

Nonetheless, Health and Social Care, Wales is ensuring that should this virus COVID-19 spread in Wales our plans for response are robust and realistic. In support of this, working with the chief executive of NHS Wales, we have convened a Health and Social Services Planning and Response Group for COVID-19. 

The remit of this group will be to provide strategic co-ordination and support to NHS Wales and Social Services through the phases of the coronavirus infection (COVID-19).  It will provide an opportunity for partners to share national information, including latest risk assessment, to examine and address sector concerns and to identify appropriate contingency measures going forward. 

The advice for travellers remains unchanged - all travellers who develop flu-like symptoms however mild, (these symptoms could be a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing) within 14 days of returning from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS Direct Wales or 111, if available in their area. 

The key message is not to go to your GP surgery, local pharmacy or hospital for advice, but to phone for support as directed above. One difference to the above advice applies to those that have travelled from Wuhan and Hubei province. These individuals should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, due to the increased risk from that area. 

The public can help to lessen the chances of spreading any respiratory virus. The advice is to catch it, bin it, kill it and wash your hands.

Travel advice

China travel advice on GOV.UK.

Further information on coronavirus

How coronavirus is transmitted and other 2019 coronavirus facts on Public Health Wales.

How the response to the coronavirus is being managed across the UK on GOV.UK.

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