NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO EASE LOCKDOWN IN WALES

The Coronavirus lockdown should not be lifted in Wales as the most up to date evidence suggests that parts of the country are yet to reach peak, says Plaid Cymru.

UK newspaper headlines are suggesting that the lockdown will be eased, and Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is expected to make an announcement on the lockdown in Wales soon.

However Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor has warned that evidence shows that Wales might not have reached peak infection, and it was too early to consider easing the lockdown.

Figures released toMabon ap Gwynfor and Liz Saville Roberts MP from the ONS have shown that the numbers of deaths throughout Wales continue to be higher than what is expected, based on five year averages, and that, up until week 17, the most recent available data, deaths in the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board area continued to be on an upward curve.

Mabon ap Gwynfor said,

'The most recent data released to us by the ONS shows that in the Betsi Cadwaladr area, we are sadly continuing to see an increase in the number of deaths, above what we might normally expect to find at this time of year.'

'This is the most useful statistic available, because unfortunately the Government has failed to ensure that we have enough tests to monitor how and where this virus is spreading.'

'Even if we were we at or near the peak, we shouldn’t expect a sharp decent in the figures. Evidence from other countries shows that the peak plateaus.'

'It is therefore far too early to ease the lockdown here. If they were to ease the lockdown then they run the very real risk of allowing the virus to spread again, which would mean that we must face any even longer period of lockdown to deal with the inevitable second peak.'

Today’s headlines in the UK media sating that the UK Prime Minister was preparing to ease lockdown was irresponsible in the extreme, and failed to take into account the nature of devolution and that it is up to the Welsh Government whether or not they think the lockdown should be eased. 

'Based on the evidence provided to us we are calling on the First Minister to resist any easing of the lockdown, and wait until the data shows clearly that the numbers of deaths are on a continued downward curve and that the R-nought is below 1 across all regions of Wales.'

Graphs of the percentages of deaths per week compared to the five year averages:

 


Showing 2 reactions

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  • Peter Lane
    commented 2020-05-08 06:23:55 +0100
    I guess the horizontal axes of these graphs show week numbers starting from the beginning of the year. So the increase in deaths in Wales (and in BCUHB) started around Week 12, beginning 25th March, and was at 70% (and 30%, respectively) above the long-term average by Week 17, beginning 29th April. There is certainly no evidence yet of having reached a peak, and the numbers are high. But I don’t understand the graph for Gwynedd: the highest point is only 0.6%. Is this an error, or is there really virtually no increase in deaths in Gwynedd yet?
    Peter Lane, Nefyn
  • Eifion Wynne
    commented 2020-05-08 06:20:56 +0100
    Thank you Mabon. I agree entirely.
    Diolch Mabon. Cytuno’n llwyr.

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