Tuesday 03 August 2021

Positive coronavirus tests soar to 5,475 as ministers ponder tighter rules

The number of positive coronavirus tests soared to 5,475 in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, leaving the government considering bringing back some of the measures which were abandoned last month.

Although the rise in positive tests has not yet translated into an increase in hospital admissions, ‘things are going fast’, health minister Hugo de Jonge said in an initial reaction.

Thursday’s figure is the highest since mid May and up sixfold on a week ago. The increase, according to the AD, is down to a number of factors – the spread of the more infectious Delta variant, the return of nightlife, and infections being brought back  by youngsters who had been on holiday abroad.

More tests are also being carried out, which is also leading to more cases being identified.

Last week, 154,104 people had a coronavirus test in a GGD centre, a rise of 22% on the previous week, according to the government’s coronavirus dashboard.

The number of people applying for a coronavirus test at a regional health board testing centre is still going up and officials are working to increase capacity by extending opening hours.

On Wednesday, the government has asked its Outbreak Management Team for advice about how to combat the rise.

‘We acted to protect people who were vulnerable and to make sure hospitals were not overstretched,’ De Jonge said. ‘Today’s infections are largely among the young, and they don’t end up in hospital immediately.’

Ministers will decide about reversing some of the rule relaxation measures on Friday.

Hospital

There are currently 196 people with coronavirus being treated in hospital, down 10 on Wednesday. Of them, 90 are in an intensive care ward, according to figures from the national patient monitor LCPS.

Meanwhile, the health ministry has confirmed that people who were cleared to attend events immediately after being vaccinated will not have their status altered, even though a 14 day waiting period will come into effect on July 10.

But officials are recommending that people who have just been vaccinated take a coronavirus test at a ‘test for entry’ centre before attending an event.

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