A hospital consultant has warned that younger patients are now being treated for coronavirus in intensive care.

Dr David Hepburn said he and his team are treating these patients in ITU at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

In a video released by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Dr Hepburn said: “Once again we’ve got patients with Covid in the ITU, similar to the last wave.

“Early days yet so I’m not sure how bad it’s going to get.”

He said some of the patients were relatively young without any underlying health conditions.

“Don’t forget that Covid is still around. We do have patients back in intensive care, which is not something I was looking forward to.

“Some of these patients, once again, [have] no pre-existing conditions and are much younger than you would think, so it can affect anyone,” he said, urging people to be careful.

This is something the consultant also commented on in July when discussing the first wave of the virus. At the time he said: “The vast majority [of patients] were between 20 and 50, quite a few in their 60s, but very few in their 70s and 80s, which is unusual.”

The Royal Gwent Hospital confirmed on Monday, October 12, that there is currently an outbreak of Covid-19 on its wards affecting 14 patients.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which is responsible for the hospital, confirmed none of these patients had been taken to intensive care.

The current rate of infections in Newport is 62.7 cases per 100,000 people as of October 13. The local authority has also been in local lockdown for three weeks, since September 22, due to the rising number of cases there.

Dr Hepburn said: “Everything you’re doing is really helping the hospital and the whole health board to keep our services running. The main thing we want to do this time is not allow everything routine to be overwhelmed by the response to Covid.

“It’s really important we keep our elective operations running, it’s really important that outpatient clinic and cancer care and things like that keep going.”

The consultant also thanked people for following lockdown measures across Gwent, the area covered by Aneurin Bevan, for helping the health board to keep its services running.

“I know it’s been really difficult with the lockdowns, the rolling lockdowns, advice changing all the time. There is some evidence now from Public Health Wales that in some of the areas that are really affected cases are flattening off now, which is brilliant.”

Currently four local authority areas in Gwent are under local lockdown measures – Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen.

Only Monmouthshire remains unaffected by local lockdown restrictions.

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