Following a surge of new coronavirus cases in Caerphilly, the area now has one of the worst infection rates in the whole of the UK. The county has now become the first area in Wales to head back into a local lockdown.
Speaking at a Welsh Government coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the incidence rate of coronavirus in Caerphilly has increased to 72.9 cases per 100,000 population.
(Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)
The weekly total is watched closely by health bodies as a way of tracking the spread of the virus.
The Wales average now stands at 16.1, far below the rate seen in Caerphilly. Rhondda Cynon Taf has the second-highest figure, closely followed by Merthyr Tydfil.
Earlier on Tuesday, UK Government Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that Bolton has a rate of 120 cases per 100,000. It came as a number of lockdown measures were announced for the area, including banning outdoor meetings between households.
Statistics in the two countries are published differently, but a number of areas in England were placed into local lockdown with lower incidence rates than some places in Wales are currently recording.
This is how Caerphilly’s infection rate compares with the UK and the rest of Wales:
Cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days in each Welsh local authority:
|Caerphilly – 72.9|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf – 38.1|
|Merthyr Tydfil – 34.8|
|Powys – 18.1|
|Wrexham – 16.9|
|Cardiff – 15.0|
|Neath Port Talbot – 14.7|
|Bridgend – 11.6|
|Swansea – 10.9|
|Newport – 10.3|
|Blaenau Gwent – 8.6|
|Torfaen – 8.5|
|Carmarthenshire – 7.9|
|Flintshire – 7.0|
|Conwy – 6.8|
|Denbighshire – 6.3|
|Vale of Glamorgan – 6.0|
|Gwynedd – 4|
|Pembrokeshire – 3.2|
|Ceredigion – 2.8|
|Monmouthshire – 2.1|
|Anglesey – 1.4|
Data in England is published differently so it is not always possible to make a direct comparisons between the two countries.
The latest comparable data was published by Public Health England on September 4.
The numbers reflect specimens taken between August 21 and August 27.
It found that Pendle in Lancashire was the local authority with the highest incidence per 100,000 with 71.1 cases.
Corby was second with 57.9 cases per 100,000 and Oldham followed with 55.6 cases per 100,000. Blackburn, with Darwen, was third with 48.3 cases per 100,000.
All are areas where local lockdown rules have been enforced.
At Tuesday’s Welsh Government briefing, Mr Gething warned that the number of cases seen each day in Wales was likely to get worse before it gets better, saying it was likely to increase for the next two weeks.
Mr Gething said: “The cases we are seeing today will have been acquired over the last couple of weeks, which includes the summer bank holiday.
“We can therefore expect more cases to be confirmed over the next couple of weeks.”
He said that in Caerphilly there was now “community spread” and the seven day “incidence rate has increased to 72.9 cases per 100,000 population”.
“This is one of the highest rates in the UK,” he said.
The regulations will be enforced by police and the council. They apply to everyone living within the Caerphilly county borough area and Mr Gething said on Tuesday the lockdown would be in place until October “at the very least”.