THERE have been 25 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the Hywel Dda health board area according to today’s figures (Tuesday, February 16).

Today’s Public Health Wales figures show 17 new cases in Carmarthenshire, five in Pembrokeshire and three in Ceredigion.

Across Wales, 275 new cases have been confirmed and eight new suspected Covid-19 deaths have also been reported by Public Health Wales.

The total number of cases in Wales is now 199,793, with 5,145 deaths.

There have been no more deaths recorded in the Hywel Dda area, with the total standing at 419 throughout the pandemic.

The total number of cases across the three counties is now 15,143 – 10,244 in Carmarthenshire, 3,212 in Pembrokeshire and 1,687 in Ceredigion.

There have been 5,363 tests carried out since the last report.

Across Wales, 795,927 have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 7,251 the second dose.

In Hywel Dda the health board has administered 81,562 vaccinations up to February 10 – 39,485 in Carmarthenshire, 24,447 in Pembrokeshire and 14,621 in Ceredigion.

A further 2,538 have been given to council or health board staff working in the area but living elsewhere.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “You can now not travel directly to Wales if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days. 

"These banned countries are often called ‘RED list’ (countries where new variant covid strains have been found).  You will only be able to enter Wales from RED list countries via a designated port of entry and isolate for 10 days in a nearby managed quarantine hotel. There are no designated ports of entry in Wales.

 “Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, continues at a pace but is a significant task and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone. The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time and everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe.

“Although the data currently shows that on an all-Wales level the numbers of cases are reducing and that the incidence is now below 95 cases per 100,000 population, the rates in some areas – particularly in North Wales – are still at nearly double that, and there have been small increases in others.

“It is encouraging to see that the numbers of people being treated for coronavirus in our hospitals is reducing, but there are still a large number of people who are extremely ill, which means that the pressure on services is still very high.

“All of Wales remains in lockdown. We recognise that complying with the restrictions can be challenging, but coronavirus is still active in our communities and can cause severe illness and death.  The reduction in the number of cases does not mean that people can meet people from other households (apart from one person for socially distanced exercise), as this can cause the virus to spread.

“As a nation, we have made so many sacrifices throughout the course of the pandemic that we really don’t want to squander the gains that have been made in recent weeks.

“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, socio-demographic and ethnicity, to have the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered it.  We also stress the importance of seeking information from a trusted source such as Public Health Wales, the Welsh Government, local health board or GP.

“The UK variant of coronavirus prevalent in many parts of Wales is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, and as reported recently there is evidence which suggests that it may lead to a higher risk of death than the non-variant. Public Health Wales welcomes the recent evidence that the ChadOx1 (AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine Group) vaccine is effective against the UK variant.

“We have been alerted to a number of increasingly sophisticated ‘scam’ emails in circulation claiming to be from the NHS which purport to offer appointments for vaccination.  Coronavirus vaccines currently can’t be bought privately in the UK. Do not share any of your personal information. Correspondence will only come from your health board and your vaccination will be free.

 “Under current UK coronavirus restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

“If you or a member of your household develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test, either by calling 119 or by visiting”