Second Firebreak Lockdown in Wales Cannot Be Ruled Out

Second Firebreak Lockdown in Wales Cannot Be Ruled Out Over Warnings of a Christmas ‘Catastrophe’.

A second firebreak lockdown is not being ruled out by the Welsh Government as public health bosses warn it could be the only way to prevent a ‘catastrophe’ for the NHS at Christmas. Health Minister Vaughan Gething said that “everything is on the table” as officials try to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.

“We’re discussing through this week,” he said, “and we’ll continue to discuss what measures we need to take. We’ve learned that trying to have hard and fast commitments to never contemplate future action is just not the right or the responsible thing to do. So, of course, that’s an option that we’ll need to consider.”

The minister dismissed the idea of returning to a tiered system of local restrictions, arguing that a “patchwork quilt of arrangements” would be irresponsible when infections are on the rise in 19 out of 22 local authority areas. The minister also confirmed that eight areas now have infection rates of more than 400 cases per 100,000 people. One of the country’s top public health directors warned that hospitals could be “overwhelmed” in just weeks if infections continued to rise.

Dr Keith Reid from Swansea Bay University Health Board said he feared only another lockdown in Wales would be enough to save the local system from being “overwhelmed” if rates continued to rise in this way.

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Tony Winterburn

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