A person in Wales has tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the first case in the country.
The patient had recently travelled back from Northern Italy.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frank Atherton said: “I can confirm that one patient in Wales has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents.”
Public Health Wales is now working to identify those who have had close contact with the patient.
This comes as the first Briton has died from the virus after being infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
We covered the news live – here’s how it happened.
11:28 – Minister for Health and Social Services statement
Earlier today, the Chief Medical Officer confirmed our first case here in Wales – something the Welsh Government and NHS Wales have been planning for over a number of weeks.
We will continue to do all we can to detect imported cases early and isolate them to avoid any further spread. I would like to thank all staff who have been working so hard to prepare our response to this public health incident.
This latest development is expected and people should continue to follow our advice – anyone who has travelled back from an affected area or who has concerns that they are a close contact of a confirmed case should not attend their GP practice or present at hospital Emergency Departments. People should call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or 111 Wales, if available in their area. Doing this will mean they get assessed by the right NHS staff whilst also limiting any possible spread to others.
Everyone can help to lessen the chances of spreading any respiratory virus. The advice is to catch it, bin it, kill it and wash your hands.Vaughan Gething – Minister for Health and Social Services
11:10 – More cases in Wales ‘quite likely’
Dr Atherton says more coronavirus cases in Wales are ‘quite likely’.
It is hoped these cases would be treated in hospitals around Wales.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the virus but we know most cases around the world are mild cases, so its not a cause for immediate concern. It’s something that we need to watch carefully and plan carefully, and that’s our job at the moment. The NHS is preparing itself if we do see more cases.Dr Frank Atherton – Chief Medical Officer
11:03 – Patient taken to England
The protocol for all cases in Wales and across the UK is for transfer to a specialist unit in England.
Dr Atherton says the University Hospital of Wales is looking at plans to develop a ‘high-quality specialist unit’.
But he says it’s important to remember that Welsh hospitals do have isolation units available.
10:52 – Coronavirus expected ‘for some time’
Dr Atherton says he has been expecting coronavirus in Wales ‘for some time’. He has been speaking at a press conference in Cardiff Bay.
10:41 – Full statement from Chief Medical Officer
I can confirm that one patient in Wales has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).Dr Frank Atherton – Chief Medical Officer
All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.
I can also confirm that the patient had travelled back to Wales from Northern Italy, where the virus was contracted.
I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents. Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.
10:33 – Two new cases in England
Two new cases have been confirmed in England, according to the Department of Health. Both contracted the virus in Iran.
It takes the total number in the UK to 19.