On Wednesday, Cardiff became the area of Wales with the second highest rate of Covid-19 infections per head of population.
Only Merthyr Tydfil, which has consistently been the country’s coronavirus “hotspot”, recorded a higher rate of infection with 227.1.
Another key indicator of a particular county’s virus prevalence is the proportion of tests which are returned positive.
Here, Cardiff came out on top with more than one in 10 (13.2%) tests being positive, compared to 12.4% in Merthyr Tydfil, 11.1% in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) and Flintshire and 10% in Bridgend which came in at second, third and fourth highest respectively.
Less than a month earlier, for the week September 14 to 20, Cardiff was recording 39.8 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate 2.9%, which demonstrates just how quickly the virus is spreading.
The rise in cases is translating into hospital admissions with three Covid-19 patients now in ventilated intensive care beds in Cardiff and the Vale health board hospitals. There are also 85 confirmed, suspected and recovering Covid-19 patients in all Cardiff and Vale hospital beds as of October 13.
*It must be noted that more testing is being carried out each day when compared to the height of the first wave, which will lead to more cases being identified
So why has the Welsh capital suddenly became one of the worst-performing parts of Wales, despite it being under a local lockdown?
“There is an increasing trend in positive case numbers nationally and this is reflected in the latest numbers for Cardiff,” she said.
“The steep increase can in part be attributed to the precautionary mass testing of students in one of the city’s halls of residence (Cardiff University’s Talybont South), and we expect to see numbers continue to rise in this group.
“However, the virus is prevalent across the city and we are seeing cases of coronavirus across all age groups and all areas of Cardiff.”
She added that the only we can stop the spread is if people work together.
“People should continue to keep their distance from others wherever possible, wash their hands regularly, and wear a face mask in public places,” she said.
“Transmission of Covid-19 is driven by close contact with people you know, usually indoors, either in family or social settings, or workplaces.
“To stop this spread people must observe the restrictions on not mixing indoors with those outside of their household group.
“Most importantly anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – a cough, a high temperature, or a loss of taste or smell – should book a test and self-isolate until they receive the result.”
As of October 13, the number of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients in all Welsh hospitals for October 13 was 707. The last time it was that high was June 26.
To cope with the the expected rise in hospital admissions in and around the Welsh capital, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is building a 400-bed coronavirus facility at the site of the University Hospital of Wales.
The £33m temporary centre is being created following the decommissioning of the Dragon’s Heart hospital at the Principality Stadium.
According to latest figures, the facility is taking shape nicely and is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
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Cardiff and Vale UHB chief executive Len Richards said: “This will support our planning for increased capacity of up to 400 additional patients in response to the current modelling predictions and a second wave of Covid-19.
“The build will be aligned to the de-commissioning programme of the Dragon’s Heart Hospital at the Principality Stadium which we will have vacated by the end of October and will enable the WRU to start making their own plans at the stadium.
“As a health service we will take on board all of the learning from Dragon’s Heart Hospital in terms of design and clinical requirements for a temporary surge hospital and work to the national modelling requirements.”