Published by BBC NEWS - 8th March 2022

Hospital corridor

Image source, Getty Images

The average number of patients with Covid in critical care in hospital in Wales has dropped into single figures for the first time since last summer.

There has been a daily average of nine patients in the last week on critical care or on ventilation with Covid.

It is the lowest total since mid-July.

Wales is set to scrap its remaining Covid restrictions from 28 March, the Welsh government announced last week – the last part of the UK to totally lift its coronavirus rules.

Critical care in Wales. Numbers of patients by day.  Up to 7 March. Includes patients on invasive ventilation.

Eight of the Covid patients in critical care on Monday were in Cardiff.

The other one, in the Hywel Dda health board area of mid and west Wales, was being treated primarily for something else.

Nearly 80% of patients with positive tests for Covid in acute beds are in hospital primarily for treatment for another condition, according to Digital Health and Care Wales figures..

In Hywel Dda, there were no Covid patients at all in acute beds who were being treated “actively” for the virus.

Positive tests for Covid in the community have risen slightly over the last three days, but even when lateral flow test positive tests are accounted for, the case numbers are 45% down on a month ago.

There was a rolling average of 444 hospital patients with confirmed Covid on 7 March, slightly up on a week ago.

That’s also now almost the same as the number of patients in hospital with confirmed Covid at the same point in 2021, although for much of this winter, numbers have been considerably less.

Patients primarily being treated for Covid-19. Confirmed cases of Covid in acute beds in Wales.  Acute beds only, up to 7 March.

Only 76 (21%) of confirmed Covid patients in acute beds on Monday were being primarily treated for the virus, with 290 in hospital to be treated for other conditions.

Even though patients might “incidentally” have Covid, it does not mean that it cannot add complications to their health or treatment, and it still presents challenges for patient management in hospitals.

Summary of Covid stats headlines

Meanwhile, deaths due to Covid were less than 4% of all deaths in Wales in the most recent week, according to the Office for National Statistics.

There were 27 deaths with Covid the underlying cause, according to registered death statistics.

In the most recent week, up to 25 February, 43 people in Wales had a death which involved Covid-19 – and saw it included as a contributory factor on a death certificate.

This is compared with 47 deaths involving Covid registered in the previous week, according to the ONS.

Deaths due to Covid were four times higher in the same week in 2021.

There were no deaths involving Covid in six counties: Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, and Pembrokeshire.

The total number of deaths in the pandemic in Wales now stands at 8,419 due to Covid – as an underlying cause.

There have been 9,729 deaths involving Covid, where it is mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor.

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