Coronavirus: Mini lockdowns called for as Covid-19 cases mount

Woman in Caerphilly lockdownImage copyright
Wales news service

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Caerphilly went into lockdown last week

Wales should use micro-quarantines to avoid a second national lockdown in the winter, Plaid Cymru has said.

The Welsh Government will later outline how it will tackle coronavirus in the NHS during the winter months.

Plaid said small areas could be locked down around clusters where there has been a higher rate of infection, rather than entire council area.

Caerphilly county became the first place in Wales to go into local lockdown last week.

On Tuesday, Wales’ Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething will publish a winter protection plan.

The Welsh Government said it would include extra bed capacity, changing the way services are delivered and expanding the flu vaccination programme.

Earlier, he warned of the risk of a further national lockdown if members of the public do not better respect social distancing rules.

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Plaid says people should be encouraged to keep records of their contacts with the help of an app

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price proposed a “10-point coronavirus winter plan”, which included “smart-lockdowns” used in countries including Pakistan – with targeted lockdowns including a “local economic package of support”.

“If we do not act, then winter could become a second wave that is even worse than the first, with little option than reintroducing a full lockdown,” he said.

The party also proposed encouraging everyone to keep contact records, with the support of an app, and testing individuals who have been in contact with people with coronavirus, but do not have symptoms themselves.

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Plaid called for quick saliva tests to be implemented, national guidance for face masks in schools, and better use of ventilation.

People should be asked to avoid closed, crowded and close-contact settings, Plaid said, calling for a new Covid-19 plan ahead of a vaccine.

The Welsh Government said: “Our contact tracing system is helping us to quickly identify confirmed cases and routes of transmission to allow us to respond swiftly.

“We have introduced new local restrictions in Caerphilly County Borough Council area in response to the rapid increase in this area and new national restrictions to slow the spread after seeing an overall increase in cases across Wales. Local authorities are also taking targeted local action.

“As the first minister said on Friday, this is a fast-moving situation and we have a small window to act to prevent a fresh coronavirus crisis in Wales. We need the help of everyone in the country to do that.”

BBC News