Covid 19 coronavirus | latest update

As UK Government starts to reveal its plans for dealing with an escalation in cases of people with the Covic-19 Coronavirus, Bridgend County Borough Council is continuing to follow official advice and guidelines.

Current advice from UK and Welsh Government and organisations such as Public Health Wales is that schools, offices and public buildings should remain open. Schools have received specialist advice and are prepared to issue further guidance as the situation develops, and business continuity plans are in place to ensure the council can remain resilient and capable of providing services.

On a national level, people who have returned since the 19th of February from Iran, Northern Italy, South Korea, Wuhan province or Hubei Province should automatically self-isolate, avoid public contact and calls NHS Direct for further advice even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.

The same advice applies to people who are exhibiting symptoms having returned from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar since 19th February.

Anyone who has returned from China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within the last fourteen days and who have developed symptoms should self-isolate at home, and call NHS Direct Wales.

In all of this, it is important to note that Covid-19 is very much like winter flu. The severity of infection ranges from mild symptoms of the upper respiratory tract and possible fever, to the other end of the extreme where it can cause severe cases of pneumonia requiring hospitalisation and advanced respiratory support.

While all UK cases to date have been mild, the disease has sadly proven to be fatal for more than two thousand people in China.

As with winter flu, the vast majority of those fatalities have been elderly, or people with underlying health conditions.

Nearly eleven per cent were people with diseases of the heart. Seven per cent had diabetes, and six per cent had long-term lung problems.

In terms of age, the current fatality rate is less than nought-point-five per cent for people under fifty. This rises to eight per cent for people in their seventies, and fifteen per cent for people who are older than eighty.

With robust infection control measures in place on both an international and national level, it is important to ensure that the local authority’s response is similarly appropriate and well-considered.

The council is adopting an attitude of ‘business as usual’, and is continuing to provide services as normal while remaining alert and ready to adapt to any new guidance that may be issued.

Public Health Wales have advised that the best way to guard against infection is by following some general principles.

These include washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, disposing of used tissues immediately, cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces, and more.

More information is available from the Public Health Wales website in both English<https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/novel-coronavirus/faqs-2-coronavirus-english/ and Welsh<https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/novel-coronavirus/faqs-2-coronavirus-welsh/

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