EIGHT people have died and six others are fighting for their lives after a coronavirus outbreak at a hospital sparked by a “super-spreader”.
Covid-19 cases at Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is currently in a local lockdown, have also doubled in a week to 82.
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The spike has been blamed on a “super-spreading event” caused by either a patient or staff member – rather than there being multiple transmissions.
The Trust confirmed they are now taking “robust action” to tackle the coronavirus flare up.
Six people fighting for their lives with the disease are being treated in intensive care.
Planned surgeries have been temporarily suspended and adult emergency patients are being sent to other hospitals for treatment.
Only a small number of urgent cancer cases will receive treatment, while the A&E department is open for walk-in patients.
The temporary measures came into force at 2pm today.
Last week, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said 34 cases of Covid-19 had been recorded across two wards at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Paul Mears, CEO of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “We recognise the concern that these temporary changes will cause and would like to assure our patients and communities that managing this outbreak is our key priority.
“Our teams continue to work to take all necessary measures to achieve this and we have taken range of swift and decisive actions to try to manage this outbreak which include immediate closure of affected wards, risk assessments of affected and at-risk wards, reviews of infection prevention and control measures and their implementation, increased testing of healthcare staff and testing of all hospital admissions.
“These decisions have not been taken lightly, and we understand that they will impact our patients, their families, our staff and partner organisations. However, the safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance and we believe this is the right course of action, based on the professional advice given to us.”
The Trust is encouraging patients to speak to NHS 111 to seek alternative treatment.
Welsh Ambulance Service patients, excluding children, will be diverted to the other hospitals.
The self-contained paediatric wards at the hospital will remain open, while the Tirion birthing centre is due to reopen on October 5.
Mr Mears added: “We will provide further advice and guidance within the next 24 hours and will continue to communicate widely with our communities, patients, stakeholders and colleagues to ensure everyone is aware of the temporary changes and what this means for accessing services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.”
The Trust hasn’t revealed when the eight people died.
It comes as four areas of North Wales are due to be plunged into local lockdown with more than half-a-million people affected.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed new restrictions will apply to Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham from 6pm on Thursday.
The ramped-up rules means people will not be allowed to leave their local area without a “reasonable excuse” – such as travel for work or education.
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And members of the public will only be able to meet people from other households outdoors.
Residents of the four areas will not be able to form, or be part of, extended households.
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething announces a lockdown in North Wales