Cases of coronavirus could rise to a peak in May or June, according to the “best guess” of Wales’ chief medical officer.

A total of 450 people have been tested for coronavirus in Wales so far, with just one case confirmed in Swansea.

Dr Frank Atherton said there was “active surveillance in place” of patients coming through intensive care or seeing their GP.

He was giving details of the Welsh response to the outbreak of the virus.

More than 90,000 people around the world have been infected, with more than 3,000 deaths.

The UK Government said on Tuesday up to one in five workers could be off sick with the virus at the same time at the peak of a coronavirus epidemic.

Its preparation plans said:

  • Police may focus on only responding to the most serious crimes and maintaining public order
  • The military could provide support to emergency services
  • Non-urgent hospital care may be delayed to focus on coronavirus patients and retired doctors and nurses may be recalled
  • Other measures included school closures, reducing social gatherings and working from home
  • Councils in Wales have the powers to apply to magistrates for an order to “isolate, detain or require” individuals to undertake a medical examination.

However, Dr Atherton said now was a time for a “period of calm preparation” with a “mantra” of personal hygiene and looking at social contact.

There are currently no plans to close schools and decisions to do so would only be taken with the scientific evidence to back it up.

He outlined what would happen during different phases of the outbreak, potentially involving a pandemic.

His “best guess” was cases would escalate and said modelling suggested this would happen from April, followed by six to eight weeks of a significant increase with a peak towards May and June, before a downturn.



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