CORONAVIRUS testing units are to be set up at acute hospitals in Wales, so that people considered at risk can receive prompt assessment away from emergency departments.

The move - along with the implementation of community assessment and testing services - is included in the latest update on coronavirus (now also known as COVID-19) and its effects, from Wales's chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton.

He also reveals that following weeks of preparation, coronavirus teating has begun at the virology laboratory at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Previously, all testing was undertaken by Public Health England.

More than 100 people have so far been tested in Wales and there have been no confirmed cases to date.


"I would like to thank Public Health Wales for their expertise and dedication in providing this important testing service, and for developing and supporting the wider NHS response," said Dr Atherton.

"I wrote to the NHS earlier this week advising on the importance of immediate implementation of community assessment and testing services, and the establishment of coronavirus testing units separate from emergency departments.

"Implementing community assessment and testing services allows for people with mild symptoms to remain self-isolated at home where they are attended by trained clinical professionals who can assess their health and undertake the necessary tests.

"The coronavirus testing units will ensure that individuals who present to our acute hospitals because of concerns they are at risk, can receive prompt assessment in an area separate from emergency departments.

"Both measures benefit the individuals without impacting on the day-to-day services provided by our NHS."

South Wales Argus:

Meanwhile, advice for travellers remains unchanged - all those who develop flu-like symptoms, however mild, within 14 days of returning from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS Direct Wales or 111, if available in their area.

These symptoms could be a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.

It is important to note that travellers from Wuhan and Hubei province in China should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, due to the increased risk from that area.

Travel advice

China travel advice here.

Further information on coronavirus

How the response to the coronavirus is being managed across the UK here.