THE NHS in Gwent will soon be overwhelmed by coronavirus and the number of people needing lifesaving treatment, without a "huge effort" by all of us to follow Government lockdown instructions.

Dr Aitken's stark message on coronavirus from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

That is the chilling message from a Gwent public health expert, who warns that the pattern seen here is the same as that seen recently in Italy, where the healthcare system is now overwhelmed.

Gwent has 309 of the 628 confirmed cases in Wales, though these figures are likely to increase today.

In a stark video message, Dr Sara Aitken, director of public health at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, says that in Gwent, "we are seeing a rapidly rising increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in all our communities and a daily increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital, and the number pof people dying from the virus.


"Without a huge effort by all of us we are heading for the moment in Gwent where our NHS will be overwhelmed too."

That means there will not be enough hospital beds for everyone in Gwent who needs lifesaving ventilators and intensive care.

Following instructions to stay at home will help buy the health board vital time to bring in more doctors and nurses, in turn enabling the opening of more beds, including intensive care beds, and the use of more ventilators.

"Please, stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives," said Dr Aitken.