A 'CLOSE watch' is being kept on the coronavirus situation in Newport, with regard to future decisions that might need to be made on a local lockdown, First Minister Mark Drakeford said today.

Speaking at a coronavirus media briefing, Mr Drakeford said the Welsh Government is working closely with the city council and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to try to prevent the city having to become subject to local lockdown restrictions similar to those in neighbouring Caerphilly, and in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Cases have been rising in Newport since late last month, and this week Gwent has seen its first deaths from coronavirus for more than two months.

There have also been other deaths in Wales and an increase in cases in may other areas beyond the aforementioned 'hotspots', and Mr Drakeford said this has been "a sobering week" for Wales as the coronavirus position has "worsened".


The Welsh Government made the "difficult but necessary decision to introduce local restrictions" in Rhondda Cynon Taf earlier this week, where "cases are rising rapidly", he said.

And he added that it is now "very certain that the R-number (the rate of infection) is over one for the whole of Wales". That means that every infected person is now passing the virus on to more than one other person.

Just today in Newport, two primary schools - Charles Williams and St Woolos - have sent pupils from various year groups home to self-isolate following positive tests for coronavirus.