RISING numbers of coronavirus cases will "very likely" result in increased critical care requirement and deaths, First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned.

Mr Drakeford, addressing the issue of Gwent's first death from coronavirus for two months - confirmed on Thursday - said the death rate for coronavirus is very low at the moment in Wales, "but when you've got more people in the community (with the virus), that's the first stage."

"I'm very sad to hear of the first one in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area in such a while," he told the Argus.


He said that, the more people who become ill to the extent that they require hospitalisation, the more the need for critical care will increase.

"And sadly, as we have seen, some people end up dying from coronavirus," he said.

"The fact that we've got more people ill in the community will inevitably lead to more people reaching the further ends of the system.

"That takes a number of weeks, but we are already seeing a small additional number of people being presented at hospital as a result of the extra community transmission in Cwm Taf Morgannwg.

"These are early straws in the wind, but we know from the way we saw things happened earlier in the year, that this is the very likely pattern."

Admissions to hospitals in Gwent due to coronavirus have also begun to rise during the past week.