THE NHS in Wales could be overwhelmed within a matter of weeks if current coronavirus trends continue.

That was the stark warning from Health Minister Vaughan Gething during the Welsh Government's coronavirus briefing earlier today.

Mr Gething said that coronavirus was now "widely circulating" in all parts of Wales.

"We face a very real public health emergency," he said.

"Cases have been rising in most local authority areas throughout October."


He said that last week was "one of the deadliest of the pandemic", with more than 60 people confirmed as having died from the virus.

"Sadly," he said, "we will see more deaths and more suffering before we are able to bring the virus under control.

The health minister said that Wales had now passed a "milestone" of having more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus in hospitals.

"That's an 18 per cent increase from last Sunday and the highest number since June," he explained.

"This number includes people will confirmed and suspected coronavirus, and those who are recovering.

"The number of confirmed cases has risen to its highest level since May.

Mr Gething said that Wales was "moving very quickly towards the April peak, the point at which the NHS came close to being overwhelmed".

However, he said that in the spring hospitals had already postponed all planned operations and appointments, something which has not been done this time around.

"If we carry on at this rate, we will reach that same point within a matter of weeks," he said.

"The number of people being treated in our critical care units has also risen sharply since last week.

"There are 56 people in critical care with coronavirus, up 40 per cent."