THERE were more coronavirus patients in hospital on Christmas Day in Gwent than anywhere else in Wales.

The latest hospitalisation figures show that the number of patients in hospital with suspected or confirmed coronavirus is at its highest since the start of the pandemic.

Figures for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which covers all of Gwent, show that 33 coronavirus patients were hospitalised on Christmas Day.

While the number in hospital on December 25 was 579, the highest number across Wales.

Over the period of time between December 24 and December 30, there have been 619 patients in Gwent's hospitals with either suspected or confirmed coronavirus, or recovering from Covid-19.

December 29 saw a higher number of coronavirus related hospital cases than at any point during the pandemic, with 680.

South Wales Argus:

This chart shows how the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus in Gwent has increased over the last four months

On December 23, the health board published an urgent appeal to residents asking them to help ease pressure on hospitals in Gwent.

Judith Paget, chief executive of the health board, said: "We wanted to make this urgent appeal to residents, because we can save lives if we all take action now.

"We now have more people with Covid-19 in our hospitals than we had at the peak of the first wave.

"We are expecting this to get worse over the coming weeks. Our hard working staff are extremely tired, and distressed by the serious cases of Covid-19 they are caring for, we now urgently need your help."


The trend is similar across Wales as a whole.

The average number of people in hospital with coronavirus over the last seven days is higher than at any other point in the year.

And there are currently more than 2,600 coronavirus patients in Welsh hospitals.

South Wales Argus:

This chart shows how the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus in Wales has increased over the last four months

Speaking earlier this week, Dr Andrew Lansdown, a consultant endocrinologist at University Hospital of Wales, said Welsh hospitals were coming under "extreme pressure".

He told BBC Radio 5Live: "We really have felt stretched to the limit.

"I think it's not just the new variant, which seems to be spreading faster.

"You've also got the usual winter pressures at the hospital, as well as staff themselves who are ill, self-isolating.

"During the first wave there was a large resource of energy in staff, whereas now in the second wave it's quite different," he said.

"We can see a lot of staff fatigue. It's a fatigue that is obviously physical, but it very much is emotional as well.

"We're seeing staff members themselves becoming unwell, some have sadly died during the pandemic. And then trying to balance that with looking after patients as well."