HOSPITAL treatments and non-urgent operations could once again be at risk, as hospitalisation rates in Wales due to Covid-19 continue to rise.

Earlier today, first minister Mark Drakeford revealed that the current situation in Wales is “very serious”, with more than 420 people currently in hospital due to the virus – the highest number since March.

And, with modelling suggesting that the nation can soon expect to see 3,200 new cases of covid each day, the situation is expected to further deteriorate.

According to Mr Drakeford, pandemic pressure on the NHS “is increasing”.

if the virus continues to spread at its current rate, it is suggested that 100 people per day could soon need hospitalisation.

  • Have you recently lost a loved one? We want to help you celebrate their life by publishing an obituary in the paper and online. Click here to submit information and pictures.

Earlier this week, a senior figure at the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran, said staff had “flipped” the largest part of the unit, with more covid patients in need of intensive care treatment than non-covid patients.

With the NHS in Wales under more strain than ever, it is expected that many procedures may be axed or delayed, in order to cope with the ongoing pandemic.

Speaking at a Welsh government press conference earlier today (Friday, September 10), Mr Drakeford said that the risk that non-covid procedures could be impacted “is inevitably there”.

Continuing, he said that while the health service is working “flat out” in efforts to restore non-covid levels of activity, the strain on staff is taking its toll on the service.

He said that members of the public can do their bit to help by considering whether their ailment needs hospitalisation, and for those who have loved ones currently in hospital, they are advised to consider the risks that come with visiting hospital.

With many of those requiring hospitalisation due to covid being unvaccinated, once again, there has been calls for those who have yet to receive a vaccine to do so.

This call has been echoed by the director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Darren Hughes, who, in responding to the first minister’s comments, said that “taking up the offer of a vaccine remains the best form of defence”.

Read more local news here

Statement from the first minister in full

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Drakeford said: “The health service is working flat out to try to restore non-covid levels of activity.

“That is really difficult. As I said in my opening statement, staff are exhausted from the experience with dealing with the pandemic, and they are still having to operate under all those covid rules. The wearing of gowns, the wearing of masks, the restrictions on the number of procedures that can be carried out.

“The more coronavirus there is, the more pressure there is on other things that the NHS needs to do, and that people depend on it doing.

“It is why the things that I said in my opening statement, about people thinking very carefully about whether they need to go to hospital, to an A&E department. Could they get advice elsewhere? Could they make sure that their needs are attended to without thinking that the first thing you do is go to a hospital, and where visitors think about that as well.

“Every time you visit a hospital, there is inevitably a risk that coronavirus could be entering the hospital with you. There are many things that we can do to mitigate that risk, but the risk itself, is there."