THE third Covid-19 wave – which is only now starting to recede – saw higher rates of community transmission in Gwent – but fewer people ended up needing treatment in hospital than previous waves, councillors were told.

A report states 70 to 80 people a week ended up in hospital in Gwent during the height of the third wave.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Social Service scrutiny committee on Thursday, November 18, councillors received a six-monthly update on the work of the Regional Partnership Board.

The board includes representative from all social services departments of Gwent’s local authorities as well as representatives of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Blaenau Gwent’s director of social services, Damien McCann said: “The board has been reassured that, although the pandemic has been worse the third time round in terms of community transmission levels, the hospital capacity and support in the community has been able to cope with it both locally and regionally.

“That is very much due to the success of the vaccination roll out and collaborative working.

“Higher community transmission rates were seen across Gwent during

the third wave, although the impact on hospital admissions has been much less, there were between 70 to 80 cases of people with coronavirus admitted a week to Gwent hospitals.

“There has also been increasing outbreaks particularly with staff in care homes across Gwent although over 95 per cent  having received both vaccinations and 98 per cent of all residents.”

Cllr Many Moore asked whether new rules coming in to force which will see all care workers needing to be fully vaccinated would help “alleviate” staff shortages.

Mr McCann explained: “No, in England they have to be vaccinated in order to be employed, in Wales that hasn’t been agreed.”

He explained the “rationale” between the Welsh Government and the UK Government’s approaches to care workers vaccination, is that in Wales a higher percentage had already been vaccinated.

Mr McCann pointed councillors to the 95 per cent figure for Gwent care workers in the report.

“It was felt it wasn’t worth everybody doing it when based on the volume of staff that have already done it”, said Mr McCann.

The report will be discussed by councillors on the Executive committee next month.