A ‘MASSIVE majority’ of intensive care patients in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board region are unvaccinated, a leading doctor has said.

Dr Ami Jones, an ICU consultant at the Grange University Hospital, provided an update on the Covid situation across Gwent’s hospitals.

“We haven’t seen [a rise] in the ICU. We've had a steady trickle throughout the last few weeks actually so we've got about static numbers.

“The massive majority of patients we got intensive care at the moment are unvaccinated, so vaccines have made a huge difference.”

Dr Jones said that there were “quite a lot” of new Covid patients coming into hospital.

Across the region, 1,184 people were admitted to hospital, with 123 testing positive either on or prior to admission for the week up to January 2 – up from 79 in the previous seven days.

“Across the rest of the hospital there are quite a lot of new Covid patients coming in,” said Dr Jones. “Some of those are sick with Covid, and some of them coincidentally have Covid, so maybe they've got a burst appendix or a broken leg and they happen to have Covid.

“You might think that doesn't matter if they’re not sick with Covid, but actually that creates quite a lot of stress in the system because they need to be kept separate and they need to have different staff look after them.

“We're doing our best to try and keep patients as separate as we can but this is a hugely transmissible disease so it's really tough.”

More information on the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board's vaccination programme can be found at abuhb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine