Seven new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Newport as Wales saw a further eight deaths with the virus.
The rate of infection in the city is now 45.3, up from 38.8 and now above the Wales figure of 42.5 based on a seven-day rolling average from March 6 to March 12.
The latest daily update from Public Health Wales (PHW) on Wednesday, March 17 recorded 145 new positive cases in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 206,940.
Eight more people have died with the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of people who have died with coronavirus in Wales within a month of a positive test to 5,463.
The infection rate across Wales is now 42.5 cases per 100,000 of population based on the seven days up to March 12, a rise from the figure of 40 reported on Tuesday but still well below the key Welsh Government benchmark of 50.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the rise in infection rates has been caused primarily by outbreaks in some local authority areas including Merthyr Tydfil, Anglesey and Conwy.
The percentage of tests coming back with positive results is now below the key 5% benchmark at 3.9% in the last seven days.
The latest data also shows that Wales has administered another 17,385 first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and another 16,202 second doses.
The data shows that 1,157,251 people have now received a first dose and a further 289,185 have had both jabs.
Uptake of the first vaccine dose by priority group (according to PHW):
- Care home residents: 13,183 (95.7%)
- Care home workers: 32,270 (85.8%)
- Healthcare workers: 126,240 (89.1%)
- Social care workers: 40,729
- 80 years and older: 166,302 (94.6%)
- 75-79 years: 126,865 (95.1%)
- 70-74 years: 173,576 (94.5%)
- Clinically extremely vulnerable 16-69 years: 73,032 (89.7%)
- 65-69 years: 164,540 (91.3%)
- Clinical risk groups 16-64 years: 189,489 (55.4%)
- 60-64 years: 127,982 (62.4%)
- 55-59 years: 87,778 (37.7%)
- 50-54 years: 73,260 (32.2%)
- Deaths reported today: Eight
- Cases reported today: 145 (up from 142)
- Number of tests carried out: 6,915 (up from 5,347)
- Total deaths with lab-confirmed coronavirus in Wales: 5,463
- Total number of people who have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: 1,157,251
- Total number of people who have received a two-dose course of Covid-19 vaccine: 289,185
Cardiff saw the highest number of new cases reported on Wednesday with 17 followed by Wrexham with 13, Neath Port Talbot with 12 and Caerphilly, Conwy and Flintshire with 10 each.
All other local authorities reported less than 10 cases including Merthyr Tydfil with nine, Swansea with eight, Newport and Gwynedd with seven, Denbighshire with six, Anglesey and Carmarthenshire with five, RCT with four, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire with three, Vale of Glamorgan and Ceredigion with two and Torfaen, Bridgend and Powys with one.
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Cases per 100,000 based on seven-day rolling average (March 6to March 12):
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Torfaen: 33 (up from 25.5)
Caerphilly: 51.9 (down from 53)
Newport: 45.3 (up from 38.8)
Monmouthshire: 15.9 (down from 18)
Blaenau Gwent: 53 (up from 48.7)
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Conwy: 81.9 (up from 75.1)
Anglesey: 112.8 (up from 98.5)
Gwynedd: 61.8 (unchanged)
Denbighshire: 36.6 (up from 33.4)
Flintshire: 66 (up from 62.1)
Wrexham: 33.1 (down from 39.7)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cardiff: 34.3 (up from 32.4)
Vale of Glamorgan: 38.2 (up from 33.7)
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Merthyr Tydfil: 155.8 (up from 147.5)
Rhondda Cynon Taf: 31.1 (up from 30.3)
Bridgend: 18.4 (down from 19.7)
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Carmarthenshire: 29.1 (up from 24.4)
Pembrokeshire: 15.1 (unchanged)
Ceredigion: 5.5 (up from 4.1)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Powys: 35.5 (up from 34.7)
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Neath Port Talbot: 34.9 (down from 36.2)
Swansea: 39.7 (up from 34.4)
Wales total : 42.5 (up from 40)
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Last Friday First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the easing of lockdown restrictions in several areas:
On Wednesday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced that NHS and social care staff will be given a bonus in their next pay packet to recognise their “extraordinary contribution” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The one-off payment is equivalent to £735 per person to cover the basic rate of tax and national insurance contributions incurred. After deductions most people will receive £500.
It is estimated the payment will benefit 221,945 people in Wales including 103,600 social care staff, 90,000 NHS Wales staff, 2,345 deployed students and 26,000 primary care staff (including pharmacy, GP, dental and optometry staff).
The minister also reassured the public that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is safe despite several European countries pausing its rollout due to safety concerns.
“The independent regulator, the MHRA, is clear that there has been no confirmation the reports of blood clots were caused by the vaccine,” he said.
“AstraZeneca’s review of all its safety data from some 17m vaccines administered across the UK and the EU has shown no increased risk of blood clots.
“The company has said there have been 15 events of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among all those given the vaccine.
“To put this in context, that’s 0.88 DVTs and 1.3 pulmonary embolisms for every million vaccines administered.
“The MHRA’s very clear advice, which we echo, is that everyone should take up the vaccine when they are offered it.
“The same advice is given by the World Health Organisations, the European Medicines Agency and endorsed by all four UK chief medical officers.”