- Words by ITV News Wales & West of England Correspondent Rupert Evelyn
Approximately one in five positive tests for coronavirus in Wales come from healthcare workers.
The figure reveals for the first time the scale of those working on the frontline who are infected and heightens fears that they are not being offered sufficient protection.
It’s thought that more than 450 people working in healthcare in Wales have the virus, with the overall total for the nation standing at 2,466.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, revealed the startling number of cases in response to a question from ITV News about the lack of specific data on infected workers in the NHS.
He suggested analysis showed around 70 per cent of tests on healthcare workers were negative with Public Health Wales, adding that the number was “broadly in-line with the percentage among other symptomatic patient groups”.
The British Medical Association said “it is concerning to hear that around 30% of those frontline health staff who have been tested for Covid-19 are positive, it is unfortunately not surprising”.
The BMA’s Welsh Council Chair Dr David Bailey added that "it is crucial that every health professional who see patients is provided with appropriate PPE as there is no such thing as a 'low risk' consultation… as each day they go in to work they are putting their lives, and their families lives, on the line…
"This needs to be urgently addressed by Welsh Government.”
A Public Health Wales spokesperson said: "Public Health Wales has not so far been routinely reporting and analysing test results for healthcare workers, but we have conducted a one-off analysis for briefing purposes.
"As the First Minister has outlined, this analysis shows that around 70 per cent of healthcare workers tested for coronavirus have tested negative, which is broadly in-line with the percentage among other symptomatic patient groups.
"These numbers are an estimate only, but as this outbreak develops we will be improving the way we provide data to the media and the public about how the virus is affecting groups in our society.
"We are looking at ways of providing information in a routine or automated way, and we are hopeful that an online dashboard of detailed coronavirus data will be ready by sometime next week. We ask that the public and media bear with us while these systems are put in place."
Coronavirus: Everything you need to know