Issue with misreporting coronavirus-related deaths has 'absolutely been resolved'

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said the issue with misreporting the number of coronavirus deaths had now "absolutely been resolved across each and every health board."

At the Welsh Government's coronavirus press conference on Tuesday, Mr Gething said that every health board was now using the same systems for reporting deaths.

An investigation was launched after 84 deaths were missed from data provided by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.

The investigation also revealed that a further 31 deaths from the Hywel Dda Health Board area were originally missed from the Public Health Wales statistics.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said during Monday's press conference that the error was caused by some health boards using different mechanisms to record the deaths.

In a statement released by Hywel Dda, Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer said, “We apologise for any distress caused by this but can assure families that they have received accurate information, at the time, about the death of their loved ones.

"This error relates not to how we register deaths, but how we uniformly and in a timely manner share this data with Public Health Wales. We have now corrected this position and from tomorrow, data on Hywel Dda UHB published by Public Health Wales will reflect the current position accurately."We have also put in place additional actions and checks to ensure our staff are supported with the process.”

Mr Gething was also asked whether the fact that Betsi Cadwaladr are currently under special measures had any link to the error in north Wales. He dismissed the link as "unhelpful".

He said, "I just don't think there is a link between what has happened here and between special measures and I think it's particularly unhelpful for people to try to suggest that special measures arrangements have played a part in the Covid-19 response in north Wales."

Mr Gething also addressed the supply of PPE, saying a flight from Cambodia is due to arrive in Cardiff this afternoon with a delivery of 200,000 fluid-resistant gowns. Another flight from China is expected later this week with a further 460,000 gowns.

Mr Gething said, although it varies, Wales uses around 40-50,000 gowns a week. He stressed the importance of working together with other nations and regions to ensure everyone has adequate PPE supplies.

He added, "Part of our challenge now is to make sure that we're getting enough PPE in to meet the needs across health and social care.

"It's not just a story for today or last night. We're going to need to have an extraordinary amount of PPE, over and above the normal needs for health and social care, for some time to come.

"This isn't a simple matter of getting through the next couple of months and everything will be fine again."

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Images

Mr Gething announced that from Thursday 30, a new online booking system for coronavirus tests would be up and running.

The system would allow frontline workers to book tests at the Cardiff and Newport drive-through testing centres.

He added, "we are looking at the ability not just to role out a web-based testing platform but then to look at home testing as well and that will include of course mobile delivery units."

Watch the full press conference here:

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