Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said people shouldn't avoid seeking urgent or emergency treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the Welsh Government's daily press conference, Mr Gething said that NHS activity is currently between 25 and 40-percent lower than it would normally be.

Daily attendances at emergency departments are a third lower, with the greatest decrease in activity being among children under 16, where activity has more than halved.

The Health Minister said this was because some people have put off seeking care, because they have been worried about going to hospital during the pandemic.

I want people to have confidence that they can seek help from the NHS when they need it and I don’t want people putting off urgent or emergency care. But I also want the NHS to be in the best possible place to be able to respond to a further peak of coronavirus, if and when it comes.

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething

Planned appointments and surgery were suspended in mid-March to give the NHS time to prepare for an increase in cases of coronavirus.

The Health Minister said services will make a 'gradual and progressive return', but that many of the systems implemented during the pandemic will remain in place.

Mr Gething added that cancer, emergency, maternity and mental health services are still available.

When asked about the return of cancer screening services, Mr Gething said he couldn't give a fixed date, but that he was concerned about the "hidden harm" being caused because those services aren't functioning.

The Health Minister said he wanted to see them back up and running as soon and as safely as possible.

The Health Minister also warned that some lockdown measures may have to be reintroduced in the winter.

Mr Gething said it would depend on the "reservoir of coronavirus that exists and people's behaviour."

Yesterday it was announced that people in Wales could see one other household outdoors at a time.

  • Watch the full briefing here: