Concerns lockdown in Rhondda Cynon Taff could be days away as coronavirus cases continue to rise

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, Andrew Morgan spoke to ITV News about the rise of coronvirus cases in the area.

There are concerns that Rhondda Cynon Taff could follow Caerphilly and go into local lockdown in the coming days as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The proportion of cases in the Rhondda over the past week is the second highest out of all Welsh council areas, with Caerphilly at number one.

MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, said on social media that he fears "there is a real danger" his constituency could be in lockdown in a matter of days if the situation does not change soon.

A temporary testing facility will open on Thursday morning in Porth to deal with the rise in cases, specifically in the lower Rhondda area.

Indoor visits to care homes in the county have been suspended and testing in those settings increased.

Six supermarkets have also been issued with improvement notices for not complying with Covid-19 health and safety regulations and inspections of pubs will be increased as the county tries to get on top of the situation.

Tonypandy is one of the areas in Rhondda Cynon Taff where a cluster of coronavirus cases has been identified. Credit: ITV Wales

  • How do case numbers in Rhondda Cynon Taff compare to Caerphilly?

Based on Tuesday's data, the proportion of Covid-19 cases in Rhondda Cynon Taff over the past week stood at 38.1 per 100,000 of the population.

In Caerphilly, cases reached 54 per 100,000 of the population when lockdown plans were announced. That number then rose to 72.9 per 100,000 on the day lockdown officially came into force.

There were 17 new confirmed cases on Tuesday 8 in Rhondda Cynon Taff and the total number of confirmed cases in the area over the past seven days stands at 92. Caerphilly's weekly total is 132.

Caerphilly county borough went into lockdown at 6pm on Tuesday 8 September. Credit: PA Images

Clusters of cases have previously been identified in Porth, Penygraig and Tonypandy, which Public Health Wales said had been transmitted through friendship groups, households and social settings.

Pupils and staff at several schools in the area have also had to self-isolate after confirmed coronavirus cases.

In a video posted on social media, Chris Bryant MP, urged everyone to act responsibly and "abide by the rules" to avoid more people becoming seriously ill with the virus. He said it was particularly important not to break the rules on household gatherings because that is where "many of the cases" in the Rhondda have come from in recent days.

Leader of the council, Andrew Morgan, said on Tuesday that coronavirus transmission in Rhondda Cynon Taff is different in nature to that in Caerphilly. In a statement he said the cases in Caerphilly seem to be spread through community transmission whereas in Rhondda Cynon Taff, cases tend to be related to specific clusters.

However, the numbers are growing and Cllr Morgan said they are concerned that there is only "a limited number of days and maybe a week or two ahead" to take the action needed to avoid lockdown.