Doctors in Wales warn 'very likely' second Covid peak is their greatest fear ahead of winter

Doctors in Wales have warned a second peak of coronavirus is "very likely" and is their greatest fear ahead of the winter months.

It comes after the First Minister issued a stark warning that Wales could face stricter measures of lockdown if people did not act responsibly this weekend.

86 per cent of doctors responding to a survey by BMA Cymru Wales said a second wave of the virus was likely or very likely in the next six months.

The warnings follow a recent rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, leading to some local lockdowns and pre-lockdowns.

164 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed by Public Health Wales on Sunday.

A number of new measures have been introduced from Monday, including a restriction on the number of people who can meet and a requirement to wear face masks indoors.

The warning comes after concerns over the availability of tests in Wales. Credit: PA Images

Doctors said confusing messages on public health measures, lack of monitoring and adherence to infection control measures in public settings and failure of the test and trace system including poor access to testing sites are the main risks to causing a second peak. 

They said a "fit for purpose" test and trace system and a rapid and coherent response to local outbreaks were crucial in helping to prevent a second peak.

They also highlighted the need for clearer public information and more visible messaging on rules and guidelines, including those on mixing with people from outside your household.

With cases rising and winter approaching, we are at a critical point in the fight against the virus.

Dr David Bailey, BMA Cymru Wales

Dr David Bailey, BMA Cymru Wales council chair, said: "The survey results expose the greatest fears of doctors in Wales – fears borne out of their everyday experiences of treating patients with Covid-19 and witnessing the dramatic impact of the virus on the NHS.

"As a profession, and I’m sure as a nation, we do not wish to return to the scenes we saw earlier in the year, where hospitals were full with Covid-19 patients, many people dying every day.

"As local lockdowns come into force in Wales and new measures are introduced to minimise the spread, we must all work together to prevent the virus taking hold in our communities once more."

Concerns have been raised over the availability of coronavirus tests in Wales after some have complained about being forced to travel for hours to get one.

A father-of-two from Machynlleth in Powys told ITV News he travelled for more than two hours to Telford with his children to get them a coronavirus test - only to find the site had run out.

Over the weekend the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council said he was 'furious' after being told tests for coronavirus were going to be capped at 60 at additional testing centres.

Cllr Andrew Morgan said he worked with the local health board and the Welsh Government to increase testing capacity in his area.

The Welsh Government said it has raised the issue with the UK Government.