Swansea health chief urges businesses to comply with Covid rules

Dr Reid said 10 people have died with Covid in the Swansea Bay health board area in the last two weeks alone.  Credit: ITV Wales/ PA

A Swansea health chief has urged individuals and businesses to follow Welsh Government Covid guidance - as a "concerning" new variant of the virus is confirmed in Wales

Dr Keith Reid, Director of Public Health at Swansea Bay University Health Board, has warned that it’s “more important than ever for us all to act in a responsible way that protects our local communities and the vulnerable people within them, and the NHS.”

Reminding people of the seriousness of the virus, Dr Reid stated that 10 people have died with Covid in the area in the last two weeks alone.

Dr Reid warns that Covid cases are still ongoing.

He also added that at present, the health board has 35 Covid-positive patients in their hospital beds with five seriously ill in intensive care.

He added: "Since the pandemic began, our staff have witnessed almost 1,000 patient deaths with Covid, and that figure does not include people who died outside of our hospitals. That is not only a tragedy for the families involved, but it has exacted a heavy physical and mental toll on our NHS staff, who are exhausted and yet still carrying on as best they can."

Urging people to follow Covid safety rules, he said: "These regulations are not put in place lightly. They are there to protect us all and they are backed up by evidence of effectiveness.

"The key thing is, there is no single thing that provides protection against Covid-19 transmission. It’s a range of measures that, when combined, offer more protection than having no measure at all.”

The warning comes as a judge ordered an independent Swansea cinema to close and pay £5,000 to the local authority after becoming embroiled in a row over Covid rules.

Dr Reid did not single out any one business, but said he "supports enforcement action taken against any business that deliberately flouts the current regulations".

Whilst Covid pass laws have proved to be controversial in Wales, Dr Reid explains why they are effective.

"What not getting vaccinated means is that you can’t do some things that vaccinated people can," he said.

"It is discriminatory - it’s discriminatory for people who are unvaccinated - but it’s discriminating on the grounds of public safety.

"People who are not vaccinated are more likely to get covid and are more likely to transmit it to others. So if we’re reducing unvaccinated people from going into certain locations or settings, then we’re reducing the risk to others."