Another 41 people in Wales die after testing positive for coronavirus

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A total of 575 people have died with confirmed coronavirus in Wales, an increase of 41 deaths since Saturday’s figure.

Public Health Wales said the figures related to people who had a laboratory confirmed case of Covid-19, with the majority of the deaths occurring in hospital settings.

By health board area, the deaths were located as follows: 195 in Aneurin Bevan, 137 in Cardiff and Vale, 136 in Cwm Taf Morgannwg and 93 in Swansea Bay.

The 14 other deaths were in three health board areas – Betsi Cadwaladr, Hywel Dda and Powys – that have seen a “very small” number of fatalities.

On Sunday, the Welsh Government set out plans to “remove the bureaucracy” from the coronavirus testing system in the country.

Plans to increase test numbers include the military looking at operational processes to make the system quicker, and an online booking system.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “As the daily number of tests have not been matching the capacity we’ve built up in Wales, I ordered a rapid review of the current system.

“The review has produced a number of recommendations to speed up the process of referring key workers for testing.

“I have accepted all of these to be implemented immediately.

“Today I have also published our critical worker testing policy outlining which workers will be tested and how.

“I want to see a rapid increase in testing of critical workers across Wales so they can return to work more quickly and have the confidence to carry out their work safely.

“Their contribution to stop the spread of coronavirus and keeping us all safe is invaluable.”

The Welsh Government previously set a target of 5,000 tests per day by the second or third week of April but this has not been reached.

Daily capacity is currently at 1,300 per day, with documents setting out the new plan admitting the 5,000 figure would not be achieved by the third week of April.

It said it had “experienced a range of delays in securing some of the equipment and reagents for processing and running swab tests”.

Data published by Public Health Wales showed 783 tests were carried out on Friday, and 1,056 on Saturday.

Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, said: “Every day where the testing target is missed is another day lost in the fight against this pandemic.

“We need to see a dramatic increase in daily testing as a matter of absolute urgency.

“Failing for a third time is simply not an option.”

Angela Burns, shadow health minister for the Welsh Conservatives, welcomed the charges to testing processes but said there was “more to do”.

“Once these issues have been addressed and testing capacity eventually ramps up, it’s then important for testing to broaden and include population testing,” she said.

Over the weekend, tributes were paid to an “inspiring” lecturer at Swansea University and a healthcare assistant with a “heart of gold” at Morriston Hospital, who both died with Covid-19.

Father-of-four Brian Mfula was a lecturer in mental health nursing, while Jenelyn Carter was a healthcare assistant who worked on the admissions ward of the hospital.

In Ceredigion, Rhythwn Evans raised thousands of pounds for his local health board charity by completing 91 laps around his bungalow on his 91st birthday.

The farmer, who uses a walking stick and is self-isolating at home with his wife Gwyneth, was inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s incredible fundraising.

By Sunday afternoon, Mr Evans’s fundraising page had reached more than £28,000 for Hywel Dda Health Charities.

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