One of worst Covid hit places in Wales has just one death in a fortnight

Only one death has been reported in areas covered by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (UHB) in over two weeks.

This means the future for areas like Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) is starting to look brighter.

The county borough was previously known as a hotspot for the virus, with mass asymptomatic testing centres targeted at reducing the spread of coronavirus having been set up in parts of the area back in February to help control the spread.

On Wednesday,  Rhondda Cynon Taf Council leader Andrew Morgan, confirmed there had been no deaths linked to coronavirus reported in RCT for more than two weeks.

But on Thursday Public Health Wales confirmed one more person had died in Wales after contracting Covid-19, with the solitary death recorded by Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB. It is not clear whether this death was reported in RCT, as the health board also covers Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil.

It’s the first death the health board has reported in more than two weeks. Of all the health boards in Wales, Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB has recorded the highest number of deaths so far – 1,510 since the pandemic began, according to Public Health Wales.

On Wednesday, RCT council said the picture is continuing to improve in the county borough. In his update on Wednesday Coun Morgan said the situation is improving in the area, describing the falling number of cases as “really good news”.

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Speaking on Wednesday, he said: “That is really good news, especially as our area has been so hard-hit over the last 12 months.

“In terms of the vaccine roll-out almost 330,000 people in Cwm Taf Morgannwg have been vaccinated.

“Just to reassure you the vaccine centres are operating, and the GP surgeries are doing second vaccines as well. Every day thousands of people are now being vaccinated.

“There is a slow down from where we were a couple of weeks ago, but that is expected to pick back up. As I say every day thousands of people are now receiving either their first or second doses in the Cwm Taf area, which is really positive.”

Data shows there was also a period last year, between August and September, when no deaths were reported in RCT specifically, but the figures began to rise again a few weeks later. You can see this in the graph below.

Graph showing weekly number of reported coronavirus deaths in Rhondda Cynon Taf since May 2020

Despite the recent fall in cases Cllr Morgan is still urging people in RCT to stick to safety guidance, and said people should still get tested if they feel they need to be checked out.

He said there are still testing facilities in place across the county borough for those who wish to get tested – some for people with symptoms and some for people who are asymptomatic. The council leader highlighted the testing centres set up for residents who are asymptomatic haven’t picked up any positive cases over the past few days, which he said is a sign that things are “improving” and “getting better”.

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease Cllr Morgan added it’s still important to wear face masks when visiting shops, maintain social distancing and to make sure you’re washing your hands regularly to keep as safe as possible.

On Thursday, Public Health Wales also confirmed 63 more positive cases of Covid-19 have been reported across Wales.

Gwynedd was the local authority reporting the most cases on Thursday with nine followed by Swansea with seven, and Newport, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, and Powys all with five.

Flintshire had four new cases, Wrexham had three while Caerphilly, Torfaen, Anglesey, Vale of Glamorgan, RCT, and Neath Port Talbot all recorded two new cases.

Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Denbighshire, Bridgend, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire all had one new case and Conwy and Merthyr Tydfil had no new cases.

You can read more about the latest statistics here.

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