TWELVE people have been admitted to Welsh hospitals with the Delta variant of Covid 19, with around half of those having had a vaccination. 

The figure was confirmed at the Welsh Government’s briefing by deputy chief medical officer Dr Chris Jones while health minister Eluned Morgan warned of “difficult weeks and months ahead” because of the mutant strain. 

Dr Jones confirmed that 12 patients have been admitted to hospitals and said: “Approximately half of those have not been vaccinated, the other half have been vaccinated with either one of two doses.” 

At the briefing it was also confirmed there are currently 579 cases of the Delta variant, that was first identified in India, in Wales. 

Dr Jones warned that since the first cases were identified in Cardiff in early May – in cases that were linked to Swansea and Newport – and following a larger cluster in Conwy the strain has spread across Wales.

“Since then we have, unfortunately, seen more and more unlinked cases across Wales.” 

He added: “It is moving quickly in all parts of Wales and is no longer confined to north and south east Wales and there is evidence of spread in communities. The increase in the spread of Delta is driving the increase in coronavirus rates we are now seeing across Wales. About four out of five new cases of coronavirus are caused by the Delta variant at present.” 

The doctor said there is evidence to suggest the

vaccination programme is providing protection against the Delta variant and it is important to have two doses of the vaccine. 

But he said the government still needs more information to know if the vaccine will break the link between infection rates and the numbers being admitted to hospital. 

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Health minister Morgan said the government intends to step up the vaccination programme over the next four weeks after first minister Mark Drakeford announced a pause to lockdown easings on Friday. 

“We will speed up vaccinations to maximise the protection we can offer to everyone. Between now and mid July will be putting an extra half a million vaccines into the system focusing on second doses and getting people fully protected. 

“We will be focused on offering a second dose to everyone in priority groups one to nine over the next four weeks, that is everybody over the age of 50, all health care workers, social care workers and other vulnerable groups including of course care home residents. 

“And subject to supply we’ll be bringing forward appointments for the people over 40 so they don’t have to wait longer than eight weeks between their first and second doses.” 

She said take up of second doses among people aged 65 and over is more than 90 per cent. 

“We need everyone to keep saying yes to the vaccine and remember that one dose isn’t enough. We all need two doses to complete the cause and to have the best chance of reducing our risk of serious illness and especially the spread of the Delta variant.” 

The minister said the public need to follow the Welsh Government rules to control the spread “so that we can all carry on enjoying our summer. The way we behave this this summer will have an impact on this virus.” 

She repeated the message to keep distance, wash hands, wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and to keep indoor spaces ventilated, meet people outdoors and work from home where possible. 

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