NEWLY released figures that show nearly a quarter of people who died from Covid-19 in Wales were infected in hospital strengthen the case for a Welsh public inquiry, it has been claimed. 

Up to May 1 this year there have been 1,860 patient deaths where they "definitely" or "probably" caught it in hospital, tests results showed. 

The Welsh Conservatives claimed those figures show the Welsh Government had failed to strengthen measures to counter hospital infections and bolster opposition callls for a specific public inquiry focusing on the Welsh response to the pandemic. 

Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS said: “Our doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff did magnificent job under very challenging circumstances, but despite the assurances from various ministers, it’s clear lessons were not learnt by the Welsh Labour Government and preventative measures were not strengthened. 

“This revelation reinforces the importance of ensuring there is a Wales-specific COVID inquiry. Decisions made in Wales had a direct impact on lives here in Wales, and they should be put under the microscope of an independent public inquiry here in Wales.” 

The figures were released, following a Freedom of Information Act request, to S4C’s Welsh language news programme Newyddion. 

READ MORE: 

"Definite" cases are defined by health boards as those who tested positive more than 14 days after being admitted to hospital. 

"Probable" cases are when positive tests are collected between seven and 14 days after admission. 

Conservative MS George said the Welsh Government had given assurances over hospital infections following the first major hospital outbreak, at the Wrexham Maelor hospital, which was declared in October last year. 

The Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have consistenly called for a specific Welsh public inquiry but the Labour Government has said it supports a UK wide inquiry. 

The Welsh Government has said each death in hospital is being investigated and that "strict infection prevention and control guidance has been followed" and "extensive guidance on social distancing and hospital visiting" had been issued.

A spokeswoman said first minister Mark Drakeford wants specific chapters of a UK inquiry related to Wales.

"The first minister has said Wales will be a part of the UK public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic, which the prime minister has announced.

"He has discussed the UK-wide inquiry with UK Government ministers and said there must be specific chapters which deal exclusively with the experience in Wales. A single UK-wide inquiry is the best way to shine a light and understand the distressing experiences people have had in Wales during this ongoing pandemic.”

 

Public Health Wales figures, from May 1, show there had been 5,553 deaths from Covid-19 in Wales at that point. The latest figure stands at 5,578 since the pandemic began. 

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.