Third Covid wave 'likely' in Wales, minister for health says
The Welsh minister for health said "the question is how big will this wave be"
The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, has stated national concerns over a third wave arriving in Wales following a number of Delta (Indian) variant cases reported in Conwy county.
The strain is said to be spreading, with a total of 97 cases across Llandudno, Llandudno Junction and Penrhyn Bay. With cases growing across the UK in general, she said it would be "difficult to stop the flow from England".
Primary school children in Merthyr Tydfil have been told to stay home for another week after a visitor tested positive for the variant. Morgan has now stated: "A third wave is likely [...] the question is how big will this wave be".
She went on to say "We are worried that the spread of the virus is so much higher with the Delta variant and that's why the latest lifting of restrictions is in two parts."
On Wales current lockdown restrictions: "We have allowed three households to come together outdoors but we are waiting a few weeks for more data to be clearer that this variant is not spreading throughout our society and how it affects our hospitals."
It is estimated that more than 68 per cent of people in Wales have now had their first dose of the vaccine, with 37.5% having received their second, according to figures published on Friday.
Another 300,000 people could get the jab over the next two weeks, Ms Morgan told BBC Radio Cymru, with the UK's vaccine rollout programme well on schedule. First Minister Mark Drakeford has urged those yet to have the vaccine to come forward.
Drakeford also said he was prepared to take further action in Conwy if needed, stating: "We've always been open to taking local action where that is necessary [...] If further local actions are needed we won't hesitate to take them."
Scientists have indicated that the UK as a whole is already in the "early stages" of a third Covid wave, as cases of the Delta strain continue to be reported across the nation. There is also concern over a Nepal variant that has now been detected in Portugal, with fears that it could soon be found in Britain.