The number of deaths of people who tested positive for Coronavirus in Swansea Bay hospitals has tragically hit a new high says the local health board.
Over the last weekend 26 COVID-19 positive people died in our hospitals, and in the last 48 hours another 14 patients have died in Morriston Hospital alone.
Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Executive Medical Director, Dr Richard Evans, warned: ““This situation is extremely serious. This weekend we saw the highest level of deaths since the first peak of the pandemic.
“Our hearts to go out to all the families who will be facing this Christmas, and the Christmases in the years to come, without their loved ones.
“Since mid-November, we’ve been seeing 30-40 deaths per week in hospital, but that is now increasing.
“Most patients who have died have been elderly, but we have unfortunately had patients die who have been in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
“There have been family tragedies, with several members of the same family becoming critically ill and needing admission to intensive care. That has meant members of the same family have died alongside each other, or have woken only to find their family members died several days or weeks before.”
He called for everyone to act responsibly to stop the virus from spreading, and to be careful about what they read on social media from unverified sources.
“Some people are downplaying the risk and claiming that COVID-19 is no worse than flu. That is absolutely not the case: the chances of dying from COVID are very much higher than with flu.
“Official ONS statistics for UK Covid deaths show that over 48,000 people died from Covid in the first wave, compared with just under 400 who died from flu. Those figures speak for themselves.”
“It’s also clear that for those who recover from COVID, particularly in younger age groups, that many are left with persistent symptoms and it’s not clear yet what the long-term effect of these will be on their health.”
Dr Peter Matthews, Morriston Hospital Intensive Care Consultant (pictured) said: “We have admitted a higher number of patients to intensive care now than we did during the first wave of the pandemic. Patients who are coming into intensive care are sicker than those who presented in the first wave, and many are relatively young. They are staying longer and there is a high mortality rate. We’ve noticed it here and in other units across the country.
“We have exceeded our usual intensive care capacity, and have needed to open our surge area which additionally makes staffing difficult. This will further impact on the hospital being able to provide other urgent and routine patient care.
“The public seem to think that with the advent of steroids and vaccinations that they don’t need to adhere as closely to the rules as they’ve done before.
“They don’t seem to realise that even small infringements can lead to severe consequences.”
He said it was vital that everyone obeyed the regulations and guidelines.
“Don’t break your bubbles – you are most likely to get COVID from someone you know. People are most infectious before they get symptoms.
“COVID is not something you want to give or receive this Christmas. It can have devastating consequences. Ask yourself if getting together with others is really worth the risk.”