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An aspiring young actress from Swansea is starring in her own video urging people to stick to the rules to help end lockdown so she can go back to stage school.

Ana Arnold (pictured above), aged four, misses her Saturday mornings at Stagecoach Swansea Performing Arts and spending time with her friends and teachers.

 Having been taught the importance of regularly washing your hands and maintaining your distance from others by her parents she asked if she could make a video to spread the message and help end lockdown.

In the video Ana says: “We have to wash our hands with soap and warm water to make bubbles because Coronavirus is invisible and we don’t want anyone to be ill.”

She adds: “Stay away from people and don’t touch them.”

The Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontybrenin pupil, who wants to be a nurse when she is older, said: “I’m angry. I want to punch the Coronavirus.

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“The Coronavirus germs make people ill and I wanted to make the video. I made it because I want to go back to drama school. I miss the singing and dancing and I have lovely teachers.

“When everyone listens, and it is better, I can go back to stage school.”

Her dad, Matthew Arnold, works as a senior project manager with Swansea Bay University Health Board’s digital services.

Matthew said: “Ana attends the Stagecoach stage school on Saturday mornings but they had to stop it back in December, when they introduced the firebreak. Since then, they haven’t been able to reopen.

“She told us that she is really sad and wanted to do the video. She said that not everyone is following the rules so she wanted to reaffirm them to people.

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“We didn’t prompt her at all, it was all her own doing, she even did the step back to emphasise social distancing

“She just wants people to follow the rules and then, hopefully, they will lift lockdown and she can go back to stage school. Stagecoach was one of the places she could go and express herself. She really used to enjoy herself and misses it greatly.

“She also really wants to visit Mumbles lighthouse, because she thinks Grampy Rabbit from Peppa Pig lives there, but she can’t even do that.”

Like most parents, Matthew and his teacher wife Llinos, have noticed lockdown and the restrictions taking a toll on their daughter like all the other children who have had to stay at home.

Matthew said: “She misses her friends and schoolteachers terribly and she misses being able to see her grandparents on a regular basis.”

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The video has been shared on social media and is proving to be a hit.

Matthew said: “With the help of her sister, Ela, we put the video on Twitter and shared it with everyone we could think of and we’ve had more than 1,300 views.

“Ana was really excited. She wants to do a weekly video now, I think she is definitely going to be a performer in the future.

“Someone commented that she has more sense than the politicians, which was quite funny.”

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Coronavirus

Calls intensify for First Minister to announce Wales specific Covid-19 enquiry

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Welsh Conservatives have repeated the call for a Wales-specific Covid-19 inquiry.

On behalf of the Senedd Conservatives, Paul Davies MS challenged the First Minister over his refusal to hold a Welsh specific inquiry and denying victims’ families the answers they deserve.

The questioning from the Welsh Conservatives follows a tweet from Mark Drakeford which provoked an emotive response from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice-Cymru group.

Following a summit yesterday between the British Prime Minister and leaders of the devolved administrations, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted:

Later, the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice-Cymru tweeted:

Taking up the issue on behalf of the families in the Senedd, Mr Davies said: “There is no reason why the Welsh Government can’t take part in a UK-wide inquiry and a Welsh inquiry. An open and transparent Government must be accountable to the people it serves, and the people of Wales deserve answers.

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 “An open and transparent Government must be accountable to the people it serves, and the people of Wales deserve answers. ‘Responsible, but not held responsible’ seems to be the mantra of this Welsh Labour Government. Now, organisations like the bereaved families group, Medics 4 Mask Up Wales and the British Lung Foundation have all joined calls for a Welsh inquiry.

 “It’s time for your government to do the right thing and commit to that inquiry. A Welsh inquiry is a necessary part in helping the country understand how decisions were made and whether lessons have indeed been learnt.”

Speaking outside the chamber, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Economy, Paul Davies MS said:“Welsh Conservatives have always said a Wales-specific inquiry, alongside a UK investigation, is essential in delivering justice for those affected by coronavirus and lockdowns.

“Throughout the pandemic we were told that different decisions would be taken in Wales to meet our specific circumstances, and now we need a specific public inquiry to scrutinise these decisions.

“Sadly, Wales has the highest Covid death rate in the UK and over 8,000 people have tragically died during the pandemic, a quarter of whom acquired the infection in hospital.

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“The grieving families deserve answers, and full, independent scrutiny of the decisions taken by Labour ministers and Wales should get the transparency, accountability, and scrutiny that every democracy needs to thrive.

“Regrettably, responsible but not held responsible seems to be the mantra of this Labour administration.”

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Coronavirus

Health board using converted shipping containers as ‘local vaccination centres’

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Swansea Bay University Health Board say they are making it easier for older people to get their Covid-19 booster vaccinations with the use of converted shipping containers.

Three containers, known as Local Vaccination Centres (LVCs), have been located in communities across the Swansea Bay area for those who may find it difficult to get to a mass vaccination centre.

The containers build on the success and experience of the Immbulance, the health board’s mobile vaccination unit.

And they are able to free up the Immbulance to be deployed to cover new areas.

The units can be located in one place for several days and include staff facilities, which means they can stay there longer and don’t have to be driven away each night and be brought back the following morning.

Staff are providing Covid booster vaccinations for those with an appointment only and aim to deliver 60 jabs every day.

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People can then wait the usual 15-minutes after a vaccination either in their cars or in the container itself.

One of the units has been placed in Seven Sisters Rugby Club car park to serve those in the Dulais Valley and neighbouring communities.

Another of the LVCs has been placed near the Guildhall in Swansea, which has proven to be a popular location for the Immbulance.

James Ruggiero, Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Assistant Head of Operational Planning for the vaccination programme, said: “This project is part of our ongoing effort to increase access to vaccinations across the Swansea Bay area. 

“These units are helping us in our aim to get as many people vaccinated as possible, particularly those who may have difficulty in travelling to our mass vaccination centres.”

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Lead image: Matthew Armstrong, immuniser; Andrea Howells, clinical supervisor; Ian Worthing, immuniser (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Carmarthenshire

People with weakened immune systems eligible for third primary Covid-19 vaccine urged to come forward

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People aged 12 and over living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire with severely weakened immune systems at the time of their first and/or second COVID-19 vaccines are being asked to contact the health board to request a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The third primary dose is not the same as the booster vaccinations currently being rolled out at mass vaccination centres.

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “If your immune system was severely weakened due to an underlying health condition or medical treatment, you may not have made a good immune response to the first two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

“A third primary dose of the vaccine will improve your levels of immunity to give you better protection and should be given at least eight weeks after the second dose, but timing will depend on any treatment you may be having. A booster vaccination may also be needed at a later date.

“If you live in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire and believe you are eligible for a third primary vaccine dose but have not been contacted yet, we are asking for you to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

People eligible for a third primary Covid-19 vaccination dose are urged to complete an online form on the health board’s website.

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Those waiting for a Covid-19 vaccination booster are asked not to contact the health board yet, as they will be sent an invitation to attend a mass vaccination centre.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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