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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.

“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.

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“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.

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

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“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.”

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

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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

Swansea professor’s COVID contribution recognised with new honour

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A Swansea academic at the forefront of shaping our understanding of Covid-19 has received further recognition for his work in the field of data science.

Co-director of Population Data Science and Clinical Professor of Public Health at Swansea University, Professor Ronan Lyons has been elected to a prestigious European body, the Academia Europaea.

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This latest honour follows on from Professor Lyons becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and being appointed OBE in the New Year’s honours.

The focus of his work is the use of routinely collected data to better understand factors that influence health and wellbeing and developing and evaluating interventions aimed to improve the health of the public. He has led some of the largest studies ever undertaken in this field and contributed to research surrounding the pandemic and its consequences at Wales, UK and European level.

Professor Lyons said he was delighted to have been recommended for membership of the prestigious Academia Europaea, which aims to encourage the highest possible standards in scholarship, research and education, and promote a better public understanding of the benefits of learning.

He said: “This honour is a recognition of the shared efforts and hard work of the various teams and partners I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years. None more so than over the last two years, during the pandemic.

“Through the European Population Health Information Research Infrastructure (PHIRI) Project we’re developing research infrastructure to generate the best Covid-19 population health knowledge. The multi-disciplinary, One Wales working group provided crucial evidence to Welsh Government’s response to Covid community transmission and informed policy development across the UK.

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“The International Covid-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) partnership with Health Data Research UK and the Bills Gates Foundation and others, is supporting a globally coordinated approach to tackling Covid and future threats.

“This has been an incredibly challenging period for us all and I’m enormously proud that these labours have been acknowledged and rewarded by this election.”

Professor Lyons now joins more than 5,000 other eminent, individual scientists and scholars, who cover a broad range of academic disciplines that include former Nobel Prize laureates, Turing Award recipients and Fields Medal winners.

(Lead image: Swansea University)

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Carmarthen

Health board lifts visiting restrictions at Glangwili and Withybush hospitals

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Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed that restrictions for people visiting patients will be lifted in Glangwili and Withybush hospitals from Wednesday 20 July 2022.

Visiting to Bronglais Hospital, Prince Philip Hospital and community hospitals remain open, by appointment only.

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The health board are advised that it will still be a requirement to wear masks in Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals.

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, said: “Last week we had to make the decision to extend measures at Glangwili Hospital in addition to Withybush Hospital to reduce the risk to our patients and staff and we thank people for their support and co-operation.

“We can all continue to take protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to protect vulnerable people and the NHS.

“We strongly advise anyone in our locality who has the classic symptoms, or who suspects they may have COVID-19 to isolate and take an LFD test. If positive, we urge people to isolate – this will help you to rest and recover while protecting others from risk of transmission.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Coronavirus

Mask wearing reinstated at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital

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Hywel Dda University Health Board have said that all staff and visitors to Prince Philip Hospital must wear face masks (unless exempt) with immediate effect following the latest review of prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

This follows the decisions made last week to reinstate mask wearing at Glangwili Hospital and both mask wearing and visiting restrictions at Withybush Hospital.

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The health board have said that visiting will continue in general at Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals following the latest review of case numbers but local ward restrictions are in place so please contact the ward to arrange your visit in advance

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Wearing a surgical mask or face covering and keeping a physical distance when attending a hospital or medical facility will help protect our most vulnerable patients and service users.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support and efforts of our communities to stop the spread, particularly around more vulnerable people.

“These measures will be continually reviewed, and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will ease these restrictions.”

The health board is stressing the continued importance of the behaviours known to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and the different requirements in place in health and social care settings.

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Mandy, added: “Isolating if we have symptoms of COVID-19, or other infectious diseases, is one of the most important things we can do to prevent the onward spread and break the chain of transmission.

“We strongly encourage anyone in our locality who has the classic symptoms, or who suspects they may have COVID-19 to isolate and take an LFD test. If positive, we urge people to continue with the same isolation guidance that has been in place – this will help you to rest and recover and protect others from risk of transmission.”

Later this week, the Welsh Government will update its vaccine strategy with details of the next booster dose in the autumn.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Sir Frank Atherton said:

“The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. While the vaccine does not completely stop transmission it offers protection against serious illness and reduces the risk of hospitalisation.

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“You can still get the vaccine if you haven’t had your full course, or you were too ill to get your spring booster and I would encourage parents to think about getting the vaccine for their children over the summer months to help minimise any disruption to their education during the autumn and winter terms.”

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

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