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Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
4 February 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I continue to work very closely with the other UK Health Ministers to protect the health of the public. You will be aware that UK Government Departments have worked together to successfully repatriate people to the UK and these are now accommodated in supported isolation for any medical needs that they may have and to protect the public.

I am being updated daily on activities undertaken in Wales so that I can be assured that NHS Wales is prepared for any cases that may present. A number of people across Wales have so far been assessed and to date there have been no imported cases of the novel coronavirus to Wales. UK figures on the number of people tested are published daily on the Public Health England website.

Yesterday I signed regulations which immediately remove charging overseas visitors for the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Travellers from Wuhan or Hubei province should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, due to the increased risk from that area. Travellers from elsewhere in China (but not Macao or Hong Kong) who develop flu-like symptoms however mild, (these symptoms could be a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing) within 14 days of their return, should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or phone Wales 111 if available in their area.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to China (not including Hong Kong and Macao) and all travel to Hubei province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. Further information including contact numbers for assistance is available on the FCO website.

Whilst we have yet to see any cases in Wales we all need to do our part and we can all help by following the simple steps to reduce the spread of any respiratory virus: catch it, bin it, kill it and wash your hands. An awareness raising campaign in support of this message is underway. 

I will provide AMs with a written update every Tuesday and more frequently if necessary.