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Lockdown extension decision ‘not taken lightly’

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The Welsh Government and the UK Government have confirmed a three-week extension to the current lockdown restrictions.

Following yesterday’s COBRA meeting with ministers, the First Minister of Wales confirmed that the extension would go ahead based on the scientific advice available. He also took the opportunity to thank people, the majority of which have adhered to social distancing laws.

The announcement came as the latest figures revealed 284 new cases of Coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 6,401.

There has also been 32 further deaths of people who had tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of deaths in Wales to 495.

The First of Wales, Mark Drakeford’s statement in full:

Earlier this afternoon, I, along with the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland attended the UK Government’s COBR meeting.

We each confirmed our decisions that the current restrictions on movement to protect the NHS and so to save lives should continue for another three weeks.

This is based on expert scientific analysis of the latest data on the coronavirus outbreak across the UK.

I know that the last three weeks have been very difficult for many people.

I want to thank everyone in Wales for the way each of us is dealing with these challenging circumstances.

While we have seen some positive signs in the data, it is still too early to change course in dealing with this deadly virus.

Many more lives are at stake, and too many families have already lost loved ones.

Nevertheless, the decision to extend the lockdown is not one that has been taken lightly.

But I am clear that we cannot risk throwing away all the sacrifices we have made here in Wales over the last few weeks by lifting the restrictions too soon.

That could mean more deaths and, in the long run, even greater impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods.

Our approach will continue to be driven by the best information and the best advice we can secure.

We will go on taking the decisions that are right for Wales , and at the right time so that together we go on protecting our NHS and so to save lives.

Rhys Gregory
Editor of Wales247.co.uk

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