Four additional cases of the South African variant of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Wales, bringing the total number to 17.
Public Health Wales (PHW) has today confirmed that the new cases are all either linked with international travel or have “relevant contacts”.
It says that there is currently no evidence of wider community transmission.
Three of the new cases were identified in west Wales, and all had links to international travel.
The remaining new case were identified as part of contact tracing associated with the known case in Neath Port Talbot.
Public Health Wales is working with the Welsh Government, Betsi Cadwaladr, and Swansea Bay University Health Boards, and Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Neath Port Talbot to investigate cases with no known link to travel or relevant contacts.
No outbreak has been declared as of yet.
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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board recently confirmed that a case of the South African variant with no known travel or relevant contacts was identified in Conwy as part of investigations into a small cluster of coronavirus cases of there.
PHW says no other cases of the South African variant have been identified within that cluster.
Appropriate control measures were in effect for the individual, who has now recovered and contact tracing is underway.
A case on Anglesey was eventually linked back to international travel.
Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for Public Health Wales, said: “The identification of these cases demonstrates that well-established processes under the Test, Trace, Protect strategy are proving to be effective.
“Public Health Wales is working in close partnership with the Welsh Government, local health boards and local authorities to find out where the virus was acquired, and if any onward transmission has occurred.
“This is a small number of cases and there is no evidence at the moment that sustained community transmission has occurred.
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“There is no evidence that the South African variant causes more serious illness; there is some evidence that it can spread more easily, and that vaccines – although still effective – may not work quite as well against it.
“Because of the emergence of new more transmissible variants, it is even more vital that we all keep to the lockdown restrictions and do not meet other people.
“This means that you must stay at home. If you must leave home keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face mask when required according to the regulations.”
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