THE new strain of coronavirus is mainly present in the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend according to the deputy chief medical officer for Wales.

Dr Chris Jones said in a press briefing with First Minister Mark Drakeford that the new strain of coronavirus is responsible for 60 per cent of new cases in Wales and that last Monday the Welsh Government was aware of 10 cases in Wales and this had doubled by Friday, with the new cases mainly being found in the Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan areas.

Dr Jones also said that ONS data showed that 28 per cent of samples in Wales in the second week of December had the new strain of the virus and that Public Health Wales believe the new strain could be causing up to 60 per cent of the new cases in Wales, with their analysis of samples at the Lighthouse Labs showing around 600 cases of the new strain from across Wales.

This was also said by Dr Jones to be an underestimate of the current figures of the new strain in Wales.

He said: “There are more than 600 cases in Wales. This is almost certainly an underestimation. We expect these numbers to be well below the numbers actually in circulation.”

He also said that only two of the Lighthouse Labs in the UK can pick up the new variant, one in Birmingham and one in Milton Keynes but not all of the tests in Wales go to either of these centres.


First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “It is much more infectious and is moving quickly in Wales.”

Dr Jones explained that the new strain is present in the UK and two other countries. He said: “We have seen a number of mutations since the SARS-Cov-2 virus was first identified in Wuhan just over a year ago. But this new strain of the coronavirus, which has been detected in the UK and two other countries, is concerning.”

“The new strain appears to be much more infectious than the strain which originated in Wuhan and is more easily transmitted from person to person.

“At this stage we don’t believe it causes a more serious illness and we do not believe it will affect how the vaccine works. But we will continue to closely monitor this new variant and what the scientific evidence is telling us.”

It is the new strain that Dr Jones believes to be the driver behind the increase in cases of coronavirus in recent weeks.