Third person dies in Wales after contracting Covid-19

By Rod Minchin, PA

A third person who tested positive for coronavirus in Wales has died, it has been announced.

The 71-year-old patient had underlying health conditions and passed away at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

The deaths of two other people in Wales, aged in their 60s and 96, had also been announced earlier this week. Both had underlying health conditions.

Dr Frank Atherton, the chief medical officer for Wales, said: “I’m very sorry to report that a third patient in Wales who tested positive for Covid-19 has sadly died.

“I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their request for privacy is respected.

“The patient, aged 71, had underlying health conditions and was being treated at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.”

Earlier this week, the Welsh Government’s health minister Vaughan Gething said he was self-isolating himself for 14 days after his son developed a cough.

Today, Ken Skates, the Welsh Government’s economy and transport minister, called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to make the “right decision” about subsidising wages – warning that some businesses have just hours to survive.

“If you had a good business in 2019 you will have a good business in 2021,” Mr Skates said.

“If you had a good job in 2019 you will have a good job in 2021. Here in 2020 we have a battle in which we must all fight together.

“We are deploying £1.4 billion of support for businesses. In normal times we would have in the economy budget tens of millions of pounds to support businesses with grants.

“These are unprecedented times and we have never deployed such a figure to support Welsh businesses.

“I hope and believe that the Chancellor will today make the right decision with regard to wage subsidies.

“Many businesses have just hours, not days, to survive and they cannot wait until next week for a positive announcement from the Chancellor.

“Fear is normal in a crisis. It can either paralyse you, sometimes it can lead you to make destructive decisions or take destructive actions, or it can lead you to take a positive decision.

“Today, I hope and expect the Chancellor to make a positive decision on wage subsidies for British businesses.

“Equally there is a role for the banks to make the right decisions for businesses.”

He said he had met representatives of high street banks in Wales and told them they have to react in a “responsible” way.

Mr Skates also urged the public to ensure they “act in a compassionate way” and do not stockpile food, and treat shop workers with respect.