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Accurate disease data essential

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30 April 2020

Image of generic English covid-19 news graphicAccurate and timely information about the impact of COVID19 in Powys is crucial to being able to provide an effective response to the current pandemic, the county council has said.

Information being reported about the number of COVID19 related deaths in the county varies significantly.  It varies between different national agencies and Powys County Council is highlighting these differences to ensure Powys residents are aware of the true impact the virus is having across the county.  The Chief Executive has also written to the Welsh Government to call for an improvement in the reporting of COVID19 related deaths.

Powys County Council Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Turner said: "The County Council is working closely with partner organisations as part of a co-ordinated approach to the COVID19 pandemic.  These arrangements are working well and through the actions we are taking locally we are providing the care and support that is needed by our residents, businesses and communities during this very challenging time.

"Our plans and actions are informed by the data we receive from the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and other national agencies.  While we recognise the complexities involved in collecting and sharing data in a timely manner, to be useful it must be reliable and up to date.

"We are concerned that there are significant variations in the way COVID19-related deaths are being reported.  The total number of COVID19 related deaths reported by the Office of National Statistics for Powys as at 17 April are 35 compared to 7 reported by Public Health Wales. 

"The ONS figure is more consistent with what we are seeing within our communities and every one of these deaths is a tragedy for our residents, their families and our county as a whole. 

"COVID19 is circulating widely throughout Powys and we are particularly concerned to see an increase in the number of cases and very sadly deaths in care homes across the county.  We are working closely with these homes and our partners to support them as they battle this horrible disease.

"We want to ensure our residents have the best information available to ensure that everyone is aware of the real and present danger of the disease in Powys.   The latest figures on deaths in Powys highlight why it is so very important that we all follow the Government guidelines on staying home, social distancing and good hand hygiene."

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