Coronavirus & Ceredigion: Elin Jones reflects on the Firebreak Lockdown


Once more, we are facing a challenging time and I know there has been some discussion on why include Ceredigion in the Firebreak Lockdown. I’ve asked myself the same question. Is it a proportionate measure to include Ceredigion, given our low level of disease-incidence and the desire of businesses to continue trading.

Three factors have been influential on me:

1. Whilst the level of disease remains relatively low in most rural counties, the gap between disease statistics between rural and urban areas has been reducing over the past 10 days. Rural areas are reporting daily higher case numbers, although it’s true to say that in the cases of Ceredigion and Ynys Môn, these numbers are very small.

2. The relationship between schools and businesses on the Ceredigion border is intricate and it would be difficult to manage a complete firebreak lockdown on the Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire/Powys side of the border and a lockdown-free area on the Ceredigion side. However, this, of itself, is an insufficient reason not to run separate lockdown policies concurrently.

3. More persuasive on me is the need to support our hospitals and NHS. Our hospitals in the west serve a wider population than just Ceredigion. They are small and have very limited ICU capacity. Even small numbers of people getting very ill with coronavirus can overwhelm our rural hospitals and therefore it is important to see all the population of mid and west Wales supporting this lockdown effort. Including the Cardis. Every possible covid transmission link needs to be broken over this firebreak period.

None of this is ideal and we will all make slightly different judgements on this, giving a different weighting to the various factors. However, we are back in the territory of needing to protect our hospitals once again from getting overwhelmed by coronavirus patients and allowing them to be able to treat as many patients as possible – covid and otherwise. In the last fortnight, all our Hywel Dda hospitals have Covid 19 patients in the wards once again and the numbers are increasing, after a long period of being covid-free. Bronglais has just announced that it has instigated measures to isolate its Covid patients.

Finally, of course, Welsh Government has put in place an immediate package of support for many businesses. Not all businesses and workers will be covered immediately and I’ll be making representations on how all businesses can receive financial support because of this firebreak period. I know that that the amount of support is insufficient also in many cases and I’ll also be raising this issue. Once Firebreak is over we must all redouble our efforts to support our local businesses leading up to Christmas.

One thing is for certain, this short, sharp Firebreak will only make an impact on the virus if we adhere to the regulations and break the transmission link. That is the clear evidence in the scientific advice to Welsh Government. Hence, most of us are being asked to stay at home again, for Ceredigion and Wales.
And most importantly for our NHS.

Keep well, and get in touch on the email below if you have any queries

Elin Jones MS

[email protected]

Showing 1 reaction

  • Matthew Jones
    published this page in News 2020-10-21 17:45:08 +0100

Say you're with us

Elin Jones and Ben Lake work for everyone who lives in Ceredigion. Show your support and help them in their work to ensure a better Ceredigion, today.