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No action at Cardiff Airport over virus

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THERE were no checks or screening at Cardiff airport this morning (Jan 23) as international concern continues to grow about the coronavirus which has killed 17 people and infected hundreds in a central Chinese city.

A Herald journalist landing at 5:30am on a flight from Doha, said that passengers arriving from China or other Southeast Asian were not questioned or screened, despite other airports including Heathrow taking action.

The twice daily Doha flight, which was launched with the help of the Welsh Government two years ago, connects travellers from many destinations from South East Asia, including from China. A connection between Beijing and Cardiff is offered with a 10 hour stop over at Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

The outbreak of the virus is centred on the city of Wuhan. Travellers from Wuhan change at Beijing. At this time of year there is an increased number of travellers between China and the UK due to the Chinese New Year celebrations’

The Guardian reported today (Jan 23) that a sense of panic has spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the city of 11 million was put on lockdown in an attempt to quarantine a deadly virus believed to have originated there.

Today, Chinese authorities banned all transport links from the sprawling city, suspending buses, the subway system, ferries and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers.

Nearby Huanggang also suspended its public bus and railway system by the end of the day.

In Wuhan, it has been reported that supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

The incubation period for the virus is said to be five days according to experts.

The Welsh Government has been asked for a comment.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Cardiff Airport is closely following guidance provided by the relevant authorities in relation to screening procedures for Coronavirus. Port Health advice as of 1200 on 23rd January 2020 is to operate business as usual, with no additional screening. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our customers as required.

“The safety and security of our team and customers is our number one priority.”

A spokesperson told The Herald that Chinese nationals arriving in Cardiff on international flights are not being asked if they originated in Wuhan despite the crisis.

“We have not been told to do different to normal,” the spokesperson said.

Pictured above: Regular flights: Qatar Airways plane at Cardiff Airport this morning • Peter Sinclair from Milford Haven lives in China and taking precautions

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Health

Do you know someone living with sight loss? Would you like to be able to guide them safely and confidently?

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Guide Dogs Cymru is running a free training session for friends and
family members at the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Park Crescent, Llanelli,
on Wednesday February 12.


The two-hour interactive session is designed to give people a better
awareness of sight loss, plus tips on the correct way to support a vision
impaired person. The training is tailored to each individual’s needs and
covers the basics of sighted guiding. Attendees are given time to
practise their new skills on each other and discover how it feels to have
sight loss.


Karen Nicholas attended a friends and family training session while her
husband Malcolm was waiting to be matched with a guide dog. She said:
“Attendees did exercises in pairs, with one person wearing a blindfold
and the other guiding them. I never realised before how scary it was to
be unable to see and having to depend on someone else.


“You get lots of useful advice, and you are shown techniques to help you
guide in a busy or narrow space. It was also nice to meet the partners of
other vision impaired people, and try on special spectacles that simulate
different eye conditions.”


Malcolm, who is now the proud owner of guide dog Marcus, said: “I
found that Karen’s guiding skills improved and she became much more
aware. Undergoing a blindfold walk really brought home to her how it
feels to lose your sight.


“As a blind person I get mobility training, but that’s not the case for
friends and family. They need to know what to do, because we could be
giving them the wrong advice. I would encourage people to sign up for
free training from Guide Dogs Cymru.”


To book a place, or find out more, ring Steve Kersley on 07785 907728
or email steve.kersley@guidedogs.org.uk

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Community

Third day for hospital operation cancellations for ‘patient safety’

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board has confirmed that, in the interest of patient safety, planned inpatient operations scheduled for today (Wednesday 8 January 2020) have been postponed at Bronglais, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals. Emergency surgery, day case procedures and outpatient appointments are continuing as normal.


These actions are in line with our escalation procedures to help manage patient flow and maintain patient safety during periods of peak pressure.


We have contacted patients affected directly so please attend as planned if you do not hear from us. Otherwise, please do not contact our appointments or outpatient teams unless absolutely necessary as they are very busy at this time.


Whilst the situation remains challenging, we are currently assessing our operating plans for the days ahead and, as per normal planning arrangements, these will be reviewed on a daily basis.


We will issue an updated statement when a large proportion of planned operations resume.


We apologise for an inconvenience this may cause patients who have had their operations postponed or who have had to wait longer than normal for their procedure.

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Health

Temporary visitor restrictions in place at Prince Philip Hospital

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Members of the public are advised that Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli that all wards are closed to visitors until further notice following a number of cases of Norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting).

These temporary visitor restrictions are in place to help prevent the spread of this winter illness.

The restrictions are confined to the main hospital only and people are still able to visit loved ones in Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.

Patients who are scheduled to attend outpatient appointments are advised to do so as normal.

The situation is being monitored at regular intervals and a further update will become available when visitor restrictions are lifted.

Sharon Daniel, Assistant Director of Nursing for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’d like to reassure visitors that a number of Norovirus cases have been diagnosed and appropriate infection control measures are in place to reduce the risk of infection.

“Unfortunately, at this time of the year, winter illnesses such as Norovirus and flu do become more commonplace and it’s important for anyone experiencing these symptoms to follow simple hygiene advice. This includes washing and drying your hands thoroughly, especially after going to the toilet and before you handle food, to prevent infections from being passed on to others.

“If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there’s usually no need to visit your GP; you should just rest at home until you feel better, while keeping warm, drinking plenty of water and taking painkillers if necessary. You can also help stop the spread of infections by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious.”

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