SIX more deaths of people who’ve tested positive for coronavirus in Wales have been reported and 180 more cases confirmed.

The increase in recorded cases is the highest yet and brings the total number of confirmed cases to 921, although the true number of cases is likely to be higher as there is no wide-scale testing programme.

In Powys a further two cases have been confirmed bringing the county total to 18. Gwent’s Aneurin Bevan Health Board remains the Welsh hotspot with 432 cases.

The health board, which runs Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall hospital which is one of the main hospitals serving Brecon and Radnorshire, has warned the rapid rise of cases could see it in a similar situation to Italy where hospitals have been overwhelmed by patients stuck by coronavirus.Across the UK the total number of people who have died after testing positive for covid-19 has reached 766, an increase of 182.

Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: "Six further deaths have been reported to us of people who had tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the number of deaths in Wales to 34.

“We offer our condolences to families and friends affected, and we ask those reporting on the situation to respect patient confidentiality.

“Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now circulating in every part of Wales. The single most important action we can all take in fighting Coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, and save lives.

“Members of the public must adhere to social distancing rules about staying at home, and away from others, introduced by the UK and Welsh Government.

“People no longer need to contact NHS 111 if they think they may have contracted Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.

“Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on hold to 111. We appreciate that 111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.