COVID cases are on the rise again and residents across Monmouthshire are being urged to ensure they have been vaccinated against this and the flu virus.

New figures released on Friday (January 6) show a rise in cases after Christmas.

Now the chief medical officer for Wales has issed a plea for everyone to keep up to date with vaccines against both viruses.

The latest data shows the prevalence of flu, Covid-19 and other seasonal respiratory viruses increased over the Christmas period and remains at very high levels.

The latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that rates of Covid-19 increased from 1.89 per cent to 5.7 per cent in Wales.

Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales said: “It’s important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away and there are very high levels of flu and other respiratory viruses circulating in our communities, which is placing a significant burden on our health and care system.

“We are not fully immune to either virus and we must keep our defences up to continue to keep Wales safe and reduce pressure on the NHS.

‘‘I encourage anyone with cold, flu or Covid symptoms to please try to stay at home and not visit health and care settings and keep washing your hands regularly.

‘‘If you have symptoms and have to go out, wear a face covering.

“If you’re eligible for a Covid booster or flu vaccine and have not had your jab, please take up the offer, to protect yourself, your loved ones and our communities.

‘‘Similarly, if you have children eligible for a flu nasal spray, it’s really important they receive it to protect themselves and limit the spread of the virus.

‘‘Check your health board’s website for more information.

“The response from the public in dealing with Covid has been outstanding in Wales and we want to thank everyone for working with us to keep Wales safe and protect our health service.”

Advice on what do do if you have symptoms can be found on the government website

Symptoms can include:

continuous cough

high temperature, fever or chills

loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

shortness of breath

unexplained tiredness, lack of energy

muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise

not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry

headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual

sore throat, stuffy or runny nose


feeling sick or being sick

What to do if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection

If you are feeling unwell with these symptoms, you should get plenty of rest and drink water to keep hydrated. You can use medications such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms. Antibiotics are not recommended for viral respiratory infections because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

You should stay at home and avoid contact with others until you no longer have a high temperature or until you feel better. You could ask friends, family, or neighbours to get food and other essentials for you.

If you feel well enough to work, you should work from home wherever possible. If you cannot work from home, talk to your employer about options.

If you’ve been asked to attend a medical or dental appointment in person, tell them about your symptoms.

You should tell people you have recently been in contact with that you’re feeling unwell. This means they can be aware of signs or symptoms.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, they are worsening, or you can no longer manage at home, seek medical advice by contacting your GP or NHS 111. In an emergency dial 999.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:

a high temperature (37.8°C or above)

a new continuous cough

loss or change of taste or smell

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay at home and follow the guidance above for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Most people in Wales can no longer access free testing for COVID-19. Testing is still available to specific groups. If you wish to test but are not eligible for free lateral flow tests (LFTs) you can purchase them from various retailers.