There are “very positive signs” that Wales is “coming to the peak” and “possibly turning the corner” on the coronavirus wave, Welsh Health Minster Eluned Morgan.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s announcement of the latest review of Covid restrictions she said “It would be a huge, huge relief” if Wales was reaching that stage.
The Welsh government last tightened Covid restrictions on the 26th of December 2021, which put social distancing restrictions in place for businesses and implemented a rule of six within hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants.
Restrictions were also recently emplaced for significant sporting events, meaning no more than 50 people can attend, forcing many teams to play behind closed doors.
In Scotland, restrictions on large outdoor events, including football matches and concerts, will be lifted from the 17th of January.
Giving evidence in a remote conference with the Senedd Health and Social Care Committee on Thursday, Ms Morgan said: “I know that in London about 10% of the population are ill with Covid and in Wales it’s about 6%.
“So that’s a significant difference and, obviously, we’re hoping that we’re coming to the peak now.
“And if we arrive at a peak of 6% and they’re at 10% then, actually, there is real cause to celebrate, that is a snapshot that you can look at” she continued.
“We are clearly keeping a very close eye on the data at the moment but there are some very positive signs, I’m pleased to say, in terms of us possibly turning the corner, which would be a huge, huge relief.”
Her comments are in contrast with those of Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, who two days ago said that modelling suggested that Covid rates would get worse over the next week.
He indicated that parliamentary ministers could start to ease restrictions in a week’s time but cautioned the public that it was a “big if” on whether or not Wales would be in a position for that to happen.
Currently, Covid-19 case rates in Wales have fallen to the lowest level since the 27th of December 2021, at around 1,492.4 per 100,000 people having tested positive over seven days.
While that data does include a change in policy where people who are not showing symptoms but test positive on lateral flow devices no longer need PCR tests, cases had begun to fall three days before that happened.
The number of people with Covid in critical care beds at Welsh hospitals stands at just 20% of the same amount as this time last year.
Last year on the 12th of January, there were 150 patients with the Covid-19 virus in critical care, while on Wednesday that figure stood at just 30.
Currently, there is a daily average of 850 patients with confirmed Covid in Welsh hospital beds.
While these statistics do show a 36% rise on the previous week, it is only 54% of the total figures seen at this same time in 2021, the previous Covid-19 peak point.