Nearly all hospital visiting will be banned in Gwent under new measures announced today (March 25) by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The only exceptions will be for birth partners in maternity wards and for one parent visiting a child or newborn patient.
Hospital staff will also be able to let one visitor in to see a patient nearing the end of their life, though this may not apply to coronavirus patients.
The health board has encouraged patients to access the free wifi available to support what it called “virtual visiting”.
Among the hospitals to be affected by the new measures are Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach and the Royal Gwent in Newport.
In a statement, the health board said: “Following the Government’s announcement regarding partial lockdown, it is with regret that we will now have to suspend all hospital visiting on all our sites to protect our patients and reduce the spread of infection.
“We are increasing administrative support on the wards in an attempt to manage anticipated additional telephone calls, but strongly encourage relatives to phone their loved ones directly and use social media where possible.
“We recognise this decision may cause concern, but it has been made in the interest of patient safety. We value and need your support during this difficult time.”
A spokesperson for the health board urged anyone who is unsure about visiting to contact the ward manager.
Latest information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Most cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) seem to be mild.
Coronavirus is a viral disease that can cause coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.
Source: Public Health Wales