FIRST Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has issued a statement on the coronavirus outbreak.

“I know that many of you are worried about the global Coronavirus outbreak as it begins to gather pace Wales.

“This is a fast-moving situation. In the last week, the number of people with coronavirus has risen steadily in the UK and hundreds of people are now receiving hospital treatment. We can expect to see many more cases in Wales.

“We are working hard to slow the spread of the virus. We are working with the other UK governments to respond to the situation as it develops. We are relying on expert advice and using all the expertise we have developed in treating other infectious diseases and in planning for flu.

“But we need your help.

“If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, we are asking you to stay at home for seven days. This will help protect other people in the local community from becoming infected, especially older people, who are most at risk.

“It is really important you stay at home while you have symptoms. For most, coronavirus will be mild but for some people it will cause a serious illness, which will need hospital treatment. Sadly, we know some people have died.

“We may need to introduce other measures to protect people who are most at risk. All the decisions we take will be based on expert advice and we will let people know what’s happening.

“All overseas trips for students under 18 should be cancelled and people over 70 should not go on cruises, on the advice of the Foreign Office.

“Expert advice does not support the closure of schools at the moment and we are not yet at the point of advising organisations to cancel or postpone events, but this may come.

“I have decided to cancel the Welsh Labour Party conference in Llandudno at the end of March, to make sure Welsh Government Ministers are available to deal with the coronavirus outbreak at all times.

“We will take new powers for Wales from the UK-wide Coronavirus Bill, which will be introduced this week, to help our systems and services work more effectively to tackle this outbreak. All four governments have agreed a single piece of UK-wide legislation is the right approach in this circumstance.

"All the latest information about coronavirus is available on our website at and

"The NHS Direct Wales online symptom checker is available at:

"Please do everything you can to help yourself and others to stay safe and well."