The leader of Bridgend Council says people need to take the coronavirus pandemic "far more seriously" after the Welsh Government announced another national lockdown for Wales.

Councillor Huw David backed First Minister Mark Drakeford's decision to introduce a 'firebreak' lockdown across Wales, stating the measures are necessary to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed in the next few months.

The Labour councillor said: “Throughout Wales, the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse, not better. People are dying, and the situation needs to be taken far more seriously across all levels of the community."

Wales will go into another national lockdown from Friday October 23 until November 09. According to the new rules, people must remain at home while non-essential shops, pubs, hairdressers, hotels and restaurants will close.

Primary schools can reopen after half-term, with only secondary pupils in Years 7 and 8 returning to school at the same time.

Cllr David said: “Nobody wants to enter into another lockdown situation, but Welsh Government’s planned ‘fire-break’ is necessary in order to try and turn the tide, and prevent our hospitals and essential services from becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus cases this autumn and winter.

“We all have to do our bit to support these efforts in order to protect ourselves, our friend and families, and our communities."

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board's field hospital, Ysbyty'r Seren, started admitting its first patients on Thursday October 15.

Ysbyty'r Seren field hospital in Bridgend started treating patients on Thursday October 15.

On the same day, the health board announced 48 people had died following Covid-19 outbreaks in its hospitals. They also confirmed 38 people have died from coronavirus at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant while 155 positive cases had been reported.

“The worsening situation has meant that the Ysbyty’r Seren field hospital on Bridgend industrial estate has been accepting patients from the Royal Glamorgan, Prince Charles and Princess of Wales hospitals," said Cllr David.

“As these are the three main hospitals in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area, the field facilities are designed to ease the strain upon them, and ensure that they can continue to focus upon patients who require more specialist care."

There are 182.3 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 in Bridgend county borough, according to figures from Public Health Wales (PHW) for Sunday October 18. The day before, there were 192.5 cases.

Bridgend has the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people compared to other local authorities in Wales. Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil have the highest number of cases per 100,000 with over 200 cases while Rhondda Cynon Taf is third with 183.6.

So far, Bridgend County Borough Council has closed three businesses temporarily for breaching Covid-19 regulations and threatened to close another nine if they do not improve.

The council and its partners will spend the next few days preparing for the new lockdown measures, which come into force on Friday.

Cllr David said they will be "paying particular attention" to the impact of the new rules on schools, businesses and vulnerable people and will make further announcements about this "in due course".

He also urged people to visit the Gov.Wales website for further information on the new restrictions.