In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
On Saturday 25 May, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth will be host to US radio star, Peter Greenberg.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
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- Business and economy
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Draft action plan for pollinators
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
23 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Written - Swine Influenza H1N1
This statement updates Members on the Influenza A (H1N1) swine flu outbreak and the latest developments in
The World Health Organization announced on Thursday 11 June that they considered the swine flu virus had reached global pandemic levels and raised the alert level to Phase 6. This declaration does not reflect the severity of the virus – it reflects the global situation in terms of the geographic spread of swine flu. There is now clear evidence of sustained community transmission in countries outside North America, which means that we are now facing the first pandemic for more than 40 years.
The situation across the world is that over 34,000 cases have been confirmed in 76 countries across all continents, including 1800 confirmed cases in Australia. The latest reports are that there have been 163 deaths worldwide, the vast majority in Mexico but also 45 in the USA. Deaths have also been reported in Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. On Sunday, the Scottish Government confirmed that a patient who had been in critical care with underlying health problems had sadly died after testing positive for the H1N1 virus. This was the first death in Europe.
In recent days, there have been significant increases in the daily number of cases in certain parts of the UK. The UK still remains in the containment phase, but we are now beginning to see sustained transmission of the virus in communities particularly in Birmingham, Glasgow and Clydeside. In the UK – at 5pm on 16 June - there were 1582 confirmed cases, an increase of 916 cases from the 666 I reported on in my written statement last week, and a total of 36 cases in the UK had been hospitalised.
In Wales, three cases of swine flu have been confirmed. The latest case, confirmed on 12 June, was a 33 year old female from Blaenau Gwent who is recovering at home following treatment. The case is travel related following a visit to the USA. The earlier cases which I have previously reported on have both made full recoveries and had also travelled to the USA. The situation in Wales – again as at 5pm on 16 June - was that 136 people have been under investigation in Wales. 123 cases have been ruled out, leaving 10 still under investigation.
The WHO declaration does not, of itself, trigger any material change in our domestic preparations, which have been underway for several weeks now and are at an advanced stage. The Welsh Assembly Government is continuing to work with other government departments, public health organisations and other healthcare professionals to slow the spread of the virus.
At discussions at the Civil Contingencies Committee last week we were able to update our strategy to respond to the latest advice. This includes the use of clinical diagnosis with or without laboratory testing in areas where there is a high probability that cases have swine flu. Also, more targeted use of antiviral prophylaxis, where antivirals are provided to those on a preventative basis to contacts considered most at risk of contracting the virus.
It is important to stress that the majority of cases in the UK so far have not been severe, with those catching the virus making a full recovery – though a small minority of cases have been more serious, in much the same way as seasonal flu. We have recorded the first death in the UK now; we expect that as cases rise there will be more.
We also remain prepared for the possibility of a more severe second wave of the virus in the winter months. Scientists will be closely monitoring the effects and severity of swine flu in Southern Hemisphere countries such as Chile and Australia during their winter months.
In respect of vaccines, the move to Phase 6 means that vaccine manufacturers will need to meet the contractual obligations of advance purchase agreements for vaccines with the UK and some other countries, made in the event of a pandemic being declared. These enable the UK to purchase pandemic specific vaccine for the population, when it begins to become available in the autumn. We are at an early stage in implementing the contractual obligations and I will ensure that more information will be available to Members at a future date.
Finally, I want to reiterate that people should continue to follow our advice on good hand hygiene, and the “catch it, bin it, kill it” messages.
People who have flu-like symptoms should stay at home and check their symptoms using the online symptom checker or the swine flu information line.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely in Wales with our National Public Health Service and NHS Wales colleagues and keep the public informed as the situation evolves.
I will continue to report regularly to the Assembly on these matters, and will keep Members informed if there are significant changes to the current situation.