Wales is set to add an additional 11,000 positive tests to its figures on Thursday, after system maintenance meant there was a “significant under reporting”.
Public Health Wales (PHW) says the “very large backlog” of COVID-19 cases were processed at Lighthouse Laboratories between 9 and 15 December.
It will mean a significant rise in cases will be added to Wales’s figures, which is likely to affect the UK wide coronavirus statistics.
In a statement, the agency said: “Today’s delay was related to the maintenance of the NHS Welsh Laboratory Information Management System (WLIMS). This took place on Friday and Saturday (11-12 December) so that essential service upgrades could take place.
“This means that we expect a backlog of results to come through over the coming days, and there will be a period of data reconciliation and validation that will affect our daily reporting figures for several days. Tomorrow’s figures and those over the following days will be higher as a result of the backlog coming through.”
PHW added that it has not affected people receiving their results, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect team as normal.
The addition of 11,000 cases to the figures represents almost 10% of the country’s total number of positive tests over the course of the pandemic, which stands at around 115,000.
Case data is used to make decisions about restrictions and it is likely the addition of 11,000 cases will shift the infection rate across Wales.
The underreporting comes as Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that another national lockdown will begin in the country on 28 December, following Christmas celebrations.
Non-essential retail, hospitality venues and leisure facilities will all close for three weeks.
Mr Drakeford also revealed that he will be making it law that only two households can form a bubble over Christmas, in a breakaway from Westminster’s festive advice.
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