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Call for people across Wales to help global fight against Covid-19

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RESEARCHERS urge people to share experiences through a simple survey which will influence how future outbreaks are tackled as concerns grow about spread of new strain

People across Wales are being urged to share their experiences of Covid-19 as concerns about a new strain of the virus grow.

Scientists working to combat coronavirus are keen to capture details from the region which they say could influence the global effort to tackle the pandemic.

Researchers are particularly keen to speak to anyone who has tested for the disease – whether the result was positive or negative – as they work to understand how concerns about infections have manifested locally and internationally.

They are urging people to take part in the IQVIA COVID-19 Active Research Experience (CARE) survey, the results of which will be used internationally to further the fight against the pandemic.

Anyone aged 18 or over who has been tested for Covid-19 can do so by going to www.helpstopcovid19.com.

Tim Sheppard, who is leading IQVIA’s work on the scheme, said: “News of this latest strain of the virus has really highlighted the importance of getting the greatest possible picture of how the pandemic is affecting people locally and further afield, which is why we’re asking for support from across Wales.

“We believe the insight and experiences of people locally could prove invaluable as we try to build a full picture of all of the factors affecting those who have had – or have suspected they had – coronavirus across the UK.

“This information will be vital in not just influencing how Covid-19 is tackled now, but in preventing further outbreaks not just in the UK but on a global scale. The difference people can make by taking just a few minutes to fill in our simple survey is great.

“We really do need the experiences of people in Wales to be reflected in our findings. The perspective they can bring is of huge interest to us.”

Researchers are examining all of the factors involved in the pandemic across the UK.

They are investigating how personal and social circumstances, ethnicity, age, type of employment and underlying health conditions all impact upon how people have been affected by the illness.

In addition, IQVIA CARE is seeking to establish the role of vitamins, herbal medicines and prescription medicines in symptom relief, or preventing recurrence of COVID- 19 related illnesses.

Survey participants can – if they wish – consent to further follow-up, including taking part in additional clinical research, such as COVID-19 clinical trials of potential treatments that may ease symptoms – and potentially save lives.

Mr Sheppard, IQVIA’S Senior Vice President, added: “We want to help identify the most effective treatments and understand any other factors that help lessen the toll of this virus.”

IQVIA CARE is an international public research survey, led by IQVIA, a global leader in clinical trials and real world evidence research. IQVIA is also delivering the UK COVID-19 treatment clinical trial, ACCORD, involving UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute for Health Research and partners in the pharma, biotech sector and the UK Government.

The IQVIA CARE survey aims to:

  • Capture COVID-19 in the UK community and record symptom severity and progression over time.
  • Provide understanding of individuals at highest risk of developing serious consequences from exposure to COVID-19, for example, the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities and the elderly.
  • Help understand the role of personal and social circumstances, non-prescription and prescription medications, and to learn more about whether herbal remedies, vitamins, and alternative medicines make the COVID-19 symptoms better or worse.
  • Assess the impact of self-isolation and the UK lockdown strategy and crucially provide valuable data to inform the exit strategy on easing lockdown, and the National Health Service (NHS) response to any second wave of the virus.
  • Volunteers who join the IQVIA CARE survey can, in complete confidence, share basic demographic information, any current symptoms, and some medical history. They will thereafter be periodically prompted to provide updated information about any symptoms and diagnosis status in order to create a worldwide picture of virus progression over time.

IQVIA will apply decades of privacy protection expertise in handling personal health information for research purposes, employing a wide range of methods to secure, manage, and report information responsibly. IQVIA CARE received UK Ethics Approval and will employ a variety of processes, safeguards and controls in connection with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and other regulatory requirements.

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New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water

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ON FRIDAY (Jul 16), New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two people in the water off Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog, having capsized their kayak. 

At 10.40am New Quay’s inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ launched with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast in excellent weather conditions. 

Huw Williams, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “When we arrived on scene we found one person had made it back onto the kayak and one still in the water. Both had been in the water for 30 minutes and were struggling in the tidal current so it was important that we got them on board to be assessed.  

“The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was also tasked but was stood down after we confirmed that both casualties were safe and well, with no injuries. 

“Having got the casualties and the kayak onto the lifeboat we transferred them to Llangrannog beach where we handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and the New Quay Coastguard rescue team.” 

It was also a first shout for New Quay RNLI’s newest crew member, Will Best.  

Will is an international yachtsman and, sailing on the yacht Alegre, he has chalked up wins in both the Rolex Middle Sea and Giraglia Races. He was also navigator on board the winning 2011 Sydney to Hobart race boat Loki. As well as sailing competitively, Will specialises in the design and installation of electronic systems on Grand Prix race boats and super yachts. He has also worked with a number of America’s Cup and Volvo race teams.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Will brings a wealth of seafaring knowledge and is a great addition to the crew. Welcome on board Will!” 

Will added, “It has been great to join the New Quay RNLI crew. They are a great team and I’m glad I’ve got my first shout under my belt.”

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Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan

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A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Devastated family’s tribute to ‘loving and devoted’ son

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THE FAMILY of the 37-year-old man who died in Cardigan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Jul 21) have said he will be “hugely missed by all that loved him”.

John Bell, who lived in the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge at around midnight.

His family has issued this statement: “We are devastated at the loss of John.

“He was a loving and devoted Son, Brother, Father and Uncle and he will be hugely missed by all that loved him. 

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

John’s family is being supported by specially trained officers.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Paul Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to John’s family at this very difficult time.

“We are currently focussing our investigation in Golwg Y Castell and the road between there and Cardigan Bridge, where Mr Bell was located.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen or heard an altercation in that area during the evening of Tuesday, 20 July, particularly the latter part of the evening, after 10pm, before police attended at around midnight.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20210720-458.

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