This new advice reflects learning from the first wave of the pandemic and is recognition that not everyone who becomes seriously unwell from COVID-19 will experience breathlessness. The new guidance aims to support people who are isolating at home with advice about when they should contact 111 or their GP.
The Chief Medical Officer is also writing to general practice to highlight the learning from the early phases of the pandemic and encourage a greater use of pulse oximetry as part of the clinical assessment. In support of this, several thousand pulse oximeters will be distributed to primary care teams across Wales to support them to undertake more pulse oximetry.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said
It is important that we continue to learn from our early experience of the virus and use this to help shape how we respond in future waves of the pandemic.
It is important that people don’t try to cope too long on their own and don’t leave it too late to get help.
If your symptoms don’t improve after seven days or you have any of these specific symptoms then our messages is contact 111 or your GP.