Patients should be reassured that if they do go to hospital they will be treated “safely and effectively,” says Wales’ deputy chief medical officer.

It follows concerns about growing numbers of people catching Covid when in hospital.

The number has risen across Wales by 50% in the past week.

At least 57 deaths and 284 cases have been linked with outbreaks at hospitals in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board in recent weeks.

But Dr Chris Jones insists the number of infections is “absolutely tiny” compared to the number of patients being cared for the NHS.

“I want to reassure people that hospitals are safe places to come in for the care you need,” he said.

“It’s vitally important we maintain normal healthcare while tackling this pandemic – the number of cases we’ve seen of hospital transmission is absolutely tiny compared to the number of people coming through the door”.

The statistics suggest less than 5% of patients are becoming infected in hospital with the vast majority of people catching in households or within the community.