THE three counties in the Hywel Dda Health Board (UHB) area - Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion - have seen coronavirus cases increase by 101 in a week.

March 23 marked one year to the day since the first UK lockdown was introduced, with County Hall, Haverfordwest lit up as a mark of respect.

Western Telegraph: County Hall was lit up on March 23

The total number of cases across the three counties is now 15,756, as of March 22; 3,376 in Pembrokeshire and 1,745 in Ceredigion.

Pembrokeshire has seen 38 extra cases in the last week, compared to 22 extra the week before, and neighbouring Ceredigion eight, compared to five.

In the last week, there were three further deaths in Hywel Dda, up to 471.

The total number of cases in Wales is now 207,992, with 5,488 deaths.

On March 23, 2020, the total number of cases in Wales was 418, 16 in Hywel Dda; with 16 deaths.

Speaking about County Hall being lit up, Pembrokeshire County Council Leader David Simpson said: “I wish to pay my personal condolences and pass on the condolences of the council as a whole to all those in Pembrokeshire who have sadly lost a loved one as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our thoughts also go to those who are still recovering and living with the effects of Covid-19.

“I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those who have been working so hard, often in extremely difficult circumstances, to keep us safe.

“While reflecting on the year that has passed, lighting County Hall in yellow also symbolises hope for the future. We have been through so much, but better times do lay ahead.”

More than 175,000 first and second doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Hywel Dda to date.

Locally recorded figures confirm today (Wednesday, March 17), 152,976 first dose vaccines have been administered across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire with 22,917 receiving their second dose.

Total first dose vaccines per county are: Carmarthenshire 71,519, Ceredigion 27,736 and Pembrokeshire 49,521

Total second dose vaccines per county are: Carmarthenshire 10,401, Ceredigion 3,812, Pembrokeshire 7,101.

Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “The number of vaccinations delivered this week has increased significantly to 26,559 and we’d like to thank everyone working incredibly hard to keep this 7 day a week operation going.

“Here in Hywel Dda UHB, 39.5% of our population have now received their first vaccine dose and 5.9% have received a full course.

“Once all those in the priority groups 1 to 9 have been offered their first dose of the vaccine, as well as continuing with the second dose programme, NHS Wales will move on to those aged 40-49, in line with the recent advice of the JCVI on phase 2 of the programme. This group will start from April 19 and we will announce further information closer about where this group will receive their vaccine closer to the time.

“It is our aim to offer all eligible adults in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire the vaccine by the end of July.

“Following this week’s news that some countries have paused their rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the health board wants to assure people that safety will always come first and everyone is encouraged to have the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when they are offered it.”