COVID-19 might now be reaching its peak in North Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

The First Minister made the comment during the Welsh Government's daily briefing on Monday afternoon.

He said: "The coronavirus impact in Wales started in the south east corner and has spread westwards and northwards.

"That means the peaks in some parts of Wales are following at different times.

"The peak in south east Wales, we believe, has passed. The peak in north Wales - we might just be reaching it now.

"We will expect to see the same pattern of decline as we have already seen in those part of Wales where the virus was experienced first."

Wrexham GP Peter Saul told the Leader he agreed with the statement, explaining: "I thought a few weeks ago that we had perhaps reached it, but then last week and the week before were heavier than the previous few.

"I think we're improving now, but my concern is that that there are still some cases in care homes.

"It is critical that is doesn't spread to other residents and we have been providing more input into care homes that we had been earlier in the pandemic."

Dr Saul urged those who are in a vulnerable group - or those who come into contact with vulnerable people - not to get "complacent."

He also said the situation had been made a little more difficult by differing advice between UK and Welsh Government, particularly for those living near the border.

Of the efforts the public has made to tackle the spread of the virus, he added: "From talking to my friends at the hospital, I believe that at no time has capacity been 'critical'.

"That's because everyone has been doing their bit in terms of minimising transmission."

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, chief officer at the North Wales Community Health Council, praised the hard work of NHS staff throughout the pandemic so far.

"If you look at any crisis," he said, "The NHS steps up and gives 100 per cent - and that's certainly what they have done here.

"I expected no less of them, they have coped amazingly well.

"We've also heard of many people who have gone back into nursing and put themselves on the frontline in a very selfless way which has to be commended."

Speaking of the wider strategic response to the outbreak, he continued: "I think Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has performed very well.

"They created the three field hospitals, with a total of about 850 additional beds. "And although they have not been used a great deal, the health board was right to make those preparations. "I hope we don't need them, but they're there if we do.

"I would also welcome enhanced arrangements and testing for people in care homes."

During the same briefing on Monday, speaking of testing in care homes, the First Minister said: "All care home residents where there is coronavirus - and where there isn't coronavirus - will now be tested, as will staff.

"It will not rely on requests coming in from people who wanted it. It's a change of policy in England as well as in Wales."

Dr Chris Stockport, executive director of primary and community care at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "It appears that we are reaching the peak of the pandemic here in North Wales and we now expect to see a plateauing of cases.

"This reflects the pattern of how the virus has spread in Wales and the delay in its movement from south east to North Wales.

"We have taken a range of measures to ensure we are well prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases, including increasing bed capacity in our existing hospitals, and rapidly establishing our three temporary Rainbow Hospitals.

"As things stand we don't expect these temporary hospital beds to be needed for some weeks.

"It's now more important than ever that people continue to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives."