THERE is no evidence to support putting a pause on easing lockdown restrictions in Wrexham, Wales’ First Minister has said.

It comes as just two new cases of the coronavirus have been identified after 400 people were tested on the first day of two community testing centres opening in Caia Park and Hightown.

Around 400 more results are still pending, but health officials believe that the spread of COVID-19 in the community is lower than previously thought.

Concerns had been raised in Wrexham after the Welsh Government said it would not prevent pubs, restaurants and cafes from reopening on Monday, despite a spike of more than 100 cases in the area in the last fortnight.

However, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the evidence received by the government did not support localised restrictions in Wrexham.

Speaking at a press conference held this afternoon, he said: “If the evidence were there that reopening places in those communities would put people at risk then we would take a different course of action, but we will rely on the scientific evidence.

“It’s why we’ve carried out the mass testing. I think nearly 800 people will have been tested in those two communities.

“That will give us a real insight into whether the virus is in circulation locally and whether offering people additional freedoms would create new and unacceptable risks.

“We don’t think from what we have been told so far that that will be the case, but we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us and base our actions on what that evidence tells us.”

A total of eight more cases of the virus were confirmed in Wrexham as a whole today, with four deaths reported in north Wales.

The town’s Maelor Hospital has detailed a reduction of four patients testing positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours, down to 63, compared to 67 yesterday.

Families of people staying in the hospital have expressed worries about the safety of their loved ones following reports of some contracting the virus after being admitted.

They include relatives of 82-year-old Margaret Blaylock, from Connah’s Quay, who died last Saturday after catching the infection at the Maelor.

Mr Drakeford has now offered reassurance that measures are in place to prevent similar cases from occurring.

He said: “What I say to all those families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, for whatever reason and whatever cause, is the Welsh Government has always been focused in the actions we take in doing our very best to protect your and others from this awful disease.

“I met yesterday with senior staff at Wrexham Maelor and they gave me a full account of everything they’re doing to make that people who arrive at the hospital with coronavirus, often not knowing they have it until they are tested in the hospital, that everything is being done for them.

“Also, everything that is being done to reduce the risks that people who come to the hospital without the disease don’t acquire it while they’re there.”

Public Health Wales has announced that testing in the area will continue until Saturday, and anybody who wants a test is invited to turn up between 9am and 6pm.

The mobile testing centres are at Caia Park Health Centre on Prince Charles Road, and Hightown Community Resource Centre on Fusilier Way.

Dr Chris Johnson, consultant in health protection for and chair of the outbreak control team, said: “We are very reassured by the emerging picture from these sessions, which appears to indicate that transmission is significantly lower than thought.

“Just two new cases was identified on the first day of testing.  We will be contacting individuals with their test results over the next few days.

“Testing is continuing, so please take advantage of the opportunity to get tested and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in the Wrexham area – even if your symptoms are mild.”

He added: “We remind the public and business-owners not to become complacent in light of these results.

”We all have a vital role in preventing the spread of coronavirus by sticking to social distancing guidelines – that’s staying two metres away from others, and washing hands regularly.”

Symptoms to look out for include a new continuous cough, high temperature, and a loss or change in your normal sense of taste or smell.