SIXTY more people have died with the coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of people who have passed away from the disease to 463.

This is an increase on Tuesday, where Public Health Wales (PHW) reported 19 deaths.

“We are aware that the number of deaths reported today is regrettably much higher than yesterday.

“However it is worth noting that day-to-day fluctuations are to be expected,” said Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at PHW.

The number of new cases has risen by 272, they added, taking the total to 6,118.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board reported 51 new cases, bringing the cumulative total to 1,129.

Thirteen of these were in the Vale of Glamorgan, bringing the total there to 342.

The latest figures came as education minister Kirsty Williams AM revealed that schools in Wales will not re-open next week, and there is no certainty as to when closure will be reconsidered.

Conversations are happening this week between the Welsh Government and the UK Government on continuing lockdown preparations and a possible easing of the restrictions.

Ms Williams expects a statement on the matter later this week from First Minister Mark Drakeford.

When schools closed in Wales on March 20, next week was set out as first base for the review process.

During the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus briefing yesterday, Ms Williams also explained her concern for the welfare of children, and said that the government would be issuing an additional £1.25m for school counselling services.

“Schools in Wales will not re-open next week and no changes are imminent,” she said.

“We will only open the schools back up when science and medical advice say it is safe to do so.

“At this moment I have not received advice that it is safe for children to still be in schools.

Ms Williams said it is “unhelpful to speculate” on when schools might re-open, but said that when schools do re-open it “cannot be business as usual”.

“Due to social distancing guidelines, it might be the case that part of the cohort returns.”

Ms Williams also moved to quell fears that students will not receive the grades they deserve, even though there is still a lack of clarity on how those grades will be decided.

She said predicted grades are only one part of a much bigger and “thorough” process between teachers and the exam board.

She added that the process will maintain the integrity of the education system, and said students can be “confident” they will get the grades they deserve.