Covid claims 13 lives in last 24 hours - highest number since May

A further 13 Covid-19 linked deaths have been recorded in Northern Ireland
Digital Staff

Coronavirus has claimed the lives of 13 people in the last 24 hours - the highest number of daily deaths since May.

Daily statistics released by the Department of Health show that there have been a further 722 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the last day.

A total of 360 people are now in hospital with the disease - 18 more than yesterday and higher than the peak of 322 on April 8.

Of the 360 Covid patients, 38 are in intensive care and 33 are on ventilators.

The number of care homes hit by coronavirus outbreaks has also risen to 106.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: NHS has worst week 'in living memory' as doctor warns situation could deteriorate

Earlier, a senior medic warned that the last week has been the "worst in the NHS in living memory".

Dr Tom Black, chairman of the British Medical Association's Northern Ireland Council, said hospitals are being hit with a "triple whammy" of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, lack of available staff and winter pressures.

He added the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Northern Ireland "appears worse" than the first earlier this year.

Dr Black has warned of a "very, very difficult month" ahead.

He said: "To be frank, it's the worst I have seen it in my 35-plus year career and that would be the same for all doctors in Northern Ireland, we have never seen anything like this.

"This is the worst week in the NHS probably in living memory and the concern is that next week will be worse."

He described Mid Ulster, Belfast and Derry and Strabane as the three peak areas for Covid-19 infections where hospitals "will get it hard for the next few weeks".

"We are hitting a triple whammy - we have a pandemic, huge numbers of staff off sick and winter pressures, all three at the same time, we have never had to deal with this before with a system that works at near capacity usually," he said.

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