Northern Ireland news

Coronavirus: Six further deaths and 820 new cases with situation 'deteriorating rapidly'

The death toll recorded by the department now stands at 621.
Digital Staff

There have been six further Covid-19 linked deaths in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour reporting period and 820 new cases of the virus, the Department of Health has announced.

The toll recorded by the department now stands at 621.

There have been 28,040 confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak began, 7,056 in the last seven days.

There are currently 261 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospital. This is an increase of 33 from the day before. There are 29 in intensive care, down one from the previous 24-hour reporting period. There are 25 people of ventilators. 

The seven day infection rate per 100,000 for Northern Ireland is 375.0. Highest area remains Derry & Strabane on 769.9, followed by Belfast on 531.9 then Mid Ulster on 477.9.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill tweeted: "Today 6 people have died as a result of Covid. My thoughts are with the families bereaved. It is evident that the covid situation is deteriorating rapidly. The next four weeks are critical and we all need to work together to try and gain back some control. #WashYourHands.

The biggest daily rise is in Belfast with 237 new cases, followed by Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon council area with 92. Derry and Strabane are third on the list with 87. 

There are 80 confirmed break outs in care homes and suspected outbreaks in 10. 

Health minister Robin Swann has called for a united approach in the fight against Covid-19.

“If we continue to stand together, we can prevent the worst,” he said.

“We can help so many individuals and families right across all walks of life who are having a very difficult time.

“This is a time for a united front across our entire community. We must not be distracted or deflected from what we all have to do. If we strictly follow public health advice and restrictions, we can push infection rates down.

“We can protect each other and the health service. We can and we will limit the damage to our communities, our society and our economy.

“The people of Northern Ireland are resilient and I know we can dig in and get through this winter together. We have been through tough times before. We are at our best when we stick together. There will be better times ahead.”

Mr Swann acknowledged the restrictions were “extremely challenging” but insisted the measures were “proportionate and well founded”.

“My department provided the Executive with detailed scientific and medical assessments over recent weeks, underpinning the need for decisive interventions to counter the growing spread of the virus,” he said.

“These assessments reflected evidence amassed by Sage, evidence which is now in the public domain.

“It was entirely appropriate for the Executive to assess the health advice alongside the potential implications for the economy and society as a whole.

“These are very difficult decisions and I am pleased that we were able to agree a way forward together last week.”

Meanwhile, a further 1,031 cases have been reported in the Republic of Ireland. The increase means more than 50,000 people in the Republic have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began. 

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Northern Ireland news