Northern Ireland news

Coronavirus: 11 further deaths and 649 cases in Northern Ireland

There have been 11 further Covid-19 deaths in Northern Ireland and 649 new cases of the virus, the Department of Health has announced.

It brings the total number of deaths linked to the virus to 708 people.

There are currently 346 patients with Covid-19 being treated in hospital, including 48 patients in intensive care.

People in England will be told to stay at home as the country is placed under another national lockdown on Thursday – with the closure of hospitality and non-essential shops.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the new restrictions – which are set to last until December 2 – at a press conference later on Saturday.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will close, though takeaways will be allowed, and all non-essential retail will be shut.

The restrictions will be similar to those introduced at the start of the pandemic in March, however this time schools and universities are expected to remain open.

People will still be able to exercise outdoors, and travel to work if they cannot work from home, though restrictions on international travel are likely to be introduced.

In the Republic there were a further 416 cases of Covid-19 confirmed by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

Five further deaths linked to the virus have also been recorded.

Of the new coronavirus cases notified, 64% are in people under the age of 45.

The median age is 34 years old.

Eighty-seven of the cases were in Dublin, 62 in Cork, 41 in Mayo, 37 in Galway and the remaining 189 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

As of 2pm on Saturday, there were 320 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, including 41 in ICU.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are making progress in suppressing the current rise of Covid-19.

“Ireland is currently one of only four countries in the EU with a reduction in its seven-day incidence. Nationally, our reproductive number has reduced to about 1.0.

“We are working collectively to achieve suppression, but it is too early to ease our efforts. The incidence is decreasing in young adults but it continues to rise in those aged over 75.

“We have more to do but we are on the right track.”

Ireland’s 14-day incident rate per 100,000 of the population has fallen to 268.7.

Cavan remains the county with the highest 14-day incident rate in the country at 645.9.

Leitrim now has the lowest rate at 118.6 per 100,000 people.

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