Northern Ireland news

Covid deaths in north's hospitals rise to highest during pandemic

A total of 100 people died from coronavirus in the north's hospitals last week
Press Association

HOSPITALS in Northern Ireland recorded their highest number of Covid-related deaths in the week to November 20, official figures show.

There were 100 deaths in total across the north, taking the overall toll to 1,333.

Almost 60 per cent of fatalities happened in hospitals but a third were in care homes.

Statistics agency Nisra said: "The 69 Covid-19 deaths occurring in hospital this week represents the largest weekly number in this setting since the start of the pandemic in March 2020."

The comparative overall number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health to November 20 was 927.

These figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas the Nisra figures are based on information entered on death certificates completed by medical professionals.

They may or may not have previously tested positive for the Covid-19.

A total of 560 care home residents have died from coronavirus, 80 per cent (447) in a care home and the remaining 113 in hospital.

Deaths of care home residents account for 42 per cent of all Covid-19-related deaths.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health announced yesterday that another 391 people have tested positive for Covid-19.

Twelve more deaths have been recorded.

Tough restrictions were introduced from yesterday to drive down the rate of infection ahead of the Christmas period.

They follow a steep rise in hospital admissions and warnings that the health service could be overwhelmed next month.

Health minister Robin Swann has said preparations are well under way to begin the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccination programme from next month.

The plans include fixed mass centres for receiving the jab and the deployment of mobile units to care homes.

However, Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said there is still some way to go.

"We have some difficult months ahead of us," he said.

"The vaccine will not see us through this winter but I am confident by late spring it will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting and hopefully talk of wider and further restrictions will increasingly become a thing of the past."

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