Northern Ireland news

Covid-related deaths reach 143 in north for August compared to 29 in Republic

This morning there were 383 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 45 in intensive care
Digital Staff

Another five people have died after contracting Covid-19, the Department of Health has said.

The latest daily figure brings the total number of deaths in August to 143. By comparison, the Republic has recorded only 29 deaths linked to Covid this month.

The total number of deaths in the north now stands at 2,337.

In its daily Covid-19 update, the Department of Health also revealed that 1,875 new cases of the virus have been recorded.

This morning there were 383 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 45 in intensive care. Of these, 27 are on ventilation.

The north's hospitals are over capacity by 115 beds. Seven hospitals are currently operating beyond capacity.

The seven-day infection rate in the north is 615.7. The highest rate is in Fermanagh and Omagh at 1043.5 while the lowest is Ards and North Down at 375.3.

  • In the Republic the 14-day infection rate per 100,000 is 526.
  • Carndonagh in Co Donegal has a 14-day infection rate of 2,694 per 100,000. The high rate has been blamed on its proximity to the border and the north
  • The Delta variant is believed to account for around 90 per cent of cases in the north
  • The BT92 postal district in Fermanagh has the highest rate of infection in the north with 1,638.8 positive cases per 100,000
  • Most people who have tested positive for the virus are in the 20 - 39 age group

While cases are beginning to rise again in England, the north has witnessed a surge in cases and hospital admissions over the past six weeks.

At the beginning of last month, Chief Medical Officer Sir Michael McBride said there was "no doubt" a fourth wave was underway.

The government in the Republic has introduced rules to bar anyone from eating and drinking in indoor hospitality venues unless they can prove they have been vaccinated or have Covid immunity.

The policy has been cited as a contributory factor in encouraging more young people in the Republic to come forward for jabs, as vaccination rates have overtaken those in the north.

Earlier this month Dr Tom Black, chair of the Northern Ireland council of the British Medical Association, said he believes vaccine passports for hospitality are “inevitable” as case nummbers here continue to surge well above the UK and the Republic.

“The problem is we have seen over the last couple of weeks hundreds of patients in hospital who mostly aren’t vaccinated occupying hospital beds and we’re overwhelming our intensive care units, we’re having to take staff away from theatres to look after these patients and as a result patients with cancer and kidney transplants aren’t being done,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s defensible, I think we have to take action to fix this situation."

Carndonagh in Co Donegal is the most Covid-infected Local Authority Area in the Republic, with a 14-day incidence rate of 2,694 per 100,000. Experts have blamed the infection rate on its proximity to the north.

Speaking to RTÉ today, Denis McAuley, chairman of the GP committee of the Irish Medical Organisation and Donegal-based GP, said: "You just have to look at the incidence in Derry and Tyrone, it's up in the nearly 2,000 per 100,000 14-day average... North Donegal always mimics what's happening just over the border."

Dr McAuley also said the decision to allow unvaccinated people into bars and restaurants in the north has had "a significant effect on their numbers."

So far, 2,434,651 vaccines have been administered in the north.

There are 129 outbreaks in care homes.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news