Northern Ireland news

Covid-19: 14 deaths recorded in 24 hours

There are 10 unoccupied ICU beds in the north, one less than yesterday
Digital Staff

Another 14 people have died after contracting Covid-19, the Department of Health has confirmed.

It brings the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 3,031.

There were 2,980 cases of the virus recorded in the same 24-hour reporting period.

This morning there were 424 Covid-positive patients in hospital with 28 of them in ICU. Of these, 22 were being ventilated.

There are 10 unoccupied ICU beds in the north, one less than yesterday.

Hospitals remain under pressure with bed capacity at 106 per cent or 172 beds over capacity.

Health Minister Robin Swann expressed his "deep sadness" for the families of the 14 people whose Covid-19-related deaths were reported on Thursday.

"These tragic losses once again underline the reality that the virus still represents a very serious threat to our population," he said.

"We have undoubtedly made progress in pushing down Omicron numbers, thanks to the efforts everyone has made and the rapid rollout of vaccine boosters.

"However, we must never lose sight of the fact that Covid-19 can still cause devastation to families and communities.

"Please do all you can to prevent the spread of the virus. Even if you think the risk to you from infection may be relatively low, you could still pass it on to someone who is very vulnerable.

"I would again appeal for more people to come forward for their boosters without delay. If you are not yet vaccinated, please get your jab. Boosters and first and second doses are widely available across Northern Ireland."

Today's figures were released after Mr Swann yesterday made a new request for military assistance to help relieve Covid pressures in Northern Ireland’s hospitals.

Mr Swann has made an official request to the Ministry of Defence to provide combat medical technicians (CMTs) and non-medical staff.

It is understood the latest request is linked to increased hospital pressures due to high levels of staff sickness due to Covid.

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