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Eleven Covid deaths in NI as number of unemployed in Upper Bann rises by 2,000 since March

There have been 11 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Tuesday).

All eleven of which occurred in the last 24 hours – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 802.

There were a further 420 cases reported in that timeframe, with 67 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 19 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 2,449 individuals were tested.

There are 420 people now in hospital – that’s six less than Monday – as a result of the virus, 50 of whom are in intensive care units – which is five less than yesterday. There are currently 26 ICU beds available in NI.

Seventy-three patients are in Craigavon today – the same as yesterday. To date, 500 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are currently eight Covid patients – down three – in Daisy Hill Hospital and 11 – down two – at Lurgan Hospital.

Meanwhile, Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has expressed her concern that the number of people in Upper Bann claiming unemployment benefits is rising each month.

There were 3,785 actual claimants in Upper Bann constituency in October 2020, which was 4.7% of the population aged 16-64.

This was 2,095 higher than March 2020, before the UK lockdown began.

There were 830 claimants aged 18-24 in October 2020, 495 higher than March 2020.

“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our economy, with industries decimated by reduction in demand and the closure of many sectors as a result of government imposed restrictions,” said Ms Lockhart.

“As a result people are losing their jobs and incomes, and family households are facing great uncertainty.

“The latest claimant count for Upper Bann shows that locally we have cause for concern. 2095 more claimants from March shows the scale of this problem and I fear many more will be added to this count over the coming months.

“That is why I have been urging the NI Executive to chart a way forward that enables business to stay open while increasing enforcement and support for compliance with guidelines.

“We also need the Government to step forward with tailored support packages for industries like aviation, which we know locally has suffered a hit in terms of job losses.

“I will continue to press both Stormont and Westminster to do all they can to support jobs and household incomes. We need to learn to live with Covid-19, and get out of this cycle of lockdowns which is devastating our economy and workforce.”

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