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Almost 1,000 Covid cases recorded in a single day with one further death reported

A deserted Armagh city centre

There have been almost 1,000 cases of Covid-19 reported over the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health.

The figure – 934 – is more than twice the previous daily high of 424, which was reported on Wednesday.

It brings the seven day total to 2,623.

In those seven days there have been 385 cases reported in Newry, Mourne and Down, which has the second worst rate per 100,000 people (213) in the country – behind Derry and Strabane (422.8).

There have been 194 cases reported in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon as the borough’s rate rises above 90 per 100,000 people.

At present there are 65 people in hospital as a result of the virus, with nine of those in ICU.

One person has sadly passed away in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 582.

Read more: Concerns raised as Covid cases soar in Forkhill with First Communion cancelled

Earlier this morning, Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young told the BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show that Northern Ireland may need more than one Covid-19 short-term lockdown this winter – referred to as a “circuit breaker”.

Said Professor Young: “I think that there are a number of interventions that the executive will be able to consider to reduce the number of cases and the impact of the epidemic as we go through what’s going to be a difficult six months.

“I think one of those options, and probably one of the most effective, is certainly this idea of a circuit breaker or a relatively short-term lockdown.

“I don’t think that a single period of lockdown or circuit breaker would be sufficient to get us right through the winter.”

He added: “I think it would be sensible to plan for the possibility of one or more period of circuit break over the course of this winter.”

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