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Covid-19: Almost 3,000 new cases as PM apologies for attending a drinks party during lockdown

Boris Johnson

There have been two further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 3,017 – 16 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 405 of those deaths. There have been 229 in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 282.

There have been a further 2,922 – down 498 – positive cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 27,934 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 336 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 274 cases in Mid Ulster while Newry Mourne and Down recorded 365 – the second highest in NI. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 506 positive cases.

There are 439 – down one since yesterday – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 29 – down two – of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 289 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 247 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 104 – down three – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 72 – down two – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital.

There are 11 ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 108% – up 3%.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has apologised for attending a drinks party in Downing Street’s garden during lockdown in May 2020.

Here is his statement in the House of Commons earlier this afternoon: “Mr Speaker, I want to apologise. I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months. I know the anguish that they have been through – unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want or do the things they love. And I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead, when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”

“And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry I have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility. Number 10 is a big department with the garden as an extension of the office – which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus. And when I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.

“But, Mr Speaker, with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside, I should have found some other way to thank them and I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way. People who suffered terribly – people who were forbidden from meeting loved ones at all, inside or outside. And to them and to this house I offer my heartfelt apologies. And all I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others so that the full facts can be established.”

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