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Covid-19: Five more deaths as First Minister says people should continue making Christmas plans

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There have been five further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland today (Wednesday).

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,912 – 29 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 396 fatalities. There have been 214 – up one – in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 273.

There have been a further 1,933 positive cases recorded from 5,394 people tested in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 12,465 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 182 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 236 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down – the second highest in NI – while Mid-Ulster recorded 136. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 307 positive cases.

There are 329 – up 12 – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 38 of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 198 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 161 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 109 – down five – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 64 – down three – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital.

There are six ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 105%.

Meanwhile, First Minister Paul Givan told BBC News that he doesn’t “envisage there being further restrictions before Christmas” and that the current measures “will be able to get us through the Christmas period”.

He added: “My appeal is for people to continue making their plans but to do that safely, and not to be panicking, now’s the time for steady heads. We need to continue to work through this over the next number of weeks and keeping our society open, but open in a safe manner.”

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