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Covid-19: More than 3,500 cases but ‘worst fears about Omicron variant have not been realised’

Covid test centre Craigavon

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

The total number of deaths now stands at 3,062 – 26 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 412 of those deaths. There have been 233 in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 282.

There have been a further 3,568 positive cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 27,760 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 469 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the second highest in NI. There were 302 cases in Mid Ulster while Newry, Mourne and Down recorded 422. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 579 positive cases.

There are 398 patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 24 of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 277 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 184 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 105 Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 75 of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are 11 in Daisy Hill Hospital.

There are 15 ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 105%.

The latest stats come on a day further restrictions are eased, something the Health Minister Robin Swann said was in thanks “to a massive effort across Northern Ireland” adding that the “worst fears about the Omicron variant have not been realised”.

“I want to pay tribute to everyone who has followed public health advice and helped us get to this point.

“The progress we have made is due in no small part to the rapid acceleration of the booster programme before Christmas. This roll-out was achieved by a health system and staff facing unprecedented pressures, supported by many volunteers. The pressures on the health service remain severe and I would again appeal to everyone to do all they can to help it get through the remainder of this winter.

“As I said to staff directly this week, the fact our health service is still standing at all is down to their heroic efforts. They will continue to experience those sustained pressures for some time yet.”

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