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Covid-19: Six deaths reported since Friday as Robin Swann wants restrictions removed ‘this week’

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

The total number of deaths now stands at 3,130 – 16 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 420- up one- of those deaths. There have been 237 in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 291.

The ABC borough has recorded one death in the last seven days, while Newry, Mourne and Down along with Mid Ulster have also reported one.

There have been a further 3,105 positive cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update.

There have been 25,884 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 424 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – still the second highest in NI. There were 197 cases in Mid Ulster while Newry, Mourne and Down recorded 268. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 609 positive cases.

There are 362 – up three – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 14 – up two – of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 249 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 196 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 91–the same as Friday–Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 58 – up four – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are 18 – up three– in Daisy Hill Hospital.

There are seven ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 102% – down 2%.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann is to seek legal advice on how he can “replace the bulk of remaining Covid-19 restrictions” and with a view to removing them is “this week”.

Speaking after the resignation of First Minister Paul Givan, Mr Swann said he was not “prepared to allow a failure of politics to get in the way of lifting now unnecessary restrictions”.

He told a press conference on Monday: “I am now seeking that legal guidance on how I myself can replace the bulk of the remaining restrictions, if not all of them, with clear guidance and advice.

“When we had an executive, ministers always said we wouldn’t retain restrictions for a day longer than necessary, so that same logic should still apply.

“While we must move forward carefully, we can’t stay locked in emergency restrictions forever. We need to start getting normal back.”

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