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Covid cases soar and 21 further deaths as Tanaiste confirms garda border patrol from Boxing Day

There have been 21 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Wednesday).

Twelve of these occurred in the last 24 hours with nine just outside that timeframe – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 1,240.

There have been two further deaths in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough, where the total number of lives lost is now 125. The death toll in the Newry, Mourne and Down district remains at 82. A total of 103 – up four – people have sadly died in the Mid Ulster region.

There were a further 787 cases reported in that timeframe, with 101 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 61 in Newry, Mourne and Down. There were 66 cases in Mid Ulster.

A total of 4,690 individuals were tested.

There are 451 – up four – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 31 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 26 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Seventy – up seven – patients are in Craigavon. To date, 680 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are 18 Covid patients in Daisy Hill, with 11 in Lurgan Hospital.

Meanwhile, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said the will be a Garda presence on the border with Northern Ireland from Boxing Day.

Mr Varadkar was commenting on the possibility of people getting around the Republic’s ban on passengers from Great Britain by first arriving into Northern Ireland before heading south.

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