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Eight further Covid-related deaths in NI as retired health professionals volunteer to administer vaccine

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

All eight of these occurred in the last 24 hours – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 962.

There have been one further deaths in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough, where the total number of lives lost is now 104. There has been no further deaths in the Newry, Mourne and Down district, where the total stands at 60.

There were a further 442 cases reported in that timeframe, with 50 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 36 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 3,024 individuals were tested.

There are 431 people now in hospital – that’s 12 less than yesterday – as a result of the virus, 39 of whom are in intensive care units – up three from yesterday.

There are currently 19 ICU beds available in NI – 12 less than yesterday.

Forty-nine patients are in Craigavon today – down five. To date, 593 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

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

Meanwhile, the NI Executive are today discussing how the vaccination programme will be administered in the new year.

Health Minister Robin Swann described it as a “massive logistical operation” which looks set to take months to complete.

Around 600 volunteers have signed up to help with the programme, the Minister confirmed, including many retired health professionals.

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