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Eleven further Covid deaths in NI as Health Minister says ‘we will all have brighter days’

Contact tracing Covid Coronavirus
Health Minister visits a contact tracing centre

There have been 11 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Friday).

Eight of which occurred in the last 24 hours and three outside that time – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 836.

There were a further 607 cases reported in that timeframe, with 107 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the highest in Northern Ireland – and a further 33 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 2,992 individuals were tested.

There are 443 people now in hospital – that’s eight more than Thursday – as a result of the virus, 44 of whom are in intensive care units – which is two less than yesterday. There are currently 28 ICU beds available in NI.

Sixty-seven patients are in Craigavon today – two less than yesterday. To date, 521 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are currently eight – up one – Covid patients in Daisy Hill Hospital and 12 – up one – at Lurgan Hospital.

Meanwhile, First Minister Arlene Foster, this afternoon, commented: “We have been living with Coronavirus in our community since March and I know many people are getting tired and frustrated with the virus and the impact on their lives. That can lead to complacency and this new phase of our [ad] campaign is to remind everyone to remain vigilant against the threat of the virus.

“We all have a role to play in lowering the transmission of the virus across the community. That’s why we must all continue to keep following the public health advice, keep ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours safe.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “There is no doubt that we are facing into a very tough winter but there is room to be hopeful and optimistic that we continue to move closer to the end of this pandemic. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t become complacent now.

“If every person follows all the advice then we have a much better chance of getting on top of this virus.”

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “This year has been extremely difficult for everyone. Coronavirus has left too many families bereaved and has caused untold damage to our health service and economy. But now is not the time to give up, we must continue to work together to beat this virus. We must all continue to follow the public health advice and limit our contact with others.

“We can assure you this will not last forever, we will emerge from this pandemic and we will all have brighter days with our family and friends again.”

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