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Fifteen further Covid deaths in NI as businesses remain in dark over restrictions decision

There have been 15 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Thursday).

Eleven of which occurred in the last 24 hours and four outside that time – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 825.

There were a further 548 cases reported in that timeframe, with 67 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – second to Belfast (94) – and a further 44 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 2,892 individuals were tested.

There are 435 people now in hospital – that’s six less than Wednesday – as a result of the virus, 46 of whom are in intensive care units – which is one less than yesterday. There are currently 26 ICU beds available in NI.

Sixty-nine patients are in Craigavon today – four less than yesterday. To date, 515 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are currently seven Covid patients in Daisy Hill Hospital and 11 at Lurgan Hospital.

Meanwhile, confusion remains for businesses across Northern Ireland as the Executive have yet to agree on a plan of action, with restrictions set to be legally lifted at midnight on Friday, should the Stormont stalemate continue.

It was originally thought the deadline for restrictions was midnight tonight, but ministers received revised legal advice showing that the deadline is in fact tomorrow night.

Many hospitality businesses across Northern Ireland have stated that any decision now will be too late for them to re-open their doors. A resolution on whether to extend restrictions or not is expected before the end of Thursday.

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