Keep up with Armagh i

More than two weeks since last Covid-related death with 188 new cases in last 24 hours

There have been no further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Wednesday) – for the fifteenth day in a row.

According to the official dashboard there were a further 188 – up one – positive cases reported in the last 24 hours with 11 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 26 in Newry, Mourne and Down – joint second highest in NI with Belfast – while Mid-Ulster District recorded 9. Derry City and Strabane had 53 recorded cases.

A total of 2,571 individuals were tested.

There are 17 – four more than yesterday – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, none of whom are in an intensive care unit.

There are still two Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, one of whom is in Craigavon Area Hospital, the other in St Luke’s, Armagh

There are currently 20 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department stands at 2,155.

The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area accounts for 285 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 168 deaths while Mid-Ulster has registered 206 deaths.

Meanwhile, The Public Health Agency’s (PHA) surveillance systems are indicating that as of yesterday [Tuesday 22 June 2021], 612 confirmed or probable cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 have been detected throughout all 11 local council areas in Northern Ireland.

Latest information shows that around half of Covid-19 positive cases sampled in Northern Ireland are indicative of the of the Delta variant, which isn’t unexpected but shows how quickly this variant is spreading.

However, there are steps people can take to help protect themselves and others against all variants of coronavirus, and we are still working to slow spread of the Delta variant to allow for more vaccinations to be rolled out.

Dr Gerry Waldron, Head of Health Protection at the PHA, said: “The spread of the Delta variant underpins the need for continued vigilance and adherence to the public health guidance – it is essential that people continue to work within the regulations and advice.

“We ask that the public remain vigilant, keep their interactions with others down, continue following the health advice to limit the spread of Covid-19, and engage with the Contact Tracing Service if identified as a confirmed case or a close contact and follow the advice given.

“There is a range of testing sites across Northern Ireland, so if you develop symptoms or are asked to get a PCR test because you are a close contact, please book one as it will help reduce further spread and assist us in identifying any additional variants.

“We have also activated enhanced testing in areas where we have identified a number of probable cases of the Delta variant. In order to help slow down the transition of the variant, we have been asking asymptomatic people to get tested in selected, targeted neighbourhoods where cases have been identified. We would urge anyone who is invited to get tested under one of these localised programmes to do so.

“Vaccine uptake is also an important means of securing protection against Covid-19 infection. Currently over 1.9 million doses have been administered in Northern Ireland. In order to enable further increased vaccine uptake, the Department of Health, supported by the Public Health Agency and working closely with Health and Social Care Trusts, Community Pharmacists and local councils, is working to establish a number of community mobile vaccine clinics. The purpose of these mobile clinics is to increase vaccine uptake within specific neighbourhoods by setting up a localised walk-in clinic within a community setting. This will help address potential barriers to vaccination such as mobility, accessibility and language.

“The best way to stop variants developing or spreading is to keep pushing down infection rates and transmission of the virus in our community. By sticking to public health advice, working within the regulations, getting vaccinated when eligible, and avoiding becoming complacent, we can all play a role in tackling Covid-19.”

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