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No further Covid-related deaths as Foster and O’Neill speak of time of hope and reflection this Easter

'We can take comfort from the Easter message of hope and renewal and be encouraged that brighter days are ahead'

Coronavirus Social distancing

There have been no further Covid-related death reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Saturday).

The figures for the past 24 hours are according to the official dashboard.

The ABC Borough accounts for 284 deaths overall. Both Newry, Mourne and Down District and Mid-Ulster accounts for 165 and 201 of those deaths respectively.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department still stands at 2,116.

There were a further 84 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours – 23 less than yesterday – with seven in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There was also a further seven in Newry, Mourne and Down and another five in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 1,409 individuals were tested.

There are 218 people now in hospital across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 16 of whom are in intensive care units – one less than yesterday.

There are seven patients with Covid-19 in Craigavon Area Hospital.

There are currently 28 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

The figures come on an Easter weekend when both the First Minister and Deputy First Minister said it is an occasion when all can look forward with hope.

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill said this will also be a time for reflection on the pain and hardship of the last year.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “This weekend we celebrate Easter, our second of this pandemic. The road has been very hard for so many over the last 12 months.

“I would ask people to take a moment this Easter Sunday to remember all those we have lost and those who are continuing to experience pain and hardship. For those of faith this can be through a time of prayer, as discussed recently with church leaders.

“We can take comfort from the Easter message of hope and renewal and be encouraged that brighter days are ahead.”

The Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “As we approach Easter, we are reminded of just how much our community has been through over the last year.

“This will be a time of mixed emotions for many. Our thoughts are with all those coming to terms with the pain and loss they have felt as families and individuals.

“Thankfully this year, with the success of our vaccination programme and the gradual easing of restrictions, we can all look to the future together with hope and optimism.”

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