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One further Covid-related death reported in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough

The interim vaccine certification system is currently under extreme pressure

There have been one further Covid-related death reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

It occurred in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.

According to the official dashboard there were a further 1,337 – down 93 on Thursday – positive cases reported in the last 24 hours with 123 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 140 in Newry, Mourne and Down while Mid-Ulster District recorded 97. Belfast had 397 cases in the last 24 hours.

A total of 4,005 individuals were tested in that time.

There are 163 – an increase of one on yesterday – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 16 – up six – of whom are in an intensive care unit.

There are 24 – down two – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 22 of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. The others are in St Luke’s Armagh and Daisy Hill.

There are currently six ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department is 2,167.

The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area now accounts for 288 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 169 deaths while Mid-Ulster has registered 208 deaths.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the interim vaccine certification system is currently under extreme pressure and users are asked to be patient.

The Department of Health say they are aware that some users are experiencing difficulties and that they are working at pace to find a resolution to these issues.

A Department spokesperson said: “We are reacting to changing entry requirements being imposed by countries which may impact travellers  These changes are outside our control but we are committed to finding solutions that are workable for all.

“The system is currently transitioning to the planned CCS (COVID Certification Service) and the new App will launch shortly.  Some travellers may still require assistance in the immediate term and we will continue working through those requests.

“Those who are not travelling within the next few days should please avoid blocking the helpline, for those with more pressing needs. We would also remind the public that staff working on the helpline are doing their best to help them. While frustration at delays is understandable, appropriate courtesy is more likely to be productive.

“The use of computer supported photo identification has helped to speed up the vaccine certification process but this process relies on each photograph meeting a specific set of criteria.  Please ensure you are familiar with that criteria or your photograph/application may be rejected. We are in the process of updating the user screens to give more detailed information to help advise you on the process.

“Where possible, the public are asked to use the digital platform and not the telephone helpline.  The telephone helpline is available for those who do not have access to the digital platform.  Call handlers can only deal with certification issues.  They cannot provide advice on country entry requirements or any other queries not relating to vaccine certification.”

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