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Over 900 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed as Trust gives MLA update on Daisy Hill situation

'I was very impressed to learn that even during the pandemic work has continued and after a long absence Breast Surgery has returned to the hospital as well'

Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry

There have been 902 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours.

It comes after more than 1,000 positive tests were revealed on Friday.

There have been no further deaths reported on Saturday with the figure still standing at 587.

These statistics are provided in the daily dashboard update given by the Department of Health.

It comes as a local MLA met with Shane Devlin, Chief Executive of the Southern Health Trust, to discuss the ongoing battle against Covid-19 and specifically the situation at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

Newry and Armagh SDLP Assemblyman Justin McNulty said even in the middle of a pandemic Daisy Hill was continuing to “serve the needs of the people of this community”.

And he continued: “I am pleased to have been assured work is continuing at pace on the reopening of our Emergency Department later this month and with that Emergency Surgery will return to the hospital.

“I know there were concerns about notices sent to staff about the future of Emergency Surgery but that has been clarified and Emergency Surgery will recommence alongside the resumption of the Emergency Department. It would be inconceivable that an Emergency Department would operate without an emergency theatre provision to back it up.

“However, we need to ensure this is secured in the longer term and we need to continue working with the Trust to ensure it has access to the full range of surgical specialities, both for elective and emergency care now and into the future.

“During the meeting the Chief Executive provided us with an update on the wide range of work, especially in elective care that has continued to progress at Daisy Hill.

“I was very impressed to learn that even during the pandemic work has continued and after a long absence Breast Surgery has returned to the hospital as well.

“Daisy Hill is an outstanding hospital. The staff teams are amazing and if they have concerns about services they’re not afraid to speak out and rightly so.

“They need our full support, and not just during the pandemic. The best way we can support them is by protecting them at work by ensuring they have the right PPE and working environment.

“But we must also support them in the community by following the public health guidance, by wearing a mask, keeping our distance and washing our hands.”

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