There have been 18 more Covid-19 related deaths in.Northern Ireland over the past 24 hours, the Public Health Agency has confirmed.
The total number of fatalities now stands at 158
The number of new confirmed cases also rose by 113, to 2,201.
There have been 246 confirmed cases in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, with 132 in Newry, Mourne and Down. Mid Ulster stands at 111.
Meanwhile, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed that testing is now underway at the site of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centre in Newtownards (main image).
The test centre has been handed over to the South Eastern HSC Trust who will use it to test healthcare workers. This follows the recent opening of DVA’s Balmoral test centre for the testing of Belfast HSC workers.
Speaking today during a visit to the Newtownards site, Minister Mallon said: “Keeping people safe is my number one priority and I am committed to doing all that I can to help in the fight back against COVID-19. During these challenging times I have maintained a focus not only on the responsibilities of my own Department but also on how DfI can make its skills and resources available to support others, particularly in our health service.
“I will continue to support the work of Minister Swann in any way that I can and if any further MOT test centres can be repurposed quickly to help increase testing for COVID-19 more rapidly, my Department will work with Trusts to make this happen as soon as possible.
“I am grateful to my staff who have worked closely with the South Eastern Trust and the Department of Health to get the Newtownards site up and running within a matter of days.
“This will help ensure that a greater number of frontline healthcare staff can be tested for the virus and enable them to return to their vital, life-saving jobs as quickly as possible.”