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Seven more Covid deaths as MLA calls for mental health support for healthcare workers

'They have been under enormous pressure and I fear their health and wellbeing has been forgotten about in middle of this pandemic'

Corona Covid

There have been seven further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Sunday).

All occurred in the last 24 hours, according to the official dashboard, which has the overall total now at 781.

There were a further 420 cases reported in that timeframe, with 46 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 22 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 2,386 individuals were tested.

There are 391 people now in hospital – that’s 15 less than Thursday – as a result of the virus, 55 of whom are in intensive care units – which is two more than yesterday. There are currently 25 ICU beds available in NI.

Seventy-one patients are in Craigavon today – one more than yesterday. To date, 490 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

Sunday’s figures come as Health Minister Robin Swann has been asked to provide detailed plans on mental health and wellbeing support for frontline healthcare workers.

Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said Covid-19 had stretched the health care system and the cornerstone of that system is frontline healthcare staff.

He added: “We stood on our doorsteps week in week out applauding the work of our healthcare workers. They have been under enormous pressure and I fear their health and wellbeing has been forgotten about in middle of this pandemic.

“These healthcare workers, be they consultants, doctors, nurses, porters, admin or support staff, have come through a very tough year and they will face many more difficult months so it is imperative that we look after their health and wellbeing.

“They have cared for the vulnerable and in many cases are the ones who are by the side of loved ones if they sadly pass away. They have come through a lot and they need support and care.

“I believe it is imperative that we provide all the emotional and professional healthcare support we can. It is not good enough to provide them with a face mask if we do not also provide them with the support to cope with the incredible physical, mental and emotional duress they have experienced for a sustained period over many months.

“Healthcare staff are telling me they are at their wits end, they need support. It’s imperative we give them all the support we can and all the support they rightly deserve.”

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