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Thirteen more Covid-related deaths as Minister recommends keeping pupils off school until March 8

There were 13 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Thursday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with 11 of the 13 passing away inside that period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,792.

The ABC Borough accounts for 221 deaths; NMD 124; and Mid-Ulster with 158.

There were a further 592 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 96 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – still the highest in NI (Belfast second with 95)  – and a further 66 in Newry, Mourne and Down. There were 68 cases in Mid Ulster.

A total of 2,992 individuals were tested.

There are 768 people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 67 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 38 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 188 Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area; 133 in Craigavon; 29 in Daisy Hill; 26 in Lurgan and none in South Tyrone.

The latest stats comes as Education Minister Peter Weir makes the recommendation – in a paper to be discussed by the executive today – for pupils in Northern Ireland to remain out of school until March 8, at the earliest.

The BBC reports that if the new school arrangements are approved, they are likely to be reviewed by the executive on Thursday 18 February so that Mr Weir can give schools, pupils and parents at least two weeks’ notice before schools return.

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