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Two Covid-related deaths in 24 hours as cases continue to drop

© Copyright David Dixon

There have been two further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,784.

The ABC Borough accounts for 377 – no change – fatalities. There have been 209 deaths in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 257 – no change in either.

There have been a further 1,087 – down 375 – cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update.

There were 125 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were 86 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down, while Mid-Ulster recorded 138– the second highest in NI. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 139 positive cases.

A total of 3,181 individuals were tested in that time.

There are 397 – up 10 – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 34 – down three – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 127 – up five – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 102 – also up five – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are seven ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 103% – down 2%.

Meanwhile, Covid is still with us and we all need to keep being careful, the First Minister and deputy First Minister have said.

Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill were speaking as the latest phase of the Executive’s public information campaign rolls out. ‘Let’s keep making safer choices’ is running across a mix of media channels.

Since March 2020, the Executive has developed a number of Covid public health campaigns. These have encouraged the public to adhere to the public health advice and follow the rules and guidance.

First Minister Paul Givan said: “People should be proud of the efforts and sacrifices they have made to protect themselves and others. Your actions and selflessness have undoubtedly saved lives.

“Small acts by each and every one of us can have a major impact. By getting your vaccine, wearing a face covering in crowded or indoor settings and taking regular tests, we are all playing our part in keeping society moving forward.

“This new information campaign reminds and encourages us to keep going and stick to the public health advice.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “The latest phase of our public information campaign reminds us that we have come a long way. And to protect that progress, it is crucial that everyone continues to follow the public health advice.

“We know it’s difficult, we know people are tired, but the virus is still circulating in the community and we cannot let our guard down.

“By making safer choices, we are each playing our part in the wider societal effort to protect ourselves and others from the virus.”

The steps people can take to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect the health service are:

  • Get the vaccine, including the booster, when you are offered it;
  • Wear a face covering in crowded or indoor settings;
  • Self-isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms;
  • Take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms to reduce the risk of spreading the virus;
  • Meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors;
  • Keep your distance from people not in your group;
  • Work from home where practicable, or do a mixture of home and office-based working; and
  • Wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing.

A number of mitigations remain in law so they can be effectively enforced where appropriate. These include:

  • the retention of a legal requirement for face coverings in public indoor settings; and
  • the continued legal requirement for risk assessments to be carried out in certain settings and for visitor and attendee details to be recorded to support the work of the Test, Trace and Protect system.

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