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Two further Covid-related deaths and less than 100 new cases as vaccine rollout is praised

Justin McNulty with Linda Willis who administered the vaccine

There have been two further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Saturday).

According to the official dashboard, the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area accounts for 285 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 165 deaths and Mid-Ulster accounts for 203.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department stands at 2,135.

There were a further 99 – down 20 – positive cases reported in the last 24 hours with seven in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There was also a further 16 in Newry, Mourne and Down – joint second highest in NI – and another 16 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 2,149 individuals were tested.

There are 70 people – one more than yesterday – in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, eight – down one on Friday – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are 11 Covid patients in Southern Trust hospitals; six in Craigavon.

There are currently 30 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has praised the effort behind the Covid19 Vaccination Programme.

The latest figures comes as Newry and Armagh MLA, who received his first vaccination at the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon, heaped praise on the staff and vaccine rollout.

“The vaccination programme here has and continues to be a huge success and is a key element to the move towards a return to a more normal life again,” said Mr McNulty.

“This week I had my first vaccination at the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon and I was very impressed with the way in which the system was coordinated and organised.

“The professionalism of the staff was amazing, the teamwork, the camaraderie and the warmth of the welcome were incredibly positive. The team did all they could to ensure any of those who were nervous feel comfortable – they were just brilliant.  I cannot sing their praises highly enough.

“The service at South Lake is only one part of the roll out programme and the vaccine is also being administered in many local participating community pharmacies as well as the in local GP Practices.

“It’s important to check where your particular age group is being invited to attend and to register for your vaccination as soon as possible.”

In conclusion Mr McNulty said: “This past twelve months have been difficult for us all.  Families have lost loved ones, many more have been ill.  We have all had our lives restricted and huge demands have been made of our healthcare workers.

“If by having this vaccine we can all get back to some sense of normality soon then I would encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get the vaccine to do so and to do so as soon as possible.”

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