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‘Vaccination helps us reclaim our lives’ as positive Covid cases continue to rise but no deaths in nearly three weeks

There have been no further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Monday) – 20 days since the last fatality.

According to the official dashboard there were a further 211 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours with six in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the second lowest in NI. There were 40 in Newry, Mourne and Down – second highest in NI  – while Mid-Ulster District recorded eight.

A total of 1,904 individuals were tested.

There are 16 people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, two of whom are in an intensive care unit.

There are still two Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, one of whom is in Craigavon Area Hospital, the other in St Luke’s, Armagh

There are currently 17 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department stands at 2,155.

The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area accounts for 285 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 168 deaths while Mid-Ulster has registered 206 deaths.

The latest stats come on a day Health Minister Robin Swann emphasised how vaccination opens doors to normality.

In an open letter (below), the Minister made a personal appeal to people who have not yet been jabbed, saying: “Please don’t put off your turn. The right time is now.”

He continued: “Vaccination helps us reclaim our lives. We all want to keep enjoying the things we have missed so much – going out, meeting up, enjoying ourselves with family and friends.

“It now also seems that some foreign travel and indeed some other activities and events may require official proof you have had both jabs.

“One way or another, vaccination opens doors to normality.

“First and foremost, of course, it is about looking after each other. Vaccination protects you and protects others.

“You might think you are in a low risk group for Covid. That may be true but you don’t know for certain. And if you get the virus, you could end up infecting someone who is still very vulnerable, or experiencing long Covid yourself.

“A small percentage of people don’t get full protection from vaccination. That’s inevitable. No vaccine in history has been 100% effective for 100% of people.

“So we need to protect these people – by doing everything we can to stop the virus spreading and reaching them.

“That means all of us lending an arm and getting the jab.”

Northern Ireland’s vaccination centres are now offering first dose Pfizer jabs to people in all adult age groups – to everyone aged 18 and over.

There will also be mobile, walk-in and pop-up clinics in different locations.

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