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Coronavirus: Fifth person in Northern Ireland dies after contracting Covid-19

  • Public Health Agency releases map showing locations of known coronavirus cases
  • Robin Swann removes car parking charges for health and social care workers
  • Michelle O'Neill provides clarity on businesses that should remain open
  • British military personnel 'will not be needed', says deputy First Minister
  • Arlene Foster says police will intervene when they see public health issues

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Coronavirus test swabs (Ben Birchall/PA)

Coronavirus test swabs (Ben Birchall/PA)

Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill. Picture: BBC

Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill. Picture: BBC

Ruth Burke (82) with her daughter Brenda Doherty. Pic Pacemaker.

Ruth Burke (82) with her daughter Brenda Doherty. Pic Pacemaker.

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8.45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8.45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Council workers continue working as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast City Council workers continue working as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Office workers gather on both sides of Donegall Street following a fire alarm as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Office workers gather on both sides of Donegall Street following a fire alarm as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster has said sweeping new Covid-19 restrictions will last more than three weeks (Liam McBurney/PA)

Arlene Foster has said sweeping new Covid-19 restrictions will last more than three weeks (Liam McBurney/PA)

Coronavirus test swabs (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Department of Health has confirmed a total of five people have now died after contracting the coronavirus in Northern Ireland.

The patient who was in their eighties and had underlying health conditions has sadly died at Antrim Hospital.

In addition, an earlier death has also been confirmed as Covid-19 related.

Health Minister Robin Swann stated: “My deepest sympathies are extended to the families affected.

“These deaths must never become mere statistics. Behind each of them is a family plunged into grief.”

The Public Health Agency confirmed there has been 24 new case of coronavirus confirmed since yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 172 in Northern Ireland. There has been 2989 tests for the virus as of Tuesday morning.

Ruth Burke was the first woman to die of the virus.

Her daughter Brenda said her mother suffered illnesses over the years and the virus was the “last straw”.

“I don’t want my mother to be a statistic, she was a strong person,” she told the BBC.

In an emotional Facebook post she appealed to people to “wise up” and take the necessary precautions and look after others and not to panic buy.

This is the saddest of times as a family we are devastated and heartbroken 💔💔💔💔💔

Posted by Brenda Doherty on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

It comes as First Minister Arlene Foster said everyone is "going to have to make sacrifices" as attempts are made to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference at Stormont with Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, she said the challenge of slowing down coronavirus is immense "but not impossible".

Mrs O'Neill said shops and service providers including hairdressers, salons and gyms should not be open, saying the advice is not to shut your doors in a few days or a few weeks.

Supermarkets, pharmacies,credit unions and post offices can all stay open. "If you are not an essential service, shut your doors," she said.

The list of facilities that can remain open also includes credit unions and post offices," she said. "Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and caravan and camping sites should all be closed, except where caravans are being used as permanent residences."

Arlene Foster said she understood people are frustrated.

"It is a question of us trying to get messages out to people in terms of what we're doing," she said, adding she was disappointed a package had not been announced by Westminster on Tuesday to support people who are self-employed.

Coronavirus: Northern Ireland enters 'lockdown' [Photos] Close

In pictures, the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland: Ellie McAuley tends to the lambs on her family farm as Northern Ireland goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

In pictures, the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland: Ellie McAuley tends to the lambs on her family farm as Northern Ireland goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8.45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8.45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

People queue outside Iceland in east Belfast. Pic Presseye

People queue outside Iceland in east Belfast. Pic Presseye

All play parks in the Belfast area have been closed by Belfast City Council for the next 3 weeks as the country tries to tackle the coronavirus. Pic Pacemaker

All play parks in the Belfast area have been closed by Belfast City Council for the next 3 weeks as the country tries to tackle the coronavirus. Pic Pacemaker

Belfast City centre  on Tuesday with most businesses closed due to the Coronavirus,  with restrictions on movements in Northern Ireland expected to  last longer than three weeks.
PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS

Belfast City centre on Tuesday with most businesses closed due to the Coronavirus, with restrictions on movements in Northern Ireland expected to last longer than three weeks. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS

Belfast City centre  on Tuesday with most businesses closed due to the Coronavirus,  with restrictions on movements in Northern Ireland expected to  last longer than three weeks.
PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS

Belfast City centre on Tuesday with most businesses closed due to the Coronavirus, with restrictions on movements in Northern Ireland expected to last longer than three weeks. PHOTO COLM LENAGHAN/PACEMAKER PRESS

General view of family members praying in St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast. The church remains open for individuals who wish to pray but all services have been cancelled. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

General view of family members praying in St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast. The church remains open for individuals who wish to pray but all services have been cancelled. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8:45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Westlink in west Belfast at 8:45am as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Office workers gather on both sides of Donegall Street following a fire alarm as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Office workers gather on both sides of Donegall Street following a fire alarm as Belfast goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Council workers on the city streets as Northern Ireland goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast City Council workers on the city streets as Northern Ireland goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Graffiti on the walls at freedom corner in east Belfast as COVID-19 claims a third life in Northern Ireland on March 23rd 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Graffiti on the walls at freedom corner in east Belfast as COVID-19 claims a third life in Northern Ireland on March 23rd 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

In pictures, the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland: Ellie McAuley tends to the lambs on her family farm as Northern Ireland goes into its first day of lockdown on March 24th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)


Belfast Telegraph