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Coronavirus: Further 13 deaths in Northern Ireland

  • Death toll in NI hospitals rises to 263, up 13, and 142 new cases identified
  • UK-wide hospital death toll reaches 18,738, up 616, while death toll in Republic reaches 794, up 28
  • Economy Minister Dodds supports reopening cemeteries
  • UK losing up to 3% of GDP for every month of lockdown
  • Health Minister Swann says statistics 'subject to revision'
  • Covid-19 contact tracing to start in Northern Ireland next week
  • Scroll down for live coverage of today's main developments

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Free Derry corner with a message thanking the NHS and Key workers added during the Coronavirus pandemic.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Free Derry corner with a message thanking the NHS and Key workers added during the Coronavirus pandemic. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Free Derry corner with a message thanking the NHS and Key workers added during the Coronavirus pandemic. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

There have been a further 13 deaths in hospitals in Northern Ireland from Covid-19, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The latest figures show that the death toll has now reached 263.

From Wednesday a further 1,006 tests were carried out on 858 patients with an extra 142 positive cases. An additional 118 tests were carried out at national testing sites.

There have now been 3,016 positive cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the Executive's daily press briefing Economy Minister Diane Dodds said she supported the reopening of cemeteries in a "controlled manner", with ministers set to discuss the issue tomorrow.

She also criticised the "regrettable intervention" of Sinn Fein junior minister Declan Kearney who said "some unionists" and "right wing" elements in the UK Government wanted to put the economy before public health.

"This is not a matter of lives versus the economy, saving lives is our utmost priority but we too must protect the economy and plan for a safe and phased and step by step transition back to normality," Mrs Dodds said.

She said that for every month the UK remains in lockdown it will lose 2 to 3% of GDP. The Economy Minister described it as a "significant recession".

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Belfast Telegraph