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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: 5 further deaths and 225 new cases as South African variant detected

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Another 225 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Another 225 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Another 225 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Five new deaths linked to coronavirus have been reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours, the Department of Health has announced.

This brings the total deaths in Northern Ireland to 2,041 as of 10am on Tuesday.

It comes as the Department of Health confirmed the South African variant of the disease has been detected in Northern Ireland.

A further 225 positive cases of the virus have been reported, meaning there have been 111,391 positive cases confirmed in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

This includes 1,929 positive cases in the last seven days which shows a decrease of 178 compared to the previous week.

In Northern Ireland hospitals there are now 340 Covid-19 patients, including 134 patients in intensive care.

A total of 78 patients are on ventilators, including 39 with Covid-19.

Hospital occupancy is currently at 99% and there 46 active outbreaks of the virus in Northern Ireland care homes.

The Department of Health confirmed three cases of the South African variant of the virus has been detected.

A detailed health protection risk assessment and contact tracing response has been deployed. The risk of transmission is judged to be low at this time, health officials said.

The Department of Health is working closely with the Public Health Agency and the Regional Virology Laboratory in relation to the investigation and assessment of these case.

Health Minister Robin Swann stated: “I have previously been clear that identification of a confirmed case or cases of this variant in Northern Ireland was inevitable at some point.

“This development does not mean that this variant is going to become the most prevalent, or the dominant strain in Northern Ireland.

“However, it does underline once again the very real need for continuing caution in relation to Covid-19.

“The best way to stop variants developing or spreading is to keep pushing down infection rates and transmission of the virus in our community.

“All variants of the SARS-COV-2 virus spread in the same way – and we all have an important role to play in stopping the spread of this virus, by following the tried and tested public health advice.

“That means staying at home, cutting down your contacts if you have to go out, avoiding busy indoor settings with poor ventilation, washing your hands carefully and often, and wearing a face covering.”

All travellers returning to Northern Ireland must self isolate for 10 days from the date of their return.

Belfast Telegraph


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