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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Further 16 deaths and 759 new cases as healthcare system under extreme pressure

  • Death toll rises to 1,476
  • Cases since outbreak now 89,459
  • Plea for public to stick to Covid rules
  • Scroll down to follow Monday's live blog


The pandemic has put immense pressure on the health service

The pandemic has put immense pressure on the health service

The pandemic has put immense pressure on the health service

A further 16 people in Northern Ireland have died after testing positive for Covid-19 and 759 new cases of the virus have been reported.

It brings the death toll to 1,476 and the total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak to 89,459. Some 9,591 people have tested positive in the past seven days.

Of the 16 fatalities, 15 happened within the current reporting period, from 10am on Sunday to 10am on Monday, while the remaining death happened previously.

There are currently 736 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with 52 in intensive care and 37 requiring ventilation.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

A total of 150 care homes are also dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

The news comes after the chief executive of the Western Trust urged the public to stick to the Covid regulations, cautioning that healthcare staff "are not elastic" and can only be stretched so far.

Dr Anne Kilgallen was speaking after the heads of the region's six health and social care trusts warned that the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital will double by the third week of January compared to the current figures.

On Sunday night an alert was issued to staff at South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen appealing for them to go directly to the hospital due to increasing pressures on the healthcare system. A similar call was also made by the Southern Trust due to severe pressures at Craigavon Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital.

Dr Kilgallen said one in four people in hospitals here now have Covid, however pressures are not evenly spread across the system due to differing levels of community transmission.

"We are taking steps to try and focus our efforts... We are working to ensure staff have appropriate leave and appropriate breaks, but at the end of the day our staff are incredibly committed and compassionate and what we saw over the weekend, in response to the call out for help, is just an example," she told the BBC.

"They are not elastic, they cannot be stretched beyond a point, but there is absolutely no doubt that our staff will do everything they can to maintain vital services, what we need is the support of the public."

Here's how Monday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph