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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Further interventions may be needed to stop virus spread, warns Swann as Covid cases pass 10,000 mark

  • People in the North West urged to avoid all but necessary travel across the border
  • 273 new cases confirmed in last 24 hours
  • DoH death toll remains at 577 after no further fatalities reported
  • Separately, Nisra reports almost 900 Covid-related deaths since outbreak
  • Scroll down to see how Friday unfolded

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Signs carrying coronavirus information at the Covid-19 Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. (Michael Cooper/PA)

Signs carrying coronavirus information at the Covid-19 Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. (Michael Cooper/PA)

Signs carrying coronavirus information at the Covid-19 Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. (Michael Cooper/PA)

Health Minister Robin Swann has said he has been advised that further action may be necessary to halt the spread of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

Mr Swann submitted an urgent written statement to the Assembly on Friday.

"I am advised that further interventions may be required to prevent an exponential rise in the virus," the UUP MLA said.

It comes after new Northern Ireland-wide restrictions were introduced on Tuesday, with further restrictions for the hospitality industry set to be announced next week.

"In the coming days and weeks the Executive will continue to assess different potential options for returning incidence to low levels," the Health Minister said.

The UUP MLA said early evidence suggested the new restrictions were having a positive effect on reducing transmission of the virus.

"There is a tightrope to walk and, as I have told Members many times before, no easy or pain free solutions are available. I would urge Members to continue to promote widespread public compliance with the coronavirus regulations," Mr Swann said.

"The best way to avoid further restrictions on our lives is to follow the ones we have in place now and strictly follow public health advice on social distancing, handwashing and face coverings."

On Friday the Department of Health confirmed a further 273 people in Northern Ireland have tested positive for coronavirus.

This is the highest daily tally reported since the pandemic began and brings the total number of confirmed cases reported to 10,223. Some 1,236 cases have been diagnosed in the last week alone.

No further deaths have been reported. The death toll remains at 577.

The are currently 46 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with five in intensive care.

A total of 27 care homes are also dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

Meanwhile, separate figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) show that, up to September 18, there have been 891 deaths involving the virus registered. The comparative figure from the Department of Health (DoH) up to this period was 575.

Here's how Friday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph