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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: No Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours 'clear sign of progress,' says health minister

  • No Covid-19 deaths registered in Northern Ireland for the first time since March 18
  • Cummings actions 'ill-judged' and there have been implications, says Swann
  • Anti-viral drug Remdesivir will be made available for the treatment of the disease
  • Scroll down to follow today's live blog

Health Minister Robin Swann has said Tuesday's report of no Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours was a sign of the progress made in tackling the pandemic.

However, he urged the public not to get complacent with the easing of some lockdown measures as there was still a risk of a second wave of the virus.

"There are no grounds whatsoever for complacency. That will be an insult to all those who have sadly lost their lives and those who are in mourning," he said.

Referring to Boris Johnson's under-fire adviser Dominic Cummings, Mr Swann reminded the public not to lose sight of the fact Northern Ireland was still in the midst of the pandemic.

He described Mr Cummings actions "ill-judged", saying it had become a distraction from the key public health message. He said there have been "damaging implications" of Mr Cummings' actions.

"I believe there is no person, no position or point of privilege that is above the guidance and the regulations. Don't let someone you love or someone you don't know suffer the consequences of your actions," he added.

The minister also announced an expansion of testing facilities.

Addressing issues at Clifton Nursing home in Belfast, Mr Swann said discussions were underway for a new provider and his department had been involved in this for some time.

He says an inquiry into care homes in NI will be a thing for the future.

Tuesday, May 26 was the first day since March 18 there was no report of a Covid-19 death. It comes just a day after the Republic of Ireland also announced it had no deaths.

On Monday there were 928 tests for the virus carried out on 687 people, resulting in 28 positive cases. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 4,637.

The Northern Ireland death toll remains at 514 people.

Here's how Tuesday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph