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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Two deaths and 138 cases confirmed as Executive decision on roadmap delayed

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First Minister Arlene Foster (right) and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (Presseye/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster (right) and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (Presseye/PA)

PA

First Minister Arlene Foster (right) and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (Presseye/PA)

Two further deaths linked to coronavirus have been reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The figures come as the publication of Northern Ireland's lockdown exit plan has been delayed by the Executive until Tuesday.

The latest figures now bring the total deaths in Northern Ireland to 2,057 as of 10am on Monday.

A further 138 positive cases of the virus have been reported, meaning there have been 112,631 positive cases confirmed in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

This includes 1,551 positive cases in the last seven days which shows a decrease of 503 compared to the previous week.

In Northern Ireland hospitals there are now 302 Covid-19 inpatients, including 129 patients in intensive care.

A total of 56 patients are on ventilators, including 29 with Covid-19.

Hospital occupancy is currently at 91% and there 26 active outbreaks of the virus in Northern Ireland care homes.

While Stormont ministers met on Monday morning to discuss the roadmap out of lockdown, it is not set to be detailed until Tuesday, when they will meet again and officially sign off the blueprint.

The plan is not expected to include indicative dates but will set out criteria that must be met before restrictions on different sectors can be eased.

This is believed to include data such as the virus infection rate (R number), hospitalisations, vaccine rollout and progress in testing and tracing positive cases.

It is thought hospitality will reopen fully by early summer under the local roadmap out of lockdown, with the phased lifting of coronavirus restrictions seeing a gradual return to normality by the end of June.

The staggered approach to getting back to normal will begin with what the Executive is billing as "cautious first steps".

It is understood First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill plan to unveil it on the floor of the Stormont Assembly when it is ready.

Northern Ireland’s current lockdown and accompanying stay-at-home message is in place until April 1. Ministers are due to review that policy on March 18.

Belfast Telegraph


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