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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Two further deaths and 240 new cases reported

  • Death toll rises to 2,079
  • Another 240 test positive
  • Swann expects vaccine rollout to be significantly ramped up

  • Murphy says Executive wants to see all pupils back at school 'as quickly as possible'


A nurse prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Yui Mok/PA)

A nurse prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Yui Mok/PA)

A nurse prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Yui Mok/PA)

A further two people in Northern Ireland have died after testing positive for Covid-19 and 240 new cases of the virus have been reported.

It brings the total death toll to 2,079. The two deaths occurred in the 24 hours up to 10am on Tuesday.

Some 1,269 positive cases have been confirmed in the last week, down from 1,468 in the previous seven days.

There are currently 222 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with 32 in intensive care and 22 requiring ventilation.

Hospitals are operating at 93% capacity.

A total of 18 care homes are dealing with Covid outbreaks.

Meanwhile Health Minister Robin Swann has said the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine is likely to be significantly ramped up shortly with one of the largest deliveries of the AstraZeneca jab to Northern Ireland expected this week.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccination centre at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, he hailed the progress in the rollout, saying they are likely to have administered jabs to 600,000 people in Northern Ireland by Wednesday.

He said some of the regional vaccination centres are being moved from Pfizer to AstraZeneca due to the imminent delivery.

Mr Swann said the initial programme is "being stepped forward by a matter of weeks at each step".

Elsewhere, the Finance Minister Conor Murphy has confirmed the Executive wants to see all pupils back in school "as quickly as possible", after some primary school students went back to face-to-face classes on Monday.

Speaking in the Assembly at Stormont on Tuesday, the Sinn Fein minister said: "All ministers want restrictions lifted as soon as they can.

“Online learning is no substitute for face-to-face learning, as everybody recognises.

“We want to do it as quickly as possible (in line with) what’s safe at the time and the transmission rates associated with that," he added.

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