| 7°C Belfast

Coronavirus updates: Projected 3,000 deaths 'grim reading', says Foster as two more die in Northern Ireland

  • 30 people have died in Northern Ireland to date, with 689 confirmed cases
  • Modelling of worst-case scenario shows first wave could result in 3,000 deaths if social distancing and self-isolation guidelines are followed by most
  • First Covid-19 surge could be followed by a second wave later this year
  • 500 hospital admissions per week expected during surge, with up to 180 patients requiring critical care at the one time
  • Scroll down for live coverage of coronavirus pandemic

Close

PSNI officers on foot patrol in Belfast City Centre reminding the public to Stay Safe and where possible to stay at home during the current phase of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PSNI officers on foot patrol in Belfast City Centre reminding the public to Stay Safe and where possible to stay at home during the current phase of the Coronavirus outbreak. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PSNI officers on foot patrol in Belfast City Centre reminding the public to Stay Safe and where possible to stay at home during the current phase of the Coronavirus outbreak. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

First Minister Arlene Foster has said the latest modelling of 3,000 coronavirus deaths makes for "grim reading" and everyone in the tight-knit Northern Ireland community will know someone affected.

She said that, while it was a "sobering statistic", it was the worst case scenario and if the public continued to follow guidelines on social distancing "lives would be saved".

She also said the Eikon Centre at the former Maze Prison site would likely become Northern Ireland 's Nightingale Hospital.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said there would be 10,000 protective masks coming from China but she was still "uncomfortable" the guidance of the World Health Organisation was not being followed.

She said testing would be increased from 1,100 to 1,300 a day.

She said healthcare works were "terrified" of not being able to do their jobs. "We need to make sure they are protected in the lifesaving work they are doing," she said.

Two more people have died as a result of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has announced. There have been 103 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland with 565 people tested since yesterday.

The death toll from the virus in Northern Ireland now stands at 30, with 689 confirmed cases. In total 6,450 tests for Covid-19 have been carried out in Northern Ireland.

Modelling based on Northern Ireland's response to the coronavirus has suggested that a "reasonable worst case scenario" would be around 3,000 deaths in the first wave of Covid-19. The surge is expected between 6-20 April 2020 with a peak on April 13.

Check out our live blog to see how Wednesday's coronavirus developments unfolded.

Belfast Telegraph