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Coronavirus updates: Second death in Northern Ireland

  • Second patient who tested positive for Covid-19 dies in NI
  • 128 confirmed cases to date in NI, with 20 new cases on Sunday
  • Arlene Foster says social distancing may have to be enforced
  • Peter Weir tells key workers to explore viable alternatives before sending children to school

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An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the coronavirus pod and Covid-19 virus testing procedures set up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim (Michael Cooper/PA)

An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the coronavirus pod and Covid-19 virus testing procedures set up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim (Michael Cooper/PA)

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a Mother's Day address

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a Mother's Day address

An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the coronavirus pod and Covid-19 virus testing procedures set up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim (Michael Cooper/PA)

A patient who tested positive for Covid-19 has died in a hospital in Northern Ireland.

It's the second death due to the virus in Northern Ireland.

The patient was elderly and had an underlying medical condition, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: "My deepest condolences go to the friends and family of this patient. This heart-breaking news should bring it home to every one of us that coronavirus is a real and present danger across our community."

It has been announced that testing has resulted in 20 new positive cases on Sunday - bringing the total number of cases in Northern Ireland to 128.

The total number of tests completed in Northern Ireland is 2,484.

Advice from the Department of Health said people with mild symptoms - new persistent cough and/or fever - should stay at home and self-isolate. They will not require testing and will not therefore be included in testing totals.

Mr Swann said: "It is essential that we all follow the public health advice on keeping a safe distance, washing our hands and staying at home. We all must ensure we reduce our social interactions and we must not make unnecessary visits or take unnecessary journeys."

He said reports of people "flouting" social distancing advice is "concerning".

"These behaviours are putting the people themselves, their families and their friends and neighbours at risk," he said.

"Coronavirus is a threat across generations and all walks of life. We all need to unite to fight against it."

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The First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a Mother's Day address

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a Mother's Day address

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a Mother's Day address

Earlier on Sunday, First Minister and Deputy First Minister have made a joint appeal for people in Northern Ireland to respect social distancing on Mother's Day during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a joint address, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill paid tribute to those working in frontline services, saying it would be a Mother's Day "like no other" during the pandemic.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the coronavirus outbreak is “accelerating”, as he urged people not to visit their parents on Mother’s Day.

DUP leader Mrs Foster described Mother's Day as a time when "children of all ages say thank you to their mums".

However, she said this year would be "very different for all of us".

She expressed her thanks to all those "mothers, sons, daughters, grandchildren or great-grandchildren who are engaged this Mother's Day, and every day, in the service of others."

Ms O'Neill said: "Everyone loves their mummy, I know I do.

"And on Mother's Day, we normally make a big effort to spoil them and spend time with them.

"This year we are asking you not to put your mummy or anyone else's mummy at risk. Please maintain the social distancing the Public Health Agency have asked you to do."

Ahead of school closures to most children on Monday, the Department of Education has said there is no limit to the number of key workers' children that schools can admit as long as it is safe.

New guidance from the department said teachers may be shared between schools to allow them to open on Monday but that normal school meals and transport may not be available.

Health minister Robin Swann confirmed on Saturday he has written to childcare workers to clarify that they should remain open to meets the needs of parents who are key workers and vulnerable children.

On Friday, a package from Chancellor Rishi Sunak which pledged that the Government will cover 80% of the wages of workers up to a total of £2,500-a-month in an unprecedented intervention was welcomed across Northern Ireland.

Here's how Sunday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph