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'Frontline' in fight against pandemic is now in care homes, says Swann, as 17 further deaths reported in Northern Ireland

  • Scroll down to see how Tuesday unfolded

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Health Minister Robin Swann during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Health Minister Robin Swann during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

A member of the Intensive Care team treats Covid-19 patients at Craigavon Area Hospital on Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday May 4, 2020.  Pic Niall Carson/PA Wire

A member of the Intensive Care team treats Covid-19 patients at Craigavon Area Hospital on Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday May 4, 2020. Pic Niall Carson/PA Wire

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Health Minister Robin Swann during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Health Minister Robin Swann has said that the 'frontline' in the fight against Covid-19 has now moved to care homes in Northern Ireland, as the number of hospital admissions due to the virus falls.

Speaking after 17 further deaths were confirmed in the region, Mr Swann warned more families will be "thrown into mourning in the days and weeks ahead".

He said that while the evidence suggested Northern Ireland was through the worst of the first peak the situation remained "incredibly serious".

The Health Minister said that as hospital admissions fell the "frontline fight" had moved to care homes.

He said that from March 16 there had been 125 acute respiratory outbreaks in care homes reported to the Public Health Agency.

Mr Swann said 72 of these had been linked to a Covid-19 with the rest a more common flu like illness.

Earlier on Tuesday, figures released by the Department of Health confirmed the coronavirus death toll has now reached 404.

Six people died in the last 24 hours, with a further 11 people dying outside this period but only reported on Tuesday.

A further 45 people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of people infected in NI to 3,881.

There are currently 26 people in Northern Ireland with Covid-19 in an intensive care unit bed.

New figures have also suggested the UK coronavirus death toll is now the highest in Europe.

Here's how Tuesday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph