Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 death toll has now surpassed 2,000, according to the latest official figures.
The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) published the most up-to-date figures on Friday morning, which show that there have been 2,019 Covid-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
There were 103 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week between January 2 and 8.
Last Thursday saw the joint highest number of Covid-19 related deaths occurring in any one day, with 25 registered deaths – matched by April 9 and 22 last year, at the height of the first peak of the pandemic.
The statistics show that of the 2,019 Covid-19 related deaths, 62% occurred in hospital, 30% happened in care homes, less than 1% in a hospice, and just under 7% took place at residential addresses or other locations.
Of the 802 deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 that have occurred between March 18 last year and last Friday, 77.6% occurred in a care home, with the remaining 180 people passing away in hospital.
Nisra said the deaths of care home residents account for just under 40% of all Covid-19 related deaths.
The Nisra figures are based on the information entered on death certificates which are completed by medical professionals.
The person who has died may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus and the decision on whether to include Covid-19 on the death certificate is made according to the clinical presentation of the patient.
The figures released on Friday have highlighted again the devastating effect of the relaxation of restrictions around the Christmas period.
Hospitals across Northern Ireland are struggling to cope with the number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients and a range of key services, including cancer operations, have been cancelled as a result.
In a bid to bring down the number of infections and help reduce the pressure on the health service, a ban on most visitors to healthcare settings has been introduced.
Visitors will now only be allowed into hospitals in very exceptional circumstances.
The situation is so extreme that face-to-face visiting has even been banned in intensive care units.
Exceptions can be made for end-of-life visits when it is deemed safe by the person in charge of individual wards.