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Weekly Northern Ireland coronavirus death toll at lowest level since crisis began

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The weekly death toll from coronavirus in Northern Ireland is at its lowest level since the crisis began. Pictured is a Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

The weekly death toll from coronavirus in Northern Ireland is at its lowest level since the crisis began. Pictured is a Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

The weekly death toll from coronavirus in Northern Ireland is at its lowest level since the crisis began. Pictured is a Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

The weekly death toll from coronavirus in Northern Ireland is at its lowest level since the crisis began.

Just three fatalities occurred in the region last week, according to official statistics.

At the height of the pandemic in April, 119 deaths occurred here in a single week.

The details emerged in the latest bulletin from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra). The three deaths involving Covid-19, in the week to July 10, brought the total to 844.

Yesterday the Department of Health, which publishes separate daily data, reported no further deaths for the fourth day running. Its total remains at 556.

In the Irish Republic, three further deaths from coronavirus were recorded, bringing its total to 1,752.

Two separate sets of figures are published in Northern Ireland.

The Nisra data, while released a week later, does give a fuller picture of Covid-19 fatalities.

Daily statistics released by the Department of Health focus primarily on hospital deaths, and only include people who tested positive for the virus.

Nisra's data set is based on the information entered on death certificates, completed by medical professionals. Those who died may not necessarily have tested positive for the virus.

The 844 deaths recorded by Nisra as of July 10 included 440 (52.1%) in hospital and 347 (41.1%) in care homes. Eight (0.9%) also occurred in hospices and 49 (5.8%) at residential addresses or other locations.

The 355 deaths occurring in care homes and hospices involved 81 separate establishments.

The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health to July 10 was 555 - a difference of 289.

Of the 426 deaths involving care home residents, 81.5% (347) occurred in a care home, with the remaining 79 occurring in hospital.

On this basis, deaths of care home residents account for 50.5% of all Covid-19 related deaths.

Nisra pointed out that no assumptions should be made in relation to where or when the deceased contracted the virus.

Nisra's report shows how the number of deaths occurring in Northern Ireland has fallen sharply each week.

The highest weekly figure (119) occurred in the week to May 1.

In the following week the number of fatalities dropped to 82, and has continued to fall consistently since.

Yesterday's figure (three) was the lowest since the first week, when one death occurred.

Analysis by Nisra shows how older people are more susceptible to the virus. Persons aged 75 and over accounted for 79.9% of Covid‑19 deaths as of July 10.

Those with an address in the Belfast Local Government District (LGD) accounted for 242 (28.7%) of the deaths.

Belfast Telegraph