| 18.3°C Belfast

Another 18 coronavirus deaths reported in Northern Ireland

It brings the total to 365, however the true total is likely to be far higher when community deaths are added.

Close

Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (PA)

Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (PA)

Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (PA)

There have been a further 18 deaths of patients with coronavirus in Northern Ireland, according to the department of health.

This brings the total number of deaths in the region to 365, however the true total is likely to be even higher when deaths in the community are added in.

The latest figures from the department include four deaths within the last 24 hours as well as confirmation of a further 14.

Close

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

Earlier, the Northern Ireland Statistical and Research Agency (NISRA) indicated there had been 393 deaths by April 24.

The department’s figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates, filled out by medical professionals.

They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.

The NISRA figures have indicated that 53.2% of deaths were at hospital, 40% in care homes, 5.9% at home and 0.8% at hospices.

The 161 deaths in care homes and hospices involved 57 separate establishments.

On Thursday, the department received criticism over “gaps and losses” in its data around the spread of Covid-19.

The UK Statistics Authority said there was “serious public concern” about changes made in how the data is reported during the pandemic.

Director general for regulation Ed Humpherson said: “Daily surveillance statistics should be released in a transparent, easily accessible and orderly way.

Close

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

“A news release on the departmental website and Twitter are not sufficient.

“There are gaps in the data and daily time series have been lost since the statistics began to be issued through Department of Health news releases.

“These gaps and losses need to be addressed.”

A daily information “dashboard” is due to go live on Friday, an official at Stormont’s Department of Health responded.

Meanwhile, separate analyses of the NISRA figures shows that the provisional number of total deaths registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending April 24 (week 16) was 470, 46 more than in week 15 and 186 more than the five-year average of 284.

Close

NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak (Peter Morrison/PA)

NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak (Peter Morrison/PA)

PA

NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak (Peter Morrison/PA)

Over the last four weeks in total, 596 excess deaths (deaths above the average for the corresponding period in previous years) have been registered in Northern Ireland.

Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate for 128 (27.2%) of the 470 deaths registered in week 16, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in the calendar year 2020 to 370.

Males accounted for around half of all registered deaths (49.1%) and the 370 Covid‑19 related deaths (50.3%), while those aged 75 and over accounted for two-thirds of all deaths and 75.1% of Covid‑19 related deaths registered this calendar year up to April 24.

PA