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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Death toll surpasses 3,000 as Executive decides against further restrictions

  • Northern Ireland’s death toll now stands at 3,002
  • Another 6,877 positive cases reported in 24 hours
  • There has been 49,270 Covid-19 cases in past seven days
  • Two areas in NI have highest rates of coronavirus among their populations in UK


Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed in Northern Ireland due to the Omicron variant. Stock image.

Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed in Northern Ireland due to the Omicron variant. Stock image.

Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed in Northern Ireland due to the Omicron variant. Stock image.

Northern Ireland’s death toll has reached 3,002 since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Health has reported another four people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. Twenty-three people have passed away in the last seven days.

Another 6,877 positive cases were also confirmed.

There has been 49,270 positive cases in the last week, up from 39,094 in the previous seven days.

The figures were compiled in the 24 hours up to 10am on Thursday.

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Hospital occupancy is at 109%. There are 30 Covid-19 confirmed patients in intensive care with 24 of those on a ventilator.

And 179 care homes are dealing with an outbreak of the virus.

Thursday’s statistics comes after First Minister Paul Givan said there are no plans to close schools despite the growing concerns over the rise in Covid infections and staff shortages across the education system.

He was speaking after the Executive confirmed there would be no further restrictions imposed across Northern Ireland after ministers met on Thursday morning.

However, the Assembly will be recalled on Monday at noon to discuss the current crisis in the education system.

It follows a recall motion submitted by Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan, which was backed by SDLP and Alliance Party members.

On Thursday, Speaker Alex Maskey confirmed that a sitting of the Assembly's plenary would take place at noon on Monday.

MLAs would debate a motion around the opening of schools amid the recent record-breaking wave of Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, two areas of Northern Ireland have the UK’s highest rates of coronavirus among their populations, new figures show.

Derry City and Strabane has the highest proportion among the population, with 6,680 new cases in the seven days to January 1, the equivalent of 4,420.6 per 100,000 people.

This is up from a rate of 1,624.7 new cases per 100,000 for the week leading up to Christmas Day.

Fermanagh and Omagh has the second highest rate, with 4,119 new cases, up from 1,283.5 to 3,510.4.

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