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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: five further deaths and 151 new cases

  • Death toll rises to 2,115.


Restrictions: Belfast city centre during lockdown

Restrictions: Belfast city centre during lockdown

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Restrictions: Belfast city centre during lockdown

A further five Covid-related deaths have taken place in Northern Ireland and 151 new cases of the virus have been confirmed by the Department of Health.

The death toll now stands at 2,115.

Some 998 people have tested positive for the virus in the last seven days.

A total of 117,166 have tested positive for Covid since the start of the pandemic.

There are 131 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with 18 in intensive care and 12 requiring ventilation.

Hospital bed occupancy is at 97%. There are five care homes dealing with confirmed Covid outbreaks.

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The latest figures come as the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has not recommended the prosecution of any individuals - including deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill - for alleged breaches of Covid-19 regulations at the funeral of republican Bobby Storey.

Ms O'Neill was among those interviewed by police over the scenes at Bobby Storey's funeral in west Belfast last June.

The PPS had considered police evidence files on 24 people, including several senior members of Sinn Fein, before making its announcement on Tuesday.

The funeral of former IRA leader Mr Storey created a political furore, which resulted in suspension of joint Stormont press briefings between Ms O'Neill and DUP leader Arlene Foster for two months.

Following the PPS statement the Sinn Fein vice-president issued a statement insisting she has since "worked tirelessly to rebuild" public trust.

"I wish to say again today that I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to so many, including to Bobby Storey's own family who have been thrust into the headlines at a time of immense grief," Ms O'Neill said.

"Over the past nine months, I have worked tirelessly to rebuild trust with the public and I continue to work every day to navigate us all through this unprecedented crisis."

Meanwhile, more than 150,000 people in the UK have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate, new figures show.

The grim milestone was passed on March 18, but has only now been confirmed due to the time it takes for deaths to be registered.

The figures, which have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that 150,116 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in the UK since the pandemic began.

Latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that about one in two people in most parts of the UK now have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest.

Some 49.3% of people in private households in Northern Ireland are likely to have tested positive for the antibodies in the week to March 14, along with 54.7% in England and 50.5% in Wales. In Scotland about two in five people (42.6%) are likely to have tested positive for antibodies during the same period.

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