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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: No deaths and eight new cases of Covid-19 as face masks debate continues

  • NI death toll remains at 556
  • Scroll down to read Tuesday's blog

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Eight more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Eight more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Eight more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Eight new cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has confirmed.

There have been no further deaths in the region, with the death toll remaining at 556.

The new cases were confirmed after 2,021 tests were carried out on 1,477 people, bringing the total number of positive tests since the pandemic began to 5,996.

There have been 90 new positive cases of Covid-19 in the past week, with 27 in the Newry, Mourne and Down council area and 20 in Mid and East Antrim.

In Northern Ireland's hospitals there is currently one inpatient with Covid-19 and two patients in intensive care units.

There are currently five active outbreaks of the virus in Northern Ireland's care homes.

It comes as the Northern Ireland Executive looks poised to implement mandatory face masks.

Over the weekend Health Minister Robin Swann called for "mixed messaging" from the Executive to end on the matter and for the public to be warned if its advice to wear face masks was not followed, it would be enforced and sooner rather than later.

The Executive was to review its position later in August, however, Mr Swann said that should be brought forward.

Michelle O'Neill gave the health minister her backing.

"The executive has taken the power to make this mandatory and I support us bringing that forward. Urging everyone to wear them in shops to protect themselves and others," she said.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson, however, argued there is not significant proof that face masks protect people from Covid-19.

The East Antrim MP said that conflicting information had been put out around the wearing of masks.

He said that experts couldn't make up their minds whether masks were effective or not.

Mr Wilson expressed concern that masks could cause people to abandon their local shops and start shopping online.

First Minister Arlene Foster has said she has worn face masks in shops when social distancing is not possible.

Retail representatives have voiced fears believing enforcement may fall to their workers.

Check out our blog below to see how Tuesday's developments unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph