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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: One death and 108 new cases as more restrictions lifted

Enjoy bank holiday weekend safely, CMO urges 

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Olivers Restaurant on the Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast reopens after several months of lockdown. Picture: Philip Magowan/PressEye

Olivers Restaurant on the Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast reopens after several months of lockdown. Picture: Philip Magowan/PressEye

Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Olivers Restaurant on the Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast reopens after several months of lockdown. Picture: Philip Magowan/PressEye

A further 108 people in Northern Ireland have tested positive for Covid-19, the Department of Health has confirmed.

One further death has been reported and brings the death toll from the virus in the region to 2,145.

Since the pandemic began 120,195 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Northern Ireland.

Over the past seven days 653 people have tested positive, down from 739 the week before.

There are currently 60 Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland's hospitals, with eight in an intensive care unit.

Hospital bed occupancy currently stands at 101%, with 12 intensive care unit beds remaining free.

There are currently four active outbreaks of the virus in care homes across the region.

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A new Vaccination Management System (VMS) dashboard has also gone live today, which provides a greater level of detail about Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme. 

It shows that 1,341,681 vaccines have been administered in total here to date. 

It comes as Northern Ireland has taken a major stride out of lockdown as many hospitality and retail outlets reopened their doors after four months of closure.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants are now able to trade outdoors, while the shutters are up once again for non-essential. 

There were long queues outside popular retail outlets such as Primark in Belfast from early on Friday morning as hundreds of shoppers returned to the city centre.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride has urged everyone in Northern Ireland to enjoy the May Day holiday weekend safely.

With further Covid-19 restrictions being eased from today, Dr McBride emphasised that the public health advice remains as vital as ever.

“With summer coming and the vaccination programme continuing its roll out, there is a much-needed mood of optimism in the community,” he said. 

“However, we must never underestimate the Covid-19 threat. A huge collective effort across society has got us this far. It would be a tragedy if we let our guard down now and jeopardised the progress that has been made.

“We all know what needs to be done. Whether you are socialising or shopping, stick to the rules that have protected so many people. Maintain social distancing, wear a face covering when required and wash hands frequently and well. Never forget that the virus spreads best in crowded, confined and indoor settings where ventilation is poor. That’s why the main focus at present is on outdoor activities.”

He added: “The progress we have made is also thanks in no small part to our vaccination programme. Please do your bit to make it a continued success. When your turn comes, get your vaccine and your second dose. By doing so, you not only protect yourself and others, you also play your part in maintaining our steady progress to better times.”


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