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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Six deaths and 3,568 new cases


A Rapid Test Device for Covid-19. PA

A Rapid Test Device for Covid-19. PA

Getty Images

A Rapid Test Device for Covid-19. PA

The Department of Health has confirmed a further six deaths linked to coronavirus and 3,568 new positive cases in the last 24 hours.

This brings the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 3,062.

This week the Stormont Executive was informed by health officials that Northern Ireland haa passed the peak of the Omicron variant surge.

From Friday, several relaxations on coronavirus rules have come into force.

Premises that serve alcohol will no longer have to stick to table service and the “rule of six” in which tables are limited to six people has been dropped.

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The minimum period of self-isolation for those with Covid has also dropped to five days instead of seven.

Other changes include scrapping a limit on the number of households meeting indoors, the guidance on working from home will move to doing so where possible and the requirement for providing proof of exemption for wearing a face covering will be dropped.

From midday on Wednesday, January 26, other rules will be relaxed including dropping the use of vaccine passports for pubs, restaurants and cinemas.

Nightclubs can reopen and events with indoor standing and dancing can return.

The Stormont Executive is set to meet again on February 10 to discuss the dropping of all main restrictions.

Earlier on Friday, separate figures on Covid deaths were released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

These are always higher than the Department of Health total as it is compiled using a broader range of data sources.

The Department of Health focuses on hospital deaths and only includes people that have tested positive for the virus.

Nisra compiles information using death certificates where Covid-19 is mentioned as a factor by a medical professional, no matter where the death took place or if the patient tested positive.

There is also a week long delay before Nisra publishes the figures.

On Friday, Nisra reported 36 deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, which is ten more than in the previous week.

Nisra states for the week ending January 14, that takes the total number coronavirus-linked deaths to 4,100.

This compares to the Department of Health’s total for January 14 at 3,036.

Breaking down the Nisra results, 2,868 out of the 4,100 deaths took place in hospitals, 874 in care homes, 16 in hospices and 342 at residential addresses or other locations.

By January 14, 1,148 deaths in care homes were linked to Covid-19 which accounts for 28% of all care home deaths.

Coronavirus was also mentioned on the death certificate of 43 out of 445 deaths across Northern Ireland in the week ending January 14.

Some of the deaths could have taken place earlier as families can take several days to register.

The over 75s account for nearly three-quarters (72.3%) of Covid-linked deaths registered between March 19, 2020 to January 14 this year.

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