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Largest daily increase in Covid-19 cases for Northern Ireland

Eleven new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, bringing the total to 45.

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An emergency department nurse demonstrates a testing procedure (PA)

An emergency department nurse demonstrates a testing procedure (PA)

An emergency department nurse demonstrates a testing procedure (PA)

Eleven new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Northern Ireland, with the biggest single-day increase so far bringing the total number of infections to 45.

Northern Ireland’s first community transmission cases were confirmed on Friday, with three of the nine cases confirmed on Saturday contracted in the same way.

In the Republic, 39 new cases were announced on Saturday, bringing the total for the whole island of Ireland to 174.

The NI Department of Health said people with mild symptoms – a new persistent cough and/or a fever – should stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. They will not require testing.

Meanwhile, elderly people in Northern Ireland will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months as part of UK-wide plans to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it is a “very big ask”, but described it as a measure which is for their own “self-protection”.

On Saturday, First Minister Arlene Foster said when schools eventually have to shut in Northern Ireland to help halt the spread of Covid-19, it will be for at least 16 weeks.

Deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill repeated her call for Northern Ireland schools to shut immediately, in line with the Republic of Ireland.

PA