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Nine further Covid deaths announced as NI hospitals reach 103% occupancy

The latest data from the Department of Health shows that 2,979 beds are occupied with 221 patients awaiting hospital admission.

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A man wearing a face mask walks past an entrance to Belfast City Hospital, Northern Ireland, after the Stormont executive announced closures of schools, pubs and restaurants as the region enters a period of intensified coronavirus restrictions in response to spiralling infection rates.

A man wearing a face mask walks past an entrance to Belfast City Hospital, Northern Ireland, after the Stormont executive announced closures of schools, pubs and restaurants as the region enters a period of intensified coronavirus restrictions in response to spiralling infection rates.

A man wearing a face mask walks past an entrance to Belfast City Hospital, Northern Ireland, after the Stormont executive announced closures of schools, pubs and restaurants as the region enters a period of intensified coronavirus restrictions in response to spiralling infection rates.

There have been nine further Covid-19-linked deaths in Northern Ireland as hospitals reach 103% occupancy, new figures have shown.

As the region continues to contend with the coronavirus pandemic, the latest data from the Department of Health shows the pressure hospitals are under.

At 9am on October 27, there were 2,979 occupied beds, some 76 over the 2,903 capacity.

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The latest data from Northern Ireland’s Department of Health showing the pressure hospitals are under. (Department of Health/PA)

The latest data from Northern Ireland’s Department of Health showing the pressure hospitals are under. (Department of Health/PA)

The latest data from Northern Ireland’s Department of Health showing the pressure hospitals are under. (Department of Health/PA)

A further 221 patients were waiting to be admitted.

Of the patients in hospitals, some 352 have tested positive for Covid-19, with 44 in intensive care.

The latest nine deaths include the youngest so far in Northern Ireland, a patient aged 19 or under.

On the same day the department recorded 840 new cases of the virus. There have been 36,394 confirmed cases in the region, including 6,255 in the last seven days.

The figures came after a senior doctor claimed this week has been the “worst in the NHS in living memory”.

Dr Tom Black, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland Council, said hospitals are being hit with a “triple whammy” of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, lack of available staff and winter pressures.

However, the BBC has reported there has been a 49% drop in Covid cases in the Derry and Strabane Council area, one of the worst-hit parts of the UK recently.

The drop in positive tests comes three weeks after further restrictions on movement were put into place in the area aiming at slowing the spread of the virus.

The Stormont Executive is set to meet on Thursday.

Among the topics under discussion will be the planned return of schools on Monday as well as relief grants for taxi drivers.

PA


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