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Slight rise in weekly death toll in NI

The increase ends a six-week downward trend in death rates reported by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

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Figures show there were 20 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week to June 12 (Niall Carson/PA)

Figures show there were 20 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week to June 12 (Niall Carson/PA)

Figures show there were 20 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week to June 12 (Niall Carson/PA)

The weekly coronavirus death toll has risen slightly in Northern Ireland, ending a six-week fall in fatalities, latest figures have indicated.

Statistics published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) show there were 20 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week to June 12.

The previous week there were 19 deaths.

While published with a week lag, the Nisra figures give a fuller picture of Covid-19 deaths than the daily figures released by the Department of Health, which focus primarily on hospital deaths.

Nisra obtains its statistics using death certificates in which Covid-19 is recorded as a factor by a medical professional, regardless of where the fatality occurred. The people may or may not have tested positive for the virus.

The Nisra statistics show that the overall death toll up to June 12 was 802.

That compares with 540 reported by the Department of Health on that day.

Of the 802 deaths reported by Nisra, 407 (50.7%) took place in hospital, 340 (42.3%) in care homes, eight (1%) in hospices and 47 (5.9%) at residential addresses or other locations.

The 348 deaths which occurred in care homes and hospices involved 78 separate establishments.

Nisra also provides an analysis around the number of care home residents who have died, whether in their home or in hospital having been transferred for treatment.

It shows that to June 12, the deaths of 412 care home residents involved Covid-19 as a factor, 72 of which occurred in hospital.

That means almost 52% of all coronavirus-linked deaths in the region were care home residents.

With regard to comparative death statistics in 2019, the overall number of deaths registered in Northern Ireland in the week to June 12 was 292 – one fewer than the five-year average of 293.

Over the last 11 weeks, 972 “excess deaths” have been registered in Northern Ireland. Excess deaths are deaths above the average for the corresponding period in previous years.

PA