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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland is 'not out of the woods yet', says Robin Swann

Statistics 'subject to revision', says health minister

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Robin Swann appeared in front of health committee.

Robin Swann appeared in front of health committee.

Robin Swann appeared in front of health committee.

Northern Ireland is "by no means out of the woods yet" in beating Covid-19, the Health Minister has warned.​

Robin Swann also said statistics on Covid-19 cases were "subject to revision" after it was revealed the number of deaths jumped by 34 on Wednesday.

This included eight deaths which occurred on Tuesday, while the remainder involved fatalities in previous days that have been added to the official record.

Mr Swann was speaking at Stormont's health committee on Thursday which also heard from Chief Medical Officer, Michael McBride.

Mr Swann noted that it was "only eight weeks ago" since the first confirmed positive case of coronavirus was recorded in Northern Ireland.

Praising the "quiet heroism" of our health service workers, he added that the "ordinary people" of Northern Ireland had accepted the lockdown with "good grace".

"Much progress has been made... (but) we are by no means out of the woods yet," he said.

He went on to acknowledge concern around the reporting of Covid-19 statistics.

"These daily figures are compiled for surveillance purposes to help us track the virus and keep the public as informed as possible," he told the committee.

"They will always be subject to some degree of revision as deaths will be officially registered at different times," he told Stormont's health committee.

"Modelling has indicated that we are now in the peak of the first wave of the pandemic but it's too early to confirm whether the current figures represent the peak," he said.

"And in the absence of a vaccine we will have to plan for a potential second wave of Covid-19 cases later in the year.

"The outbreak has not yet reached the point where some of the restrictions can be relaxed."

Belfast Telegraph