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18 deaths and 1,378 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland

The latest figures were confirmed by the North’s Department of Health this afternoon.

A man walks through a deserted Belfast city centre
A man walks through a deserted Belfast city centre
Image: Peter Morrison/PA Images

THE NORTHERN IRELAND Department of Health has said 1,378 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the past 24 hours.

A further 18 deaths have also been reported. Seven of these deaths occurred before the last 24 hours. 

Last night, the Stormont Executive agreed that schools would remain closed for the rest of the month as case numbers and hospitalisation figures remain very high in the North .

In addition to the measures in schools, stay at home advice is to be put into legislation, while the Executive is also set to examine international travel advice.

First minister Arlene Foster said: “We will be putting that message of stay at home back into law again.

“The message will be stay at home unless you have a reason to leave home. Those reasons will be put into law. We think that is necessary given the huge rise in positive cases here in Northern Ireland.”

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The Executive is to meet again today, when the Education and Health Ministers are to put forward a set of detailed proposals, including recommendations on this year’s exams.

The government in the Republic is also currently considering the prospect of closing schools for the entire month of January. 

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Sean Murray

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