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The Peace Bridge over the River Foyle in Derry.
The Peace Bridge over the River Foyle in Derry.
Image: PA

Coronavirus: Northern Ireland reports 1,080 new cases, a record high and a 'grave situation'

The figures come amid an alarming spike in cases.
Oct 9th 2020, 2:02 PM 71,781 106

Updated Oct 9th 2020, 4:37 PM

THERE HAVE BEEN 1,080 further cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland over the past 24 hours.

The latest figures come after 923 cases were confirmed yesterday and 4,674 were recorded over the past week. No new deaths have been recorded. 

Today’s case figures are a record high for Northern Ireland. The R number for the region is currently between 1.3 and 1.8. 

In a statement this afternoon, Health Minister Robin Swann said: Over the last week, there has been a further marked 100% increase in cases in the context of a moderate 15% increase in testing.

“There has been a progressive rise in Covid-19 hospital patients, which are now around 33% of peak levels during wave 1. This trend is expected to become more pronounced in the very near future in the light of the sustained spike in new cases.

“We have now moved beyond the lag period between increased case and pressure on the health and social care system. Cases are currently doubling every 7 days and hospital admissions every 9 days, both reduced from last week; if current trends remain unabated hospital inpatients will exceed those of wave 1 in only 2 to 3 weeks.

The situation is grave and getting more so, on a daily if not hourly basis.

The alarming spike has forced the Stormont Executive into increasing fines for not adhering to restrictions and the expansion of locations where masks are required.

The Derry and Strabane council area currently has the highest infection rate in the UK but several other areas have infection rates greater than 300 per 100,000.

Earlier today, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill confirmed that she self-isolating after a family member tested positive for the virus.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One today, First Minister Arlene Foster said that it demonstrates that the virus “doesn’t discriminate” and that she appeals to everyone to take the necessary precautions to limit the transmission of the virus.   

PastedImage-31538 Source: PA Graphics

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney again said this morning that an all-island approach is required to deal with the coronavirus and noted the high levels of the virus in border counties in the Republic. 

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Coveney said that people should be aware that “the shoe could be on the other foot” in upcoming months if Covid-19 rates became higher in the Republic. 

Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by phone about the situation in Northern Ireland, with the Taoiseach urging Johnson to financially support Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Swann confirmed this afternoon that further restrictions in Northern Ireland are likely “in the very near future” if cases continue to rise. 

“This will be necessary to reduce hospitalisations and loss of life and to protect our health and social care system from being overwhelmed.

“Unfortunately, as has been stated, the seasons are not in our favour, as winter leaves health and social care at its most fragile every year,” he said.'s coronavirus newsletter cuts through the misinformation and noise with the clear facts you need to make informed choices. Sign up here

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Rónán Duffy


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