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902 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland

Case numbers in Northern Ireland have surged in recent weeks.

Deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill is self isolating after being identified as a close contact of a confirmed case
Deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill is self isolating after being identified as a close contact of a confirmed case
Image: Liam McBurney/PA Images

THE NORTHERN IRELAND Department of Health has said 902 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. 

It follows 1,080 new cases confirmed across the six counties of Northern Ireland yesterday. No further deaths have been reported.

Cases of the virus have surged the past number of weeks, eclipsing the numbers seen at the beginning of the pandemic.

Derry and Strabane remains the worst affected area by population, with a seven-day rate of 872.1 per 100,000 population. Belfast is next on 407.1. All areas of Northern Ireland with the exception of mid and east Antrim have seven-day rates above 100.

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.

Yesterday, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill confirmed that she was self-isolating after a family member tested positive for the virus. Today, she said she had tested negative for the virus.

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Earlier this week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by phone about the situation in Northern Ireland. The Taoiseach urged Johnson to financially support Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 restrictions.

In a statement yesterday to the Stormont Assmebly, Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann said that the “situation is grave and getting more so, on a daily if not hourly basis”.

He said: “I am advised that further restrictions for Northern Ireland are likely to be required in the very near future, in the event of positive cases continuing their current upward trajectory. This will be necessary to reduce hospitalisations and loss of life and to protect our health and social care system from being overwhelmed.”

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Sean Murray

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