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Seventeen deaths and 640 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed on a six-week lockdown to come into effect from 26 December.

Image: Shutterstock/The Escape of Malee

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN Northern Ireland have confirmed a further 640 cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in the North to 61,437.

In its latest update, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health confirmed that seventeen more people have died with Covid-19.

Thirteen of the seventeen deaths occurred in the 24 hour reporting period between yesterday and today, with four occurred outside the last 24 hours.

Since the first outbreak of Covid-19, 1,183 people have died with the virus in the North.

Of today’s cases, the local government district of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon has reported the highest numbers with 92 new cases.

There have been 74 new cases in Newry, Mourne and Down; 68 in Fermanagh and Omagh; and 63 in Belfast.

Currently, 427 patients with Covid-19 are hospitalised in the North, with 30 Covid-19 patients in ICU.

Hospitals are operating at 101% occupancy, which means that the demand for beds is higher than hospitals’ total capacity.

Additionally, there are 82 active outbreaks of Covid-19 in care homes across the North.

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The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed on a six-week lockdown to come into effect from 26 December.

It is expected that measures will include the closure of all non-essential retail and close-contact services, while restaurants will be limited to takeaway services.

First Minister Arlene Foster has said that Northern Ireland needs to “up our game” and that it is facing a “very difficult situation with Covid-19 spreading at an alarming rate”.

“We’re facing a great deal of difficulty across Northern Ireland, people need to recognise that and need to recognise the fact that they have to ensure personal responsibility in their action over the next period of time people need to cut down their social contacts in order to protect themselves and their families,” Foster said. 

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