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Seven further deaths and 863 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland

The NI Department of Health confirmed the latest figures this afternoon.

Northern Ireland chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride.
Northern Ireland chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride.
Image: PA

THERE HAVE BEEN 863 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, its Department of Health has said.

Seven further deaths have been reported – including four in the past 24 hours – bringing the death toll to 598.

Senior health officials have urged Stormont ministers to take “urgent and decisive” action to stem spiralling coronavirus infections in Northern Ireland.

It is understood chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride and chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young have recommended the introduction of a region-wide lockdown lasting for between four to six weeks.

The officials have also urged school closures for a period within the lockdown, though not necessarily for the entirety of it.

They have said action needs to be taken within days and identified the six-week lockdown as providing the best chance of Northern Ireland reaching Christmas without the need for another one.

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- With reporting from Sean Murray, PA.

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