Covid-19: 20 people with coronavirus die in the North in 48 hours

Minister for Health Robin Swann warns New Year’s Eve parties could ‘cost lives’

 An infection control nurse  looks out from a Covid-19 recovery ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

An infection control nurse looks out from a Covid-19 recovery ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Twenty people with coronavirus have died in Northern Ireland in the past 48 hours, the North’s Department of Health (DoH) said on Monday afternoon.

A further 1,634 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the North during the same period.

Full data for the period December 24th-28th, including the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities, will be published on Tuesday.

It follows the reporting by the department on Saturday of 20 coronavirus-related deaths and 998 positive cases over the previous 48 hours.

The North entered a strict six-week lockdown on St Stephen’s Day, with a review due after four weeks. A “curfew” is in place until January 2nd, with essential retail closed between 8pm and 6am and people advised to stay at home between those times to limit the spread of the virus over the holiday period.

The North’s Minister for Health, Robin Swann, warned on Monday against New Year’s Eve house parties, which he said would not only be against the law, but could be “a superspreader event, could leave people very seriously ill and could even cost lives”.

Mr Swann said “another huge collective effort” was needed to reduce infection rates.

“Please stay at home as much as possible,” he said. “Please don’t be tempted to visit friends this week. It’s not just about complying with the regulations, it’s about keeping yourself and others safe.”

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