Covid-19: 529 further cases reported in the State

People in parts of Kilkeel, Co Down, asked to get tests due to concern over Indian variant

In Northern Ireland,  73 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recorded. File photograph: Alan Betson

In Northern Ireland, 73 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recorded. File photograph: Alan Betson

 

A further 529 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the State.

In a statement on Twitter, The Department of Health said there were 86 coronavirus patients in hospital with 28 in intensive care.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, no further coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period.

There were another 73 confirmed cases of the virus recorded.

On Friday morning there were 19 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in hospital in the North, one of whom was in intensive care.

On Friday evening, the North’s Public Health Agency (PHA) asked asymptomatic people in some areas of Kilkeel, Co Down, to get tested for Covid-19 after a small number of suspected cases of the Indian variant were identified.

The PHA said the results were suggestive of the variant, also known as Delta, but it has not yet been confirmed.

The PHA said the precautionary testing is in advance of confirmation of whether the variant is present and to reduce the risk of spread in the community.

Testing is opening to everyone in these areas over the age of five. Households in the areas that this testing covers will be contacted directly by PHA in the coming days.

Dr Stephen Bergin, interim director of public health at the PHA, said: “This testing in the Kilkeel area is a precautionary measure to identify asymptomatic cases and prevent community spread.

“We encourage all those eligible in the neighbourhoods identified by the agency to present for testing.

“This is a reminder to everyone through Northern Ireland to continue to carry out all public health measures to help stop the spread of Covid-19.”

New coronavirus cases involving the Delta variant have increased by 79 per cent across the UK compared with last week.

It is now believed to be the dominant strain in the UK.

Meanwhile, three Covid-19 linked deaths occurred in the North in the latest week subjected to analysis by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

The fatalities in the week May 22nd-28th took the total number of related deaths recorded by Nisra to 2,975.

The Nisra data provides a broader picture of the impact of Covid-19 than the death toll reported by Stormont’s Department of Health.

The department’s statistics focus primarily on hospital deaths and only include people who have tested positive for the virus.

Nisra obtains its data from death certificates on which Covid-19 is recorded as a factor by a medical professional, regardless of where the death took place or whether the patient tested positive.

The statistics agency reports its Covid-19 data with a week lag.

The department’s death toll stood at 2,153 on May 28th.

Care homes

Of the 2,975 deaths recorded by Nisra by May 28th, 1,971 (66 per cent) occurred in hospitals, 774 (26 per cent) in care homes, 14 (0.5 per cent) in hospices and 216 (7 per cent) at residential addresses or other locations.

Nisra reported that up to May 28th, the deaths of 1,011 care home residents were linked to Covid-19. The figure includes the 774 deaths that took place in care homes, and a further 237 care home residents who died in hospital having been taken there for treatment.

Care home residents make up about 34 per cent of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, according to Nisra.

In the week of May 22nd-28th, three coronavirus-linked deaths were officially registered in Northern Ireland, some of which took place before that week as deaths can take a number of days to register. – PA