Covid-19: Nine more deaths in the North as total UK cases pass 3m

Another 1,442 cases confirmed in Northern Ireland as UK death toll passes 80,000

A paramedic is seen outside the Royal London Hospital in England earlier this week. The UK’s total confirmed Covid-19 cases has passed 3m. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

A paramedic is seen outside the Royal London Hospital in England earlier this week. The UK’s total confirmed Covid-19 cases has passed 3m. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

 

Nine more people have died of coronavirus in Northern Ireland, the North’s Department of Health has confirmed.

The news comes as the UK on Saturday became the first country in western Europe to have reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases.

The latest figures bring the total death toll in the North from Covid-19 to 1,443 since the onset of the pandemic.

Another 1,442 cases of the virus were also confirmed in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

In total there have now been 87,588 positive cases in the North since the beginning of the pandemic.

It comes as its health service comes under severe pressure, with hospitals at full capacity and cancer surgery among the operations cancelled in Belfast.

There were 674 people with Covid-19 in hospitals across Northern Ireland on Saturday, including 47 in ICU.

Hospital bed occupancy now stands at 97 per cent, with 19 ICU beds available.

Northern Ireland’s seven-day incidence rate for Covid-19 is now at 600 cases per 100,000 people.

The Newry, Mourne and Down district has the highest incidence rate in the region, at 858 cases per 100,000 of the population, followed by Mid Ulster at 798.5 and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon at 794.2.

Friday saw lockdown restrictions preventing people from leaving home unless it is essential introduced in Northern Ireland.

People can be ordered to return to their homes by police as part of measures agreed by Stormont Ministers.

Tighter rules in relation to movement will remain in place until February 6th, with a review later this month.

Northern Ireland will also require incoming travellers to undertake pre-departure testing for Covid-19, Minister for Health Robin Swann said on Friday.

New strain

The UK passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed coronavirus cases as it grapples with a new strain of Covid-19.

The UK reported an additional 59,937 cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, taking its total number of confirmed cases to 3,017,409. The total is the fifth-highest in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The UK passed 1 million cases on October 31st, which doubled seven weeks later on December 19th. It then took just three weeks to reach 3 million cases.

A further 1,035 people in the UK were reported to have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, bringing the total UK death toll from Covid-19 to more than 80,800, the most in Europe.

Reported deaths are usually lower at weekends. – PA/Bloomberg

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