Coronavirus-related deaths in NI up for first time in seven weeks

Twenty fatalities involving Covid-19 in week ending June 12th, total deaths ‘stand at 802’

Coronavirus pandemic: Belfast remains the worst-affected area in the North, with 234 (29.4%) of virus-related deaths registered in the calendar year to June 12th. File photograph: The Irish Times

Coronavirus pandemic: Belfast remains the worst-affected area in the North, with 234 (29.4%) of virus-related deaths registered in the calendar year to June 12th. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

The number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Northern Ireland each week has risen slightly for the first time in seven weeks.

Figures published on Friday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) showed that there were 20 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week ending June 12th, one more than the previous week.

Coronavirus-related deaths recorded by the agency had been falling since the week ending May 1st, when it reported 119 fatalities. It also reported that 972 “excess deaths” – defined as fatalities above the average for the corresponding period in previous years – had been registered in Northern Ireland in the last 11 weeks.

According to the agency, total deaths involving Covid-19 in the year until June 12th now stands at 802, 48.5 per cent higher than the figure reported in the daily statistics released by the North’s Department of Health, which was 540 during the same period.

One more coronavirus-related death was reported by the department on Friday, bringing its total number of recorded fatalities to 544.

A total of 812 coronavirus tests were conducted in the most recent 24-hour period, the department reported, three people testing positive for the virus; 4,866 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the outbreak began.

Northern Ireland releases two sets of data on coronavirus fatalities. The department figures include all deaths recorded by Health and Social Care Trusts where there has been a positive test for coronavirus. These are mainly hospital deaths.

The Nisra figures are released weekly and are based on death registration. They cover fatalities in all settings and include all those that note coronavirus on the death certificate, whether or not there was a positive test for Covid-19.

Care home residents accounted for 412 deaths, or just over half of the total fatalities involving coronavirus recorded by the agency.

Where did infection happen?

The majority of these – 340 or 82.5 per cent – occurred in a care home, with the remaining 72 deaths occurring in hospital. However, the agency noted that “no assumptions can be made in relation to where or when the deceased contracted the disease”.

Of the 802 deaths recorded by the agency, just over half – 407 or 50.7 per cent – occurred in hospital. The 348 fatalities which occurred in care homes and hospices involved 78 separate establishments.

People aged 75 and over accounted for 79.6 per cent of all Covid-19-related deaths registered in the year until June 12th.

Belfast remains the worst-affected area, with 234 (29.4 per cent) of Covid-19 related deaths registered in the calendar year to June 12th. Fermanagh and Omagh is the lowest, with 16.

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