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Coronavirus: Seven new confirmed cases bringing NI total to 52

Seven new cases of coronavirus Covid-19 have been confirmed this afternoon (Monday).

It brings the total in Northern Ireland to 52.

A total of 1,171 tests have been carried out for coronavirus.

Health Minister Robin Swann, answering questions from the assembly on Monday afternoon, they the Health Department does not have the capacity to test all frontline medical staff for the virus and that they have no database on the numbers who are currently self isolating.

He said Northern Ireland currently has 88 adult ICU beds, but that they are working to increase this to 126.

They are also hoping to increase the number of ventilators in Northern Ireland to 179 by the end of this month.

Operating theatres are also being closed to accommodate those who need to on ventilators while fighting the disease.

Meanwhile, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon borough Council is due to meet for a special Council meeting to discuss its response to the current COVID-19 situation on Thursday evening.

“The health and wellbeing of citizens is the utmost priority at this time,” said Alliance Councillor Eóin Tennyson.

“Parties have already agreed a number of precautionary steps, including the cancellation of events such as the Senior Sports Awards.

“The situation remains under continuous review with senior officers meeting daily to assess and respond to key priorities. Senior staff are also involved in ongoing emergency preparedness and business continuity planning to ensure delivery of services throughout this public health situation.

“Other measures remain under active consideration and we will be seeking further guidance from the Northern Ireland Executive and Public Health Agency in this regard.

“It is essential that proportionate decisions are taken at the right time in accordance with scientific evidence if we are to safeguard the health and wellbeing of citizens.

“At this stage, we would reiterate the need for the public to follow the latest public health advice and encourage everyone to look out for the vulnerable and the elderly in our community over the coming weeks.

“Understandably, there is a lot of anxiety around COVID-19, and we will be pushing for as much information as possible to made available to the general public.”

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