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Further 16 Covid deaths as Trust chief says just 15 life or death operations went ahead last week

Craigavon Hospital Ward

There were 16 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Tuesday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with 11 of the 16 passing away inside that period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,763.

The ABC Borough accounts for 208 deaths; NMD 122; and Mid-Ulster with 156.

There were a further 550 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 114 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – still the highest in NI  – and a further 56 in Newry, Mourne and Down. There were 67 cases in Mid Ulster.

A total of 2,363 individuals were tested.

There are 819 – a decrease of nine – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 68 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 31 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 217 Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area; 168 in Craigavon; 19 in Daisy Hill; 30 in Lurgan and none in South Tyrone.

The latest stats less than 24 hours after Southern Trust chief executive Shane Devlin said his team, who normally do 100-plus operations a week, were just about able to carry out 15 life-saving operations.

“In simple terms, we (Southern Trust) have doubled our ICU capacity to manage what we need to manage for our population,” he told a meeting of Council on Monday night.

“As a result,” he went on to explain, “I have needed 170 additional staff in order to double that capacity which basically means I have had to close every theatre I own because I cannot run them, as the people I need in my ICUs, are anaesthetists and theatre nurses.

“Basically, because of our need to look after Covid patients I cannot do operations.

“Now what I was able to do last week was run 15 operations because the harm what would have been done to those patients would have been irreversible – they would have died.

“We were only able to carry out 15 operations which allowed me to keep them alive, when normally we would be doing 100-plus per week.”

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