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11 Covid-related deaths as Minister says payments to help sports club coming within weeks

'It will help mitigate against the net losses that the sector has suffered'

There were 11 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Sunday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with 10 of the 11 passing away inside that period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,996.

Of those deaths, the ABC Borough accounts for 263 – no change; Newry, Mourne and Down District 154 – up one – and Mid-Ulster with 182 – also up one.

There were a further 176 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 47 in  Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the highest in NI. There was a further 12 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 18 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 1,092 individuals were tested.

There are 476 – up six – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 58 – down one since Saturday – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 38 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 154 – an increase of 14 – Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area with 90 in Craigavon; 31 in Daisy Hill; 33 in Lurgan; none in South Tyrone; and seven in St Luke’s.

It comes on a weekend when Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has confirmed the assessment of applications from the sport sector to the £25M Sports Sustainability Fund, is on track.

The fund, which was designed in partnership with the sports Governing Bodies including the IFA, GAA and Ulster Rugby, is being administered by Sport NI.

It is designed to help clubs and governing bodies who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister said: “The Sports Sustainability Fund has attracted significant interest with Sport NI receiving hundreds of applications from a diverse range of affiliated sports clubs through their respective Governing Bodies.

“The fund aims to provide financial support to sustain Governing Bodies and their clubs impacted by the ongoing Covid restrictions. It will help mitigate against the net losses that the sector has suffered.

“Sport NI are working at pace to assess the applications which are complex given the diverse nature of sport, and will be completed shortly with payments commencing before the end of February as planned.

“The Sustainability Fund will provide much needed financial support to the sector and will help sustain it so that when the time is right and it is safe we can all get back to being active, training, taking part in competitions or simply going to a game.”

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