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Covid-19: Six further deaths reported as over £23.7million issued in Omicron Hospitality Payments

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There have been six further Covid-related deaths reported- five occurring in the last 24 hours- in Northern Ireland.

The total number of deaths now stands at 3,092 – 31 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 416 – up two – of those deaths. There have been 235- up one- in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 288 – up one since yesterday.

There have been a further 4,243 – 140 less than yesterday – positive cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 31,895 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 600 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – still the second highest in NI. There were 341 cases in Mid Ulster while Newry, Mourne and Down recorded 482. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 790 positive cases.

There are 387 – down eight – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 22 – the same– of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 272 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 188 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 99 – down five – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 66 – down four – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are 12 – down two – in Daisy Hill Hospital.

There are eight ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 106%- up 1%.

Meanwhile, the Department of Finance have confirmed that over £23.7million has issued to 1,936 hospitality businesses under the Omicron Hospitality Payment.

Under the scheme, restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, bistros, snack bars, nightclubs, pubs, and social clubs are eligible for a one-off grant payment of either £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000 based on their rateable value.

Last Wednesday (19 January) Land & Property Services (LPS) contacted 3,247 eligible businesses to verify their details to enable the Omicron Hospitality Payment to be made. To date, 2,233 businesses have confirmed their details and LPS has paid 86% of these applications.

Visiting two businesses in Belfast which received the Omicron Hospitality Payment, the Finance Minister said: “My Department has worked at pace to deliver this scheme and I’m delighted that over £23.7million has this week issued to hospitality businesses.

“These one-off grants will provide vital support to the hospitality industry which suffered a severe loss of trade as a result of Omicron.”

Minister Murphy added: “I encourage businesses which still haven’t verified their details to do so quickly to enable the Omicron Hospitality Payment to be made.”

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