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Eight more Covid-related deaths in Northern Ireland with close to 900 more cases confirmed

The figures has come as a local MLA has called for more support for businesses affected by the most recent restrictions

Corona Covid

There have been eight further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Sunday).

All occurred in the last 24 hours, according to the official dashboard, which has the overall total now at 653.

There were a further 896 cases reported in that timeframe, with 77 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 43 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

A total of 4,072 individuals were tested.

There are 317 people now in hospital – up eight from Saturday – as a result of the virus, 37 of whom are in intensive care units.

Sixty-two patients are in Craigavon Area Hospital today – one less than yesterday. To date, 406 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

Meanwhile, a Newry and Armagh Assemblyman has welcomed support for businesses affected by the current Covid restrictions says there needs to be much more if some areas of the economy are to survive.

The SDLP’s Justin McNulty said: “Last week’s generic package of support by the Finance Minister was a good first step and this was followed up by the support announced by the Executive on Thursday for close contact services who have been forced to close.

“This announcement has to be welcomed, but it has yet to open for applications and people are in dire need of support.

“I welcome the support for the driving instructors, those in the hair and beauty sectors as well as therapeutic services such as sports injury professionals.

“However, there has yet to be confirmed support for those who work in gyms who can continue at a much reduced capacity with their classes being paused. This needs to be resolved as a priority as many gyms depend on organised classes as their main source of revenue.

“I also welcome the progress that is being made by the SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon, who in the few short weeks she has had responsibility for developing a package of support for the bus, coach and haulage industry has done a huge amount of work, and I understand now sought the legislative power to bring forward and deliver a financial package.

“This is much needed and was stalled in the Department of the Economy for far too long.

“These have been difficult weeks and I am in no doubt there are further difficult weeks ahead. Government, both in the Assembly and London, must step in and indeed step up the financial support for businesses.

“We must do all we can to support the retention of jobs and sustain our economy.”

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