There have been fifteen further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Monday).
Seven of these occurred in the last 24 hours, with eight outside that timeframe – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 1,011.
There has been one further death in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough, where the total number of lives lost is 108. There has been two additional deaths in the Newry, Mourne and Down district, where the total now stands at 65.
There were a further 391 cases reported in that timeframe, with 33 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 33 in Newry, Mourne and Down.
A total of 2,611 individuals were tested.
There are 419 people now in hospital – that’s eight less than yesterday – as a result of the virus, 38 of whom are in intensive care units – up two from yesterday.
There are currently 15 ICU beds available in NI – no change from yesterday.
Forty-one patients are in Craigavon today – down two. To date, 614 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.
There are seven – down one – Covid patients in Daisy Hill, with 13 – up three – in Lurgan Hospital.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann has urged people never to underestimate this virus, and to never assume it won’t bring tragedy to your door.
That was the unwavering message from Mr Swann as Northern Ireland reached another sad milestone in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of Covid-related deaths recorded on the Department of Health dashboard has passed 1,000.
“We always have to remember that we are not talking about statistics but much-loved people who are desperately missed,” the Minister said.
“My profound sympathies go to every bereaved family.”
The Minister continued: “This is another harsh reminder of the threat posed by Covid-19. No one should underestimate the virus, or delude themselves that it could never affect them.
“I am very aware that there is still a small and vociferous minority who seek to play down the Coronavirus risks. This includes those who spout conspiracy theories on social media and those who think Northern Ireland could somehow have breezed through all this without adopting restrictions that were widely deployed elsewhere.
“To anyone trying to minimise the impact, I say please think again.”
The Minister again urged vigilance in terms of following public health advice.
“We need to ensure we get maximum benefit from the current restrictions in terms of pushing down infection rates. The same vigilance will be essential throughout Christmas and well beyond it.
“January and February are extremely difficult months for our health service, even in normal times. We need to keep doing everything we can to stop the virus spreading today and tomorrow, this week and next. Our actions will have a direct bearing on how the disease spreads, how it will impact on our lives and whether there will be a need for further restrictions in early 2021.”