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Forty-four care homes suffer Covid-19 fatalities with 410 ‘excess deaths’ in NI

Pensioner old person care home

A total of 44 care homes in Northern Ireland have suffered Covid-19 deaths, figures released today show.

Latest numbers published today (Friday) by NISRA show that, of the 276 total deaths involving Covid-19 occurring up to 17th April 2020, 166 (60.1%) occurred in hospital, 93 (33.7%) occurred in care homes, 3 (1.1%) in hospices and 14 (5.1%) occurred at private addresses or other locations. The 96 deaths in care homes and hospices involved 44 separate establishments.

The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Public Health Agency to 17th April was 212. These figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates, filled out by medical professionals.

The provisional number of total deaths registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending 17th April 2020 (week 15) was 424, 11 fewer than in week 14 but 134 more than the 5-year average of 290. One hundred and one (23.8%) of these deaths mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in the calendar year 2020 to 242.

Over the last three weeks in total, 410 ‘excess deaths’ (deaths above the average for the corresponding week in previous years) have been registered in Northern Ireland.

Males accounted for around half (49.0%) of all registered deaths in the calendar year 2020 to 17 April and slightly more than half (54.1%) of the 242 Covid-19 related deaths registered over the same period.

The majority of all deaths registered in week 15 and the year-to-date were of persons aged 75 and above. This age group accounted for two-thirds of all deaths and almost 75% of Covid-19 related deaths in the year-to-date up to 17th April.

There have been 5,245 deaths registered in the year-to-date, 30.3% of which (1,589) were classified as ‘respiratory’. The number and proportion of respiratory deaths is lower in the year-to-date than the 5-year average of 1,613 (31.7%).

Alliance representative Jackie Coade commented: “It is very worrying that these figures were not published earlier however of the 157 covid 19 deaths , 41 were in a care home or hospice.

“Locally this is an issue I have been dealing with for weeks as I have been in contact with worried care home workers who have indicated that they have had a lack of PPE or support from management.

“These figures show that we need to make care homes a priority. The residents of these homes are vulnerable and highly at risk of dying from Covid 19. We need to ensure that care home workers have the right PPE equipment and have our full support moving forward.”

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