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Four more Covid-related deaths as MLA meets police to call for ‘fair and balanced’ enforcement

'The team were very responsive to the concerns we raised with them. I pressed upon them the need to ensure that regulation enforcement across the region is proportionate, fair and balanced'

Covid police

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

All of these occurred in the last 24 hours – according to the official dashboard – which has the overall total now at 1,124.

There has been no further deaths in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough, where the total number of lives lost remains 113. There has been no additional deaths in the Newry, Mourne and Down district, where the total still stands at 72. A total of 95 people have died in the Mid Ulster region, which is one more than yesterday.

There were a further 483 cases reported in that timeframe, with 49 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 59 in Newry, Mourne and Down.

There were 35 cases in Mid Ulster.

A total of 2,410 individuals were tested.

There are 407 people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 29 – up two – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 12 – four less – ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Forty-five patients are in Craigavon – two less than yesterday. To date, 632 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are 10 – one less – Covid patients in Daisy Hill, with nine – no change – in Lurgan Hospital, while there are four – no change – in south Tyrone hospital.

The figures come as a local MLA raised the need for “fair and balanced” enforcement of Covid regulations with senior PSNI officers.

Newry and Armagh SDLP representative Justin McNulty met Area Commander Superintendent Pat Foy and Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor and their teams in Armagh to discuss a range of issues including Covid regulations and rural crime.

He said: “The team were very responsive to the concerns we raised with them. I pressed upon them the need to ensure that regulation enforcement across the region is proportionate, fair and balanced.

“Coupled with their role to enforce the regulations laid down to protect public health is the need to ensure citizens are fully aware of the regulations and how they impact everything from retail, to gatherings in our homes to the hospitality sector.”

Mr McNulty said they also raised issues of rural crime and illegal dumping.

He added: “The team were able to set out the very strong work which is not only going on in local neighbourhood teams but also with their counterparts in An Garda Síochána in County Monaghan and in Dublin.

“The pandemic has seen a drop in crime, in organised crime but it has seen a spike in domestic violence incidents and it’s important that the PSNI work with groups such as Women’s Aid in supporting the victims of domestic violence. And even more it reinforces the importance of delivering legislation in the Assembly to protect and support victims of domestic abuse.

“Finally I raised the issue of the scourge of illegal dumping and the dumping of the horrendous waste which is the by-product of fuel laundering. Communities don’t want this waste in our area and they want to see the PSNI forge strong partnerships with their counterparts in An Garda Síochána to tackle what is a blight on our communities.

“Our engagement was very productive and positive and I think it’s important for community confidence that the PSNI are open and engaging, that they are working with and in communities and that they have the support in local communities as they work to build safer communities.”

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