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Seven Covid-related deaths as vaccines administered in Northern Ireland passes 300,000

Health Minister Robin Swann warned against complacency saying: 'I know it’s tough, I know we all want this to be over. But we need to stick to the course in this vital period'

There were seven further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Saturday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with five of the seven passing away inside that period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,922.

The ABC Borough accounts for 249 and Newry, Mourne and Down District 143 – no change in either, with Mid-Ulster with 174 – up two.

There were a further 390 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 79 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – back to being the highest in NI. There was a further 56 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 48 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 2,020 individuals were tested.

There are 602 – down 34 – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 67 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 37 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 173 – a decrease of three – Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area with 113 in Craigavon; 26 in Daisy Hill; 34 in Lurgan and none in South Tyrone.

It comes at the end of a week in which the number of vaccines administered in Northern Ireland passed the 300,000 mark.

Health Minister Robin Swann welcomed the “continuing progress on Covid-19 vaccination”, as it was revealed the Provincewide total stands at 301,279, comprising 275,232 first doses and 26,047 second doses.

The Minister again warned that the progress of the vaccination programme must not give rise to any complacency in the battle against the virus.

He said: “I am very grateful to all those who are working tirelessly to keep the vaccination programme on track.

“There has likewise been a massive collective effort across Northern Ireland to stop the virus spreading. We have to maintain and accelerate the progress that has been made.

“I know it’s tough, I know we all want this to be over. But we need to stick to the course in this vital period.

“The more we push down infection rates, the more we can ease pressures on our hospitals and build a solid foundation for better times. There can be no shortcuts, no rush to any exit door from this pandemic.

“I would also strongly urge those that have been vaccinated to continue to follow the public health advice as they did before.  It can take several weeks to build immunity and the added reassurance of protection against the virus is not the same as invincibility.

“The vaccination programme gives us hope that the sacrifices we are making will be worth it.

“Let’s stick together and keep taking all those steps that we know will keep each other safe.”

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