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Two further Covid-related deaths as First Minister receives her first Astra-Zeneca vaccine

'The more of us that get the vaccine, the quicker we will find our way out of this'

First Minister Arlene Foster

There have been two further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Saturday).

One of the deaths occurred outside the 24 hours reporting period, according to the official dashboard.

The ABC Borough accounts for 284 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District has a total of 165 deaths and Mid-Ulster currently has 200.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department still stands at 2,109.

There were a further 138 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 11 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There were a further 12 in Newry, Mourne and Down and another 37 like Friday – the highest in NI – in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 1,953 individuals were tested.

There are 130 – 13 less than Friday – people now in hospital across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 14 of whom are in intensive care units – one less than yesterday.

There are currently 37 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Saturday’s figures come as First Minister Arlene Foster received her own first Astra-Zeneca vaccine today at the Castle Park Leisure Centre, Lisnaskea.

Speaking afterwards she said: “I’m just delighted to take my turn and get the vaccine today.

“There is a really positive community spirit here and across all of our centres in a collective effort to combat Covid-19.

“I am grateful to all of the wonderful team of medics and volunteers who are making this happen in GP practices and centres across Northern Ireland every day of the week.

“The programme is having real results. We are seeing falling levels of infection in our over-60s and I’m heartened to see the number of active outbreaks in our care homes reduce well into single figures.

“This week we hit more milestones as over 700,000 got the vaccine for the first time and over 110,000 people got their second jab.

“I’m pleased now to be one of those important statistics. The more of us that get the vaccine, the quicker we will find our way out of this.

“The programme is now expanding with the launch of the SSE Arena facility on Monday. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to step up and get booked in, to help protect themselves and their community.”

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