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Two more Covid-related deaths as publication of Stormont exit plan delayed

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

According to the official dashboard, one death occurred in the past 24 hours, while the other took place outside of the reporting period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 2,057.

Of those deaths, the ABC Borough accounts for 276; Newry, Mourne and Down District at 161; and Mid-Ulster with 194.

There were a further 138 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 12 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the third highest in NI. There was a further eight in Newry, Mourne and Down and nine in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 960 individuals were tested.

There are 302 – one more than yesterday – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 34 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 37 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 97 – one more than yesterday – Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area – with 46 in Craigavon; 12 in Daisy Hill, 34 in Lurgan, five in St Luke’s, Armagh and none in South Tyrone.

The latest stats come after the Executive confirmed that any publication with regards Northern Ireland’s recovery plan is unlikely to be released until Tuesday.

Ministers had hoped that a plan would be available on Monday but work is still ongoing to finalise details.

It is understood the blueprint will focus on nine areas across social and business settings, with each section having  five steps out of lockdown.

This is to be guided by data, including; the rate of infection, hospitalisations, vaccine rollout and progress in testing and tracing positive cases.

Ministers will meet again on Tuesday morning with hopes of completing the pathway-to-recovery document.

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