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Two more Covid-related deaths in NI as Finance Minister says he wants to see children return to classes as ‘quickly as possible’

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

According to the official dashboard, both occurred within the last 24 hour reporting period.

One of those deaths occurred in the ABC Borough which now accounts for 280 overall. The other occurred in Newry, Mourne and Down District, which now has a total of 164 deaths. Mid-Ulster currently has 195.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 2,079.

There were a further 240 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 29 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the second highest in nI behind Belfast. There was a further 21 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 20 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 1,811 individuals were tested.

There are 222 – two more than yesterday – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 32 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 58 people in hospitals in the Southern Trust area – 27 in Craigavon and 24 in Lurgan –  being treated for Covid-19.

There are currently 21 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said he wants to see children return to classes as “quickly as possible” that “online learning is no substitute for face-to-face learning” but that he would be guided by health advice.

Mr Murphy was speaking in response to whether he supported Education Minister Peter Weir’s ambition to bring forward a proposal to scrap the plan to pull primary 1-3 children back out of classes on March 22.

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