726 additional Covid-19 cases confirmed in Northern Ireland

ireland
726 Additional Covid-19 Cases Confirmed In Northern Ireland
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Press Association
Northern Ireland has recorded more than 700 new Covid-19 infections in a 24-hour period.

A total of 726 new cases were confirmed by the Department of Health on Saturday – the second highest number in one day after a record high of 934 infections were reported on Friday.

There was one further death reported, taking the toll recorded by the department to 583.

A total of 65 patients with Covid-19 are being cared for in 20 hospitals on Saturday, with nine in intensive care.

The latest figures show the infection rate in the Derry City and Strabane Council area, Northern Ireland’s current infection hotspot, has increased to 478.5 per 100,000 of the population.

That is up from 422.8 per 100,000 on Friday.

The rate in the Newry, Mourne and Down council area is up to 268.6, while Belfast has also risen to 192.

The area with the next highest prevalence is Mid Ulster at 171.5.

The Stormont Executive announced new restrictions for the Derry City and Strabane Council area on Thursday in an effort to stem spiralling infection numbers.

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They include hospitality businesses being limited to takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining, and a call to avoid unnecessary travel.

The huge rise in cases in the region in recent days prompted Stormont’s chief scientific adviser to warn people in the North on Friday that they should prepare for the potential of multiple winter lockdowns.

Professor Ian Young said it is not yet certain whether intensive periods of lockdown will be required to halt the spread of coronavirus, but it would be “sensible” for the public to plan on that basis.

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