The Belfast Trust, which runs hospitals in the city, called on nurses to work later on Sunday and overnight to help ease “extreme pressure” at two hospitals because of an increasing number of Covid patients.
The number of new cases is still high across the North, fuelled in part by the highly transmissible Delta variant and a relaxation in restrictions imposed to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.
On Twitter, the Belfast Trust said: “We are under extreme pressure in the RVH & Mater (two hospitals in Belfast) as we care for an increasing number of Covid19+ patients, alongside emergency admissions.”
“We are asking for help from our Trust nursing staff to work tonight & overnight.”
We are under extreme pressure in the RVH & Mater as we care for an increasing number of Covid19+ patients, alongside emergency admissions. We are asking for help from our Trust nursing staff to work tonight & overnight & ask those available to work tonight to ring 07825 140 173 pic.twitter.com/NN7N0BHBsHAdvertisement
— Belfast Trust (@BelfastTrust) July 25, 2021
Northern Ireland has pursued its own tailored strategy to tackling the pandemic, moving more slowly than England in relaxing Covid restrictions but more quickly than the Republic.
Last week Belfast was shown to have one of the highest coronavirus infection rates on the island. Several postcode areas in the city reported infection rates of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period.
The BT13 and BT12 postcodes, which cover much of west Belfast, had the highest incidence rates (1,950 and 1,450 respectively), while infections were also climbing in nearby Whiteabbey, Co Antrim (1,359), and the Ardoyne area of north Belfast (936).