More than 600 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in North

ireland
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Press Association
There have been 616 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland today, according to the region’s Department of Health.

Some 3,630 cases have been reported there in the last seven days, while no further deaths have been reported today by the department, leaving the toll at 584.

Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy has requested a “very urgent” meeting with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to discuss what financial support would be on offer if Northern Ireland was to enter another period of lockdown.

Clearly the executive and undoubtedly the government in Dublin and government in London are all looking with great concern at the increase in the prevalence of the virus right across these islands.

“Clearly the executive and undoubtedly the government in Dublin and government in London are all looking with great concern at the increase in the prevalence of the virus right across these islands,” Mr Murphy told a Stormont press conference.

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“[They are] considering advice from medical and scientific advisers as to what additional steps might be necessary,” he said.

Restrictions

“Those steps obviously are key to protecting the health of the population, and that’s our first and primary concern, but they also have very serious impacts in terms of the local economy.

“We clearly want to discuss with London additional financial support for the local economy should we move to more severe restrictions in terms of movement and the ability of people to work.”

Mr Murphy was commenting after a meeting of the Stormont Executive, where ministers did not make any decisions on the introduction of further coronavirus restrictions on Monday but are expected to revisit the issue on Thursday.

The minister said he outlined a range of potential financial supports for businesses in the Derry City and Strabane council area that are subject to additional Covid-19 measures as a result of soaring incidence rates of the virus in the north west.

In terms of what support may be needed across Northern Ireland if a further lockdown is required, he said: “The virus is at a very serious place, much more rapid growth than had been anticipated.

“That does require some interventions and so the level of support required will very much depend on the level of restrictions that may be brought in.”

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