Official analysis puts NI Covid-19 death toll at more than 1,400

Coronavirus swabs, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By David Young, PA

Coronavirus has been a factor in more than 1,400 deaths in Northern Ireland, the region’s statistics agency has said.

Figures compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) present a broader picture of the impact of Covid-19 than the toll reported by Stormont’s Department of Health.

The department’s statistics focus primarily on hospital deaths and only include people who have tested positive for the virus.

Nisra obtains its data from death certificates in which Covid-19 is recorded as a factor by a medical professional, regardless of where the death took place.

The person may or may not have tested positive for the virus.

While the departmental death toll passed 1,000 this week, Nisra has reported coronavirus as a factor in 1,410 deaths that occurred up to November 27th.

The statistics agency reports its Covid-19 data with a week lag.

It found that 68 Covid-19 linked deaths occurred in the week November 21st to 27th.

The comparative total number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health stood at 981 on November 27th.

Of the 1,410 deaths recorded by Nisra by November 27, 832 (59 per cent) occurred in hospital, 474 (34 per cent) in care homes, nine (0.6 per cent) in hospices and 95 (7 per cent) at residential addresses or other locations.

The 483 deaths which occurred in care homes and hospices involved 116 separate establishments.

Nisra also provides an analysis around the total number of care home residents who have died, whether in their home or in hospital, having been transferred for treatment.

Up to November 27th, the deaths of 594 care home residents were linked to coronavirus, 120 of which occurred in hospital.

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Care home residents make up about 42 per cent of all deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

In the week November 21st to 27th, 81 coronavirus-linked deaths were officially registered in Northern Ireland, some of which occurred before that week as fatalities can take a number of days to register.

The weekly registration total fell for the first time since early October.

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