The total number of deaths since the pandemic began now stands at 2,646

Covid-19: Seven more deaths as 1,355 new cases recorded

by · The Irish News

Another seven people have died after contracting Covid-19, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The total number of deaths since the pandemic began now stands at 2,646.

A further 1,355 new cases of the virus were recorded in the most recent 24-hour reporting period.

As of this morning there were 358 Covid-19 postive patients in hospital and 33 in intensive care. Of these, 24 were on ventilators.

Hospsitals are over capacity by 183 beds. Most hospitals in the north are operating beyond capacity.

Today's figures were released after a Stormont decision to lift coronavirus rules despite mounting pressures on the health service was branded “complete madness” by medics.

Dr Tom Black, chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland council, said the relaxations planned for the end of the month would ultimately lead to more Covid-19 deaths.

He criticised the move as “stupidity” as he warned the health system in the north was facing its “worst crisis ever” this winter as it dealt with the “triple whammy” of Covid, winter pressures and spiralling waiting lists.

Meanwhile, in the Republic there have been a further 2,466 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

As of this morning, there were 457 patients in hospitals with the disease, with 90 of those in intensive care units.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "The bank holiday weekend will bring increased levels of socialising across the country.

"With the current trajectory of the disease in Ireland it is important that every individual knows and acts on the basic measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

"Keep social distance, wear a face mask appropriately, wash your hands regularly and manage your contacts.

"If you are meeting indoors with others, ensure the room is well ventilated, avoid crowded situations and if it feels like an unsafe environment, leave."