149 new Covid-19 cases in NI in 24 hours

Parts of NI have had tighter restrictions imposed to try to limit the spread of coronavirus. Credit: PA

A total of 149 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour reporting period, according to the Department of Health.

There have been no related deaths during that time, leaving the official death toll at 573 – however, that figure is expected to rise significantly when deaths in all community settings are accounted for.

According to separate data from the NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 had already reached 755 by June.

The Department of Health’s latest figures show that 4,917 people were tested during the last 24-hour reporting period.

Twenty-one people who have tested positive are currently in hospital, with four in intensive care and three on ventilators.

There are currently 25 confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes across Northern Ireland and a further nine suspected cases.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health also continues to publish the reproduction or R number on a weekly basis, with the current estimate putting it at around 1.2.

Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young said: “The current increase in cases in younger people is likely to lead to increasing cases in the over 60s with resulting pressure on the hospital system and, tragically, increasing deaths.”

He added: “The 14-day cases per 100k have also increased and remain higher than UK and ROI, though testing is also higher in NI.

“It is obvious from these figures that we are still seeing an increase in Covid-19 across Northern Ireland and we must all play our part in trying to stem this tide, help protect ourselves and those around us, in particular the most vulnerable.”

Parts of Northern Ireland, largely in Co Antrim - including Belfast City Council area, Ballymena town, BT43, BT28 and BT29 - have had tighter restrictions imposed to try to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The BT60 area, which covers parts of Co Armagh, has been added to the list of areas where restrictions are in place.

People in affected areas are not allowed to mix between households, except to allow for support "bubbles" or in other exceptional circumstances. Travelling outside those areas is also being discouraged.

The reopening of so-called “wet pubs” that do not serve food has been pushed back to Wednesday 23 September.

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