Covid death toll rises above 600 as NI records highest ever number of daily cases

164 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus, with 24 in intensive care. Credit: UTV

Four more coronavirus-related deaths and 1,217 more positive cases have been reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour reporting period.

A total of 6,538 people were tested for Covid-19 during that time, according to the figures.

In the last seven days, 6,693 people have returned positive test results.

The official death toll rises to 602, but that figure is expected to be significantly higher when deaths in all community settings have been accounted for.Two deaths occurred within the 24 hour reporting period, while two more happened outside.·        Department of Health: Covid-19 data dashboard

In Belfast, 1,160 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the last seven days.

Northern Ireland is to enter a period of intensified coronavirus restrictions after the Stormont executive announced closures of schools, pubs and restaurants.

Pubs and restaurants will close for four weeks, with the exception of takeaways and deliveries, while schools will close on Monday for two weeks, one of which will cover the half-term break.·        Stormont confirms 'vitally important' new Covid-19 restrictions

There have been 1,014 cases in the Derry and Strabane area, which has the highest number of cases per 100,000 population in the UK.164 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus, with 24 in intensive care.

There are 56 confirmed care home outbreaks.