19 more deaths as covid hospital inpatients up 15% in 24 hours

The death toll now stands at 1,517 Credit: UTV

Nineteen people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures.

The Department of Health recorded the 19 deaths in the last 24 hour period. The death toll recorded by the department stands at 1,517.

A further 1,145 people in Northern Ireland have tested positive for the virus.

The hospitals are operating at 99% bed occupancy, with 869 Covid inpatients, 56 of those are being treating in ICU. This represents a 15.4% rise in the number of inpatients from Tuesday.There are just 22 unoccupied beds, out of a total of 2,964.There are 142 active care home outbreaks.

The latest figures come as nearly one in ten frontline police officers are off duty due to coronavirus.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd insists that despite the significant pressure this puts on the force, the public should expect to see more vehicle check points and officers in their area.

He says it's to ensure people heed the regulations and stay at home unless their journey is essential.

Meanwhile, First Minister Arlene Foster has praised the reduction of the R-number in Northern Ireland from 1.8 to around 1.1.Sharon O'Neill reflects on the pressure facing the health service: