COVID-19 UPDATE - 5 further deaths and 1,020 new cases detected

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By PA reporter

Five further deaths of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health said there had also been 1,020 new confirmed cases in the last 24-hour reporting period.

On Monday morning there were 379 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 33 in intensive care.

A total of 2,506,669 vaccines have been administered.

Meanwhile,

Speaking ahead of the next meeting of the Stormont Executive on Thursday, Michelle O’Neill said decisions should be cautious.

“Thursday’s Executive is going to be a very important one in terms of decisions around what comes next,” she said.

“Clearly we are experiencing very high levels of Covid, a very difficult time for the health service. Healthcare staff are stretched to full capacity and really exhausted after the last 18 months, and they continue to really feel that pressure.

“I think the Executive on Thursday will have to look at where we are now, have to look about planning for the winter and what’s going to be a very uncertain period, I think, over the winter months.

“We have to take decisions, I believe we need to be cautious, we need to make progress, of course, but we need to move very cautiously as we go through the next number of months if we’re going to protect not only ourselves, our loved ones.

“It’s not just in terms of the Covid crisis and the pressure in our hospitals, it’s the knock-on impact that it has across our health service for those patients requiring treatment for many other conditions.

“That is all a very challenging picture. I’m going to visit a hospital in the morning and hear from staff first-hand the pressure that they are under, and I have no doubt their plea will be for a steady, cautious approach from the Executive, and that is something that I will be supporting at the Executive on Thursday, and hope that’s where we end up.”

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