A further 10 people have died in Northern Ireland after contracting coronavirus, the Department of Health has confirmed.
our of those deaths occurred in the 24 hours up to 10am on Thursday and six happened previously. The death toll has now risen to 1,899.
Another 412 new Covid cases were also identified in testing.
There have been 3,205 positive cases in the last week, down from 4,227 in the previous seven days.
Hospital occupancy is at 95% with 2,854 people in beds. A total of 68 patients with Covid-19 are in intensive care – 63 of those are ventilated.
And 99 care homes are dealing with an outbreak of the virus.
The figures come after the Public Health Agency (PHA) announced that 453 care homes across Northern Ireland have now received both Covid-19 vaccinations.
This includes staff as well as residents who agreed to receive the vaccine.
Northern Ireland was one of the first regions in the UK and Ireland to roll out a vaccination programme to care homes.
To date, 100% of care homes were visited and have been offered the first dose of the vaccine – 90% of care homes have been visited and offered the second dose, with work ongoing to complete the remainder as planned.
Deirdre Webb, Assistant Director of Nursing at the PHA, was tasked by the Department of Health to assist with the implementation of the vaccination programme over the past eight weeks to care homes.
“The success of the vaccination rollout to care homes would not have been achieved without an incredible team effort, with people working together and collaboratively across the sector,” said Ms Webb.
“Everyone involved was committed to getting our older care home population and staff vaccinated as quickly as possible, as the care home sector has been so greatly affected by Covid-19.
“Staff were highly motivated from all sides to make the rollout work effectively among this vulnerable group.”
Teresa McClean, manager at Corriewood Care Home in Castlewellan, added: “We had a very positive experience with the vaccination programme. I feel that we all worked well together – the care home staff, the vaccinators and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.
“It went extremely smoothly in our care home, because we had all the preparation done prior to the day of the vaccination programme rolling out in our home.”
Despite the vaccination roll out in care homes, and also to key groups in the wider population, the PHA is urging everyone to continue to follow public health guidance – maintain social distancing, wear and face covering, and wash your hands regularly.
While vaccines offer protection, there is still a chance that a vaccinated person could contract Covid-19.
It is also possible that a vaccinated person, while protected themselves, may still pass the virus on to someone who has yet to get the jab.
— to www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk