A further 16 people have died after contracting coronavirus in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has confirmed.
ifteen of those deaths occurred in the 24 hours up to 10am on Friday and one happened previously.
The death toll has now risen to 1,915.
Another 506 new Covid cases were also identified in testing.
There have been 3,203 positive cases in the last week, down from 3,984 in the previous seven days.
Hospital occupancy is at 94% with 2,841 people in beds. A total of 67 patients with Covid-19 are in intensive care – 61 of those are ventilated.
And 98 care homes are dealing with an outbreak of the virus.
It comes after different figures reported by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) found the death toll has reached 2,495 after a further 124 people lost their lives.
The NISRA figures are based on death registrations by medics.
NISRA released the latest Covid-19 statistics on Friday, which have revealed that 124 deaths linked to the virus were reported between January 23 and 29.
According to the figures, 78 more deaths were reported than the five-year average for the period.
However, the figures have also suggested that the Covid-19 death rate may be beginning to decline from the previous week’s pandemic record high of 182 Covid-19 related deaths.
The figures have also revealed that deaths of care home residents now account for 37.4% of all Covid-19 related deaths.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the continuing progress on Covid-19 vaccination, with the number of vaccines administered in Northern Ireland climbing past the 300,000 mark.
The latest Northern Ireland-wide total stands at 301,279, comprising 275,232 first doses and 26,047 second doses.
He again warned, however, that the progress of the vaccination programme must not give rise to any complacency in the battle against the virus.
“I’m very grateful to all those who are working tirelessly to keep the vaccination programme on track,” he said.
“There has likewise been a massive collective effort across Northern Ireland to stop the virus spreading. We have to maintain and accelerate the progress that has been made.”
Mr Swann continued: “I know it’s tough, I know we all want this to be over. But we need to stick to the course in this vital period.
“The more we push down infection rates, the more we can ease pressures on our hospitals and build a solid foundation for better times. There can be no shortcuts, no rush to any exit door from this pandemic.
“I would also strongly urge those that have been vaccinated to continue to follow the public health advice as they did before. It can take several weeks to build immunity and the added reassurance of protection against the virus is not the same as invincibility.”
He added: “The vaccination programme gives us hope that the sacrifices we are making will be worth it.
“Let’s stick together and keep taking all those steps that we know will keep each other safe.”