A further 273 people in Northern Ireland have tested positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health has confirmed.
his is the highest daily tally reported since the pandemic began and brings the total number of confirmed cases reported to 10,223. Some 1,236 cases have been diagnosed in the last week alone.
No further deaths have been reported. The death toll remains at 577.
The are currently 46 Covid patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with five in intensive care.
A total of 27 care homes are also dealing with outbreaks of the virus.
Meanwhile, separate figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) show that, up to September 18, there have been 891 deaths involving the virus registered. The comparative figure from the Department of Health (DoH) up to this period was 575.
Deaths recorded by Nisra differ from the daily tally reported by the DoH in that they include all fatalities where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate, whereas the DoH only includes those who previously tested positive.
From September 12 to September 18, eight deaths involving Covid were registered by Nisra, one more than the previous week, while five Covid deaths were reported by the DoH over the same period.
Of the 896 deaths recorded by Nisra, 479 (53.5%) took place in hospital, 355 (39.6%) in care homes, eight (0.9%) in hospices and 54 (6.0%) at residential addresses or other locations.
Further analysis shows that, of the 436 deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 in the year to September 18, 355 (81.4%) happened in care homes, with the remaining 81 occurring in hospitals. This means deaths of care home residents account for 48.7% of all Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland.
It comes after a former party colleague of DUP MP Sammy Wilson said he was “totally furious” when he saw a photograph of the East Antrim representative on the Tube without a face covering in contravention of Covid regulations.
Jimmy Spratt, who sat on the Assembly alongside Mr Wilson for several years, is undergoing treatment for cancer and said he “expects more” from his erstwhile colleague.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph on Thursday, Sammy Wilson said he wore a mask for the entirety of his train journey, apart from a short period of time when he took it off to make a phone call. A witness however, claimed he did not wear a mask for any of the journey.
Jimmy Spratt told the BBC he expected Mr Wilson to toe the line when it comes to Covid regulations.
“The bottom line is Sammy is a very senior MP, a former colleague of mine in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and I expect more from a public representative, particularly at this time,” he said
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