Further lockdown restrictions are set to be imposed from Monday in Northern Ireland, as the region continues to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
here has been a ten-fold increase in the number of weekly cases since July, with 262 positive cases diagnosed in the last seven days.
The spike in cases has prompted Health Minister Robin Swann to reduce the number of people allowed to gather outdoors from 30 to 15 and to limit the number allowed to meet indoors to six people from no more than two households.
Mr Swann also announced that the PSNI would focus enforcement of the Covid regulations in hotspot areas.
According to figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) on Friday, the number of deaths linked to coronavirus in Northern Ireland has reached 866, as of August 14.
NISRA said there were seven deaths involving Covid-19 in the week to last Friday. This is up from four during the previous week, to August 7.
Of the 866 deaths, 456 (52.7%) took place in hospital, 351 (40.5%) in care homes, 51 (5.9%) at residential addresses or other locations and eight (0.9%) in hospices.
The comparable number of Covid deaths recorded in the daily figures reported by the Department of Health to August 14 was 558.
The department’s figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas the NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates.
Meanwhile, the new school term begins on Monday in Northern Ireland for P7, Year 12 and Year 14 pupils and for vulnerable children across all year groups.
All other pupils will return to school the following week.
A leading teaching union, however, has warned that a “rushed reopening” of schools here could result in the “next care home crisis”.
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