There were nine further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Thursday).
Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with eight of the nine passing away inside that period.
The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,966.
The ABC Borough accounts for 258 – up one – and Newry, Mourne and Down District 152 – up three – and Mid-Ulster with 178 – up one.
There were a further 253 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 65 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the highest in NI. There was a further 15 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 43 in Mid-Ulster.
A total of 1,806 individuals were tested.
There are 518 – down 26 – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 58 – down three – of whom are in intensive care units.
There are currently 34 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.
A total of 158 – an increase of two – Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area with 95 in Craigavon; 28 in Daisy Hill; 28 in Lurgan; none in South Tyrone; and seven in St Luke’s.
Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist Alderman Glenn Barr has called on Executive for tailored financial package for travel agents and those in the industy.
“It is a bizarre situation where the travel industry to date, which is one of the hardest hit due to Covid-19, has had no financial support with over 100 high street business now facing a bleak future,” said Alderman Barr.
He added: “Rent and mortgage payments, electricity and telephone bills all stayed the same while earnings plunged.
“As the pandemic hit last March travel agents remained open to help customers alter holiday arrangements or obtain refunds.
“They had customers stranded across the world who had to be repatriated – very time-consuming, stressful and costly for them all.
“Whilst many have been able to furlough staff, to protect those jobs, the business itself need financial support to allow them to trade in the future.
“I have raised this with our MLA team who will be pressing the Finance Minister and the Economy Minister to bring forward a bespoke package to support our travel industry.”
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— to armaghi.com