A healthcare worker and his elderly parents have died within two weeks of each other after contracting coronavirus.
Tributes were last night paid to the man, who was in his 50s and worked for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, following his death early yesterday.
It is understood he lived in the Banbridge area and worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Colleagues said he was known for his “dedication to his job”, while others said he “always had a smile on his face”.
It is believed he died just 10 days after his father passed away in hospital on November 1, with his mother having died on October 29.
His parents are believed to have lived in Belfast.
Dr Paul Glover, Belfast Trust senior manager, told the BBC that the man was “a very valued member of staff”.
“I am sure all of his colleagues and those who have worked with him will feel this right at this moment in time.”
Tributes were also paid on social media.
One said: “The corridors of the Royal will miss him and his dedication to his job and staff. I will miss his banter and craic.”
Another described him as a “real character and lovely man”, while another said: “Heartbreaking news, one of life’s true gents.”
The news came as the Department of Health confirmed yesterday there had been eight more Covid-19 linked deaths reported in the previous 24 hours.
Four were in the Causeway Coast and Glens area and one each in the Belfast, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon and Mid and East Antrim council areas.
There were also 791 new cases of the virus, a significant rise on recent days, and 441 coronavirus patients were being treated in hospital – with 47 people in intensive care including 35 on a ventilator.
Hospital occupancy was at 99 per cent.
In the Republic, there were two new Covid-19 related deaths and 362 new cases of the virus, with the number of people in ICU standing at 38.
Meanwhile, the PSNI issued more than 40 Covid notices and two fixed penalty notices for obstructing police following a house party in south Belfast.
Police were called to the gathering on Penrose Street in the Holyland area just before 1am yesterday.
They found 19 people had “locked themselves in a bedroom and initially refused to come out”.
Officers discovered a further two people “hiding in the attic”.
Police issued 32 fines for breaching Covid restrictions and four people received warnings for breaching the rules.
Two people also received fixed penalty notices for obstructing police.
PSNI Sergeant Stuart Jackson said: “Just after 8.15am this morning, police received a further complaint that a party had restarted at the same address.
“Police again attended and issued a further eight Covid one notices.”
He added: “People must understand that the current health restrictions are not a game.
“Across Northern Ireland, people are making sacrifices, not visiting family members or friends and businesses have temporarily closed.
“The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community of this residential area.”
He said police will contact university and further education authorities “who may consider taking action if any of their students were involved with this party”.
— to www.irishnews.com