Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.35 26 Mar 2020


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Three COVID-19 patients have died in the North bringing the total there to 10.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health also confirmed 32 new cases of the virus bringing the total to 241.

Nearly 40% of the cases in the North were under the age of 44 – with Belfast confirming the highest number of cases.

Some 57% of the confirmed cases were men with 43% women.

Island of Ireland

As of yesterday, there were 1,564 cases in the Republic and nine deaths associated with the virus.

The HSE has carried out nearly five times the number of tests carried out by officials in the North.

Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said nearly 18,000 tests had been carried out in the Republic – with 6% coming back positive.

In the North 3,716 people have been tested, with 6.5% testing positive.

Emergency planning

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has unveiled the next phase of its COVID-19 emergency planning for the health service.

In a letter to hospital group managers chief executives, the department’s Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: “Even if the social distancing measures have the impact we hope, our modelling still indicates that we will require more critical care capacity than is currently available.”

He said doctors should now begin categorising their patients into groups based on priority – with the lowest priority those whose treatments can be delayed for two to three months.


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