By Peter Moor
48 new cases of COVID-19 have been announced in Northern Ireland by the Department of Health.
It brings the total number of cases to 6,188.
Yesterday, the Department revealed 76 new cases of the virus had been diagnosed over the weekend.
BREAKING: New COVID-19 stats from @healthdpt— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 11, 2020
📍48 new cases of virus since yesterday
📍Brings total cases to 6,188
📍No new deaths reported - number of fatalities remains at 557.
📍Comes after yesterday’s news of first new death, after 27 days without any being reported pic.twitter.com/3tt6CWCHoB
Northern Ireland's Health Minister Robin Swann has expressed concern at the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the region.
Mr Swann said there had been 194 positive tests in the last seven days.
"I am concerned about the rise in positive cases in recent days," he said.
"We now have an average of over 27 new positive cases per day compared to approximately three per day a few short weeks ago.
"It is very concerning that nine people have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, two of which are currently in ICU. This highlights the continuing threat from Covid-19 and we must all do everything within our power to tackle this."
Robin Swann added: "Contact tracing remains key to tackling Covid-19 and I congratulate the team who are working hard to track and trace those who have been in contact with positive cases.
"The Stop COVIDNi app is also fundamental in this fight. Since going live I am heartened that there have been over 230,000 downloads however I am urging everyone to share the app with friends and family who have not yet got it. The more people that have it, the more effective it will be.
"We spent many weeks clapping in support of our health and social care staff and I urge everyone to remember why we did that. The threat has not gone away and our HSC system still needs our support. The measures that we have introduced will help slow the spread of Covid-19 and keep more of our loved ones and family safe.
"I therefore make no apology for once again urging everyone to remain vigilant. Do not let down your guard. Continue to wash your hands regularly and wear your face covering in enclosed spaces like shops and always keep your distance. It is easy to forget how important social distancing is however we all must remember how far we have come since the beginning of this pandemic. Do not let your resolve wain. Stay at least two metres from people from outside your household wherever possible and closely follow other mitigations at all times."
Stock image of COVID-19 virus
Today's release also showed no new deaths related to the virus in the past 24 hours.
Yesterday, one new fatality linked to the Coronavirus was announced - the first to be reported after 27 days.
557 people have now died having contracted the virus.
Department of Health Logo
However, the Department of Health death toll is mainly based on hospital deaths and is lower than the death toll announced on Friday by NISRA.
The body recorded 855 deaths but their figures are based on the information entered on death certificates, completed by medical professionals.
They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.
Whereas, these figures from the Department of Health are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus.
Nurse working at COVID-19 testing site
The Department of Health data also showed 8 care homes here now have confirmed outbreaks of the virus, with 2 having suspected outbreaks.
185 care homes now have closed outbreaks.
The dashboard also provides information on the intensive care bed capacity throughout Northern Ireland.
Only 2 patients remain in intensive care units, with 75 beds being occupied by other non-COVID-19 patients.
Therefore, there are now 22 ICU beds unoccupied across the region's hospitals.