BREAKING: 76 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed since Friday, and first new death reported after 27 days without any fatalities

By Peter Moor

76 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed over the weekend in Northern Ireland by the Department of Health.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases of the virus to 6,140.

The Department of Health data also revealed one new death in Northern Ireland related to the virus - it breaks a chain of 27 consecutive days without any fatalities being reported.

This death was reported over the weekend.

The number of fatalities linked to the virus therefore rises to 557.

With today's latest COVID-19 statistics, the Health Minister released the following tweet:

Mr Swann stated: “I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the person who has tragically passed away.

“This is very distressing news and it underlines once again the threat posed by Covid-19.

“I urge everyone across Northern Ireland to do everything they can to keep themselves and others safe. We all have to remain on high alert.

“There are practical and vital steps we can each take – including maintaining social distancing, washing our hands and wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces like shops.

“The Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer have warned against complacency – and I would call on everyone to heed that warning.

“We have a duty to protect those in our community who are most vulnerable to this virus.”

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.

Coronavirus pod Antrim

The Department of Health data also showed 2 care homes here now have confirmed outbreaks of the virus, with 7 having suspected outbreaks.

175 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 72 beds being occupied by other non-COVID-19 patients.

Therefore, there are now 22 ICU beds unoccupied across the region's hospitals.

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