COVID19: Five more deaths in Northern Ireland

By Q Radio News

Another five Covid-19 deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said.

It brings total deaths in the region to 435.

The number of fatalities in Wales has increased by 12.  

Another 178 people have died in England, while Scotland's seen a rise of 10 since yesterday.

Meanwhile Ireland's coronavirus death toll has risen to 1,458 after a further 12 deaths were announced by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

It comes after Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster says any changes made to the region's lockdown measures following Boris Johnson's announcement will be nuanced.

Mrs Foster said the reproductive rate of the virus is around 0.8 - 0.9 in Northern Ireland which led to the lockdown regulations being extended for a further three weeks.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday, she said: "We will be looking at some nuanced changes throughout that time and we will be looking to see what the Prime Minister has to say later today. But in terms of the Northern Ireland public, I think it is important to continue to protect them and make sure the virus does not start spreading again in the community, that would cause damage in the community."

She said a roadmap for the region to exit lockdown will be published this week to deal with the economic recovery and society's recovery.

"It will look at how we move to the new normal in a graduated way," she said.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill tweeted an image of the current messaging on Sunday morning, with the "stay at home" slogan featured.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson the new slogan is "a nonsense".

He tweeted: "Just spoke to Boris Johnson about the address he will make tonight. I made it clear that his new 'Stay Alert' message is a nonsense.

"I also stressed the need for a cautious plan to move beyond full lockdown. That plan has to include a proper all Ireland testing and tracing system."

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