CORONAVIRUS LATEST: NI death toll from Covid-19 now stands at 78

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By Q Radio news

Northern Ireland's death toll from the Coronavirus pandemic has risen to 78.

The Public Health Agency says there were a total of 84 new positive cases int he last 24 hours.

It comes as up to 16,000 nursing home residents in potential "petri dishes" of infection are at risk unless immediate coronavirus testing begins,

That's according to healthcare workers in Northern Ireland.

A total of 20 care homes have cases of Covid-19, Stormont health minister Robin Swann said, and trade unionists warned they were particularly vulnerable.

Unison union regional secretary Patricia McKeown represents workers in the sector and said they have the least personal protective equipment and the most exposure.

She said: "We are calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to make immediate additional resources available to the entire sector in the form of a dedicated testing programme, and revised guidance for healthcare workers in the homes and in community care with additional personal protective equipment as standard."

She said the vulnerable elderly population also needs protection.

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