Coronavirus: Nine more Covid-19 deaths in NI

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There have been nine more coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

It brings the number of deaths in Northern Ireland recorded by the Public Health Agency to 216.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said the executive sent its "heartfelt sympathies" to the relatives of those who had died.

Revised modelling has indicated NI could see 1,500 deaths in the first 20 weeks of the pandemic.

In the UK, 823 new deaths have been recorded, bringing the total of deaths across the UK to 17,332.

Meanwhile, a further 44 reported deaths in the Republic of Ireland brought its total to 730, as the government in Dublin said gatherings of more than 5,000 people would remain banned until at least September.

'Prepare for new normal'

Speaking at the executive's daily press conference, Ms O'Neill said her thoughts were with the families of those who had lost loved ones.

"I begin each day by recognising all those who have died because it's important we keep all those who have died at the forefront of our minds," she added.

"It reflects the importance of why we're doing what we're doing."

First Minister Arlene Foster said now was not the time to "take the foot off the pedal or return to our pre-Covid-19 routine".

"All of us need to think about what society may look like when restrictions are eventually lifted," she said.

"We must all face the reality that when the initial threat recedes, it will not be business as usual.

"Everyone in a position of responsibility in the public and private sectors need to prepare for a new normal."

The first and deputy first ministers said they were working to map out a path to recovery but warned it would not come quickly.

"It will be graduated, one step at a time, taken at the right time," said Mrs Foster.

"Please remember this won't last forever, but for now we must not forget that Covid-19 is still here," added Ms O'Neill.

In other developments: