Northern Ireland

Coronavirus: Rise in registered deaths for first time since June

A testing vial Image copyright Reuters

The number of weekly coronavirus-linked deaths registered in Northern Ireland has risen for the first time since mid-June.

The virus was mentioned on the death certificates of seven people up to Friday 24 July, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

That is five more than the week before.

Meanwhile, the shielding period for about 80,000 vulnerable people in Northern Ireland has come to an end.

Those with serious medical conditions are able to venture outside from Friday for the first time since March as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said he was urging everyone who has been shielding to remain vigilant and for them to be supported by the wider community.

"As a rule of thumb, assume the person you are passing in the street or who is standing next to you in a queue has been shielding for months," said Dr McBride.

"Put yourself in their shoes - they may well be very anxious about resuming everyday activities."

Image copyright HSCNI
Image caption The StopCOVID NI app will not work on some older iPhone models

Also on Friday, the developer of the new StopCovid NI app said it does not work on iPhone 6 or older models.

The software has been downloaded tens of thousands of times after it was released on Thursday.

Dan West, the Department of Health's chief digital information officer, said hardware constraints meant "not everybody will be able to use the app" because of the age of their device.

Death figures increase

Using Nisra's death certificate information-based measure, 854 Covid-19-related deaths had occurred up to last Friday.

The Department of Health's positive-test based figure for the same date was 556.

Nisra said there have been 448 deaths in hospital (52.5%).

Eighty of those people were normally resident in care homes - a figure unchanged since last week.

Taking that figure and the 349 who died in care homes, it means care home residents account for half of all Covid-19-related deaths.

Corona graphic
Covid-19 in numbers

Week ending 24 July

  • 854Number of deaths

  • 448Hospital deaths

  • 349Care home deaths

  • 7Deaths in the week- up 5 from previous week

Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (Nisra)

Eight people have died in hospices (0.9%) and 49 at residential addresses or other locations (5.7%), both figures unchanged.

People aged 75 and over account for 80% of all Covid-19-related deaths.

The provisional number of all deaths between Friday 17 and Friday 24 July was 307 - 67 more than in the previous week and 42 more than the five-year average (265).

That five-year death rate is used to compare the number of weekly deaths that would normally be recorded at this time of year.

Nisra also recorded the number of "excess deaths" registered in the past 17 weeks as 1,040.

Its measure captures all deaths linked to coronavirus - those involving confirmed infections which feature in the health department's daily figures, as well as the suspected cases in which coronavirus is mentioned on the death certificate.