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Coronavirus: NI records highest number of new Covid-19 cases

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image captionThere have now been 10,542 positive Covid-19 tests in Northern Ireland

NI has recorded its highest daily total for the number of positive Covid-19 tests since the Department of Health rolled out its current testing model.

A further 319 were reported on Saturday, bringing the total during the pandemic to 10,542.

The department also revealed that one more person has died with the virus, bringing the total number of deaths it has recorded to 578.

There are five Covid-19 patients in intensive care units across NI.

In the last seven days, 1,396 people have tested positive for the virus.

The number of positive cases documented in a 24-hour period surpasses Friday's record of 273.

On the same day, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) reported there were eight coronavirus-linked deaths registered in NI last week.

That was one more than the previous week, according to the latest bulletin from the agency.

Health Minister Robin Swann said the latest numbers "underline once again the seriousness of the situation we are facing".

"Please follow the public health advice to protect yourself and others," he added.

In total, more than 335,000 people have been tested since the pandemic started.

Seventy of the new cases are in the Belfast City Council area and 64 are in the Derry and Strabane District Council area.

The department's data shows there are 27 active outbreaks in NI care homes.

On Saturday, the Irish department of health said there had been five more deaths linked to the virus, bringing the Republic of Ireland's total to 1,802.

It also reported a further 248 cases of the virus, meaning there have been 34,560 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Protest

image captionHundreds of people gathered at Stormont

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have gathered at Stormont in protest at what organisers have called a "manufactured pandemic".

The event's speakers expressed concern about lockdown measures and mask wearing was criticised.

There were frequent loud cheers from the crowd which included a number of young families.

Concern about a potential vaccine for Covid-19 was also expressed.

The event was the latest in a line of protests aimed at coronavirus restrictions and government safety measures.

The Met Police asked demonstrators to leave and the force said anyone who stayed could be subject to enforcement.

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  • Coronavirus: Number of positive Covid cases in NI passes 10,000