Covid-19: NI deaths fall for fifth consecutive week

By Jayne McCormack
BBC News NI Political Reporter

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image copyrightPA
image captionNisra bases its figures on the number of times Covid-19 is recorded on death certificates

The weekly number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland has fallen for a fifth week.

The NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) said the virus was mentioned on the death certificates of 55 people, in the week to Friday 26 February.

That is 23 fewer than the previous week, bringing the agency's total to 2,806.

On Friday the Department of Health recorded two further deaths linked to Covid-19 bringing its total to 2,068.

The Department of Health's figures relate to a 24 hour period and are based on a confirmed positive test result.

The department also recorded 166 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with a total of 242 people currently being treated in hospital for the virus and 29 people in intensive care units (ICU).

Recording mentions of the virus on death certificates, where it may or may not have been confirmed by way of a test, is the reason why Nisra's figures are higher than that recorded by the department. 

Using the agency's measure, there have been 1,837 Covid-19 related deaths in hospital, including the deaths of 235 care home residents. 

Taking that figure, and the 760 who died in care homes, it means care home residents now account for just over a third (35.3%) of all Covid-19 related deaths. 

Fourteen Covid-19 related deaths were also recorded in hospices (0.5%) and 205 were in other residential locations (7.3%). 

Deaths in care homes and hospitals involved 177 separate establishments. 

People aged 75 and over account for just over three-quarters of all Covid-19 related registered deaths (76.7%) between 19 March 2020 and 26 February 2021.  That proportion has been decreasing in recent weeks. 

image copyrightMichael Sheils McNamee

Seven local government districts have had a higher proportion of all Covid-19 related deaths compared with their share of all deaths.  

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon had the highest proportion of Covid-19 related deaths (12.1%) relative to its share of all deaths (10.4%) in Northern Ireland.

The provisional number of deaths from all causes for the week ending 26 February was 351. 

That is one fewer than the previous week (352), and two more than the five-year average for the time of year of 349.

Meanwhile in the Republic of Ireland, nine more Covid-19 related deaths were recorded on Friday, taking the Republic's death toll to 4,405.

The Irish Department of Health also recorded a further 522 positive cases of the virus.

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