Covid-19: 22 deaths and 705 new cases in the North

The death toll collated by the department now stands at 1,581
Covid-19: 22 deaths and 705 new cases in the North

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Another 22 people with Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

The death toll collated by the department now stands at 1,581.

A further 705 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the last 24-hour reporting period, the department said.

The figures come as the Stormont Health Minister said on Friday that it was “highly unlikely” that the coronavirus restrictions will be eased after the six-week lockdown ends.

Robin Swann said although the R number has dropped to 0.7, the number of cases and hospital inpatients with the virus remains high.

The Stormont Executive agreed the tough range of measures in December to start from St Stephen's Day until February 6.

Mr Swann said with daily case and hospital numbers remaining high, the restrictions are likely to be required for longer.

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