Four Covid-19 deaths in NI reported as some pupils prepare for school return

The latest figures came ahead of the return of some pupils to school for the first time since the latest lockdown started in December
Four Covid-19 deaths in NI reported as some pupils prepare for school return

File picture of a Covid-19 test. 

A further four people have died with coronavirus in Northern Ireland.

Another 172 positive cases of the virus in the previous 24-hour period were also notified by the Department of Health on Saturday.

The latest figures came ahead of the return of some pupils to school for the first time since the latest lockdown started in December.

P1 to P3 pupils will return to class on Monday but are set to go back to remote learning after two weeks.

No date has yet been announced for the wider return of all children to school.

The Stormont Executive published its blueprint for exiting lockdown restrictions last week.

It focuses on nine key areas – retail, hospitality, education and young people, work, culture, heritage and entertainment, sports and leisure, travel and tourism, worship and ceremonies, home and community.

Ministers were criticised for not including dates for the return of each sector.

But they said decisions on moving between stages will be based on scientific and medical evidence, not the calendar.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has said ministers hope the process of exiting lockdown will be well advanced by June 10.

On Saturday, there were 226 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, with 30 in intensive care.

Meanwhile more than 600,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the region.

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