13 Covid-19 deaths reported over weekend in Northern Ireland

13 Covid-19 deaths reported over weekend in Northern Ireland
An infection control nurse looking out from a Covid-19 recovery ward (Niall Carson/PA)

Thirteen Covid-19 deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland over the weekend.

Five fatalities notified by the Department of Health on Sunday came after eight deaths were reported on Saturday.

All victims had previously tested positive for the virus.

There were 1,072 new confirmed cases of the virus reported on Sunday, adding to the 1,117 cases announced on Saturday.

On Saturday Health Minister Robin Swann said the ongoing fatalities provided a “stark reminder” of the impact of the pandemic.

“It will only be through continued vigilance and a collective effort that we can protect ourselves and those we care for,” he said.

Meanwhile, efforts continued on Sunday to get Northern Ireland’s vaccine certification system back to full working order.

The new COVIDCertNI app enables users to show proof of vaccination for international travel.

The system for securing certification was partially suspended on Tuesday after issues with data sharing emerged.

It is being phased back in, with priority being given to those planning to travel in the coming days.

On Sunday it opened to applications for those travelling on August 3.

The latest vaccination figures on Sunday showed that more than 2,262,000 million jabs have been administered in the region to date.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann said the weekend death figures had provided a stark reminder of the impact of the pandemic (Niall Carson/PA)

On Saturday vaccination centres saw a surge in activity as they administered first doses to adults for the last time.

Operations at Northern Ireland’s mass vaccine centres are being phased out in the coming weeks as the programme adjusts how the majority of jabs are delivered.

First doses were available to adults for the last time on Saturday, with second doses continuing to be administered in the centres in the coming weeks.

A number of first doses will still be given at the centres to specific groups of eligible under-18s.

The mass vaccination centres, which have done much of the heavy lifting during the rollout, are being gradually stood down to enable redeployed staff to return to other health service roles.

This will mean the SSE Arena in Belfast and the leisure centres that have facilitated the vaccination programme will be able to resume their normal functions.

Vaccines will continue to be available through pharmacies and mobile clinics.

Community pharmacies will expand their vaccination programmes with the addition of the Moderna vaccine.

Mobile vaccination teams will also continue to visit towns and venues across Northern Ireland.

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