Coronavirus: Two more people die

Coronavirus test

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Two more people have died in Northern Ireland with coronavirus, the Public Health Agency has said.

It brings the total number of deaths so far to 15.

The Public Health Agency also said 49 more people had tested positive for the virus in Northern Ireland since Friday morning.

The number of new individuals tested for Covid-19 in the same time period is 272, bringing the overall number of confirmed cases to 324.

 
 

Testing will be increased next week to more than 1,100 tests a day, with plans to ramp that up at a national level in the coming weeks.

Earlier this week, Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Michael McBride said they need to ensure the quality control of testing kits obtained from the private sector.

In a separate development, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland confirmed it was part of an NHS staff testing initiative that was announced on Friday.

Workers with symptoms and those who live with people who have symptoms will be checked – starting with hundreds of critical care doctors and nurses.

 

The number of people who have died with the virus in the UK rose by 260 to 1,019 on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the first ever Aer Lingus flight from the Republic of Ireland directly to China has taken off. The plane left Dublin on Saturday and is travelling to pick up critical personal protection equipment (PPE) to fight coronavirus.

It comes after Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy said Northern Ireland had entered a joint deal with the Republic of Ireland and would receive equipment as part of this.

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