Covid-19: UK reports four deaths in lowest daily total since September.

No further deaths from Covid-19 were reported in Northern Ireland on Monday, as the UK reported four more deaths from the disease in total.

The four deaths mark the lowest such daily figure for the UK since September.

Death totals are often lower on Mondays due to delays in reporting deaths over the weekend.

Another 79 people have tested positive for the virus in the North in the last 24-hour reporting period, it was also confirmed on Monday.

On Monday morning, there were 69 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in the North’s hospitals, eight of whom were in ICU.

The latest figures came as it was confirmed that some people aged 35 to 39 will now be able to access a Covid-19 vaccine in Northern Ireland.

The North’s Department of Health announced “limited availability” of vaccines for that age cohort ahead of the vaccine programme being fully opened to them at the end of April.

People in this age group could book to get the limited vaccines from 2pm on Monday, with appointments mainly available at the mass vaccine centre at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

The department said vaccination appointments in community pharmacies will be made available to 35-39-year-olds later in April as vaccine supplies permit.

Minister for Health Robin Swann said: “I recently announced that we successfully administered over 1 million vaccines across Northern Ireland to the highest priority groups. This figure is expected to rise exponentially as the trust vaccine centres and GP practices continue to deliver second doses while the vaccine centre at the SSE Arena and the community pharmacists push ahead to deliver first doses.

“Opening up to 35-39-year-olds earlier than expected is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all staff who are delivering the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland.

“I encourage those who are eligible to seize this opportunity and take up the offer of vaccination. Getting the vaccine not only protects you but also those close to you.

“I would also strongly encourage anyone aged 40 years or over who hasn’t booked themselves a vaccination appointment yet to do so as soon as possible.”

There were 2,963 new Covid-19 cases reported in the UK in total on Monday, with 32.93 million people there now having received a first Covid-19 vaccine dose. More than 10 million people there have now received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. – PA/Reuters

The Irish Times

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