World news – GB – Covid cases spike is ‘deeply concerning’ – ‘important decisions to be taken in the days and weeks ahead’


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The new figures came after a further 222 cases were confirmed on Saturday, one of the biggest daily increases in NI during the pandemic.

The total number of confirmed NI cases is now at 9,341, including 977 in the last seven days. 

The virus is also making inroads to NI care homes once again, with 27 confirmed outbreaks and a further 11 suspected. 

On Friday it was revealed five more people had died, in Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals, following outbreaks which saw 156 staff either infected or self isolating.

The chair of the Stormont health committee has also referred to “areas of grave concern” within the Covid-19 testing system.

Colm Gildernew said his committee wants to speak to Mr Swann and urged that answers are provided to the families of the five patients who died.

“The families are entitled to know the truth of what has happened in their loved one’s case, but also the health service needs to very quickly learn how this happened and how they can prevent it happening in further settings,” he told the BBC.  

Police said last night that they have issued 47 Covid notices and nine prohibition notices over the previous two nights in ongoing operations in the Holylands area of Belfast. 

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill will be among a number of people interviewed by police over alleged breaches of Covid regulations at the funeral of Bobby Storey.

The developments came as UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned Britain that it is at a “tipping point” as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.

Last night Health Minister Robin Swann said the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland is “deeply concerning”.

In a social media post, Mr Swann said “important decisions to be taken in the days and weeks ahead”.


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