Lockdown looms as Covid cases show little sign of slowing down

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Thursday 23 December 2021 7:40

THE prospects of a further lockdown are growing daily as the number of new Covid 19 cases continue at high levels.

From December 10-16 some 1,313 new Covid 19 cases were confirmed in the Newry, Mourne and Down District.

Of these, over 900 were confirmed in those within the 0-39 age groups.

Latest figures published by NISRA show that 28 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in the week 4 December to 10 December 2021. The total number of Covid-19 related deaths that occurred up to 10 December 2021 has now reached 3,950. Of these, 2,748 (69.6%) took place in hospital, 864 (21.9%) in care homes, 15 (0.4%) in hospices and 323 (8.2%) at residential addresses or other locations. The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health (DoH) to 10 December 2021 was 2,921. The DoH count is based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas the NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates completed by medical professionals. They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus and therefore include both confirmed and suspected cases, and where Covid-19 was either a contributor to or the main cause of death.

Further analysis, which includes deaths of care home residents by place of death, shows that there was a total of 1,137 deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 (including deaths that took place somewhere other than the care home) occurring between 18 March 2020 and 10 December 2021. This accounts for 28.8% of all Covid-19 related deaths. However, no assumptions can be made in relation to where the deceased contracted the disease.

Separate analysis, based on the date of death registration, shows that the provisional number of total deaths from all causes registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending 10 December 2021 (week 49 2021) was 368, 10 less than in week 47 and 32 more than the 5-year average (2016-2020) of 336.

Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate of 39 (10.6%) of the 368 deaths registered in week 49, an increase of 10 from the previous week. The total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered to 10 December 2021 has now reached 3,937.

Persons aged 75 and over accounted for 73.7% of the 3,937 Covid‑19 related deaths registered between 19 March 2020 and 10 December 2021.

Over the period of the pandemic, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon and Mid-Ulster Local Government Districts have had higher proportions of Covid-19 related deaths (12.3% and 8.2% respectively) compared with their share of all deaths in Northern Ireland (10.4% and 6.6% respectively). Conversely, Ards & North Down and Fermanagh & Omagh both have relatively low shares of registered Covid-19 related deaths (both 2.2 percentage points lower than their respective share of all deaths).

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