Positive Covid tests in NMD at record levels

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Sunday 9 January 2022 17:48

ALMOST 5,000 new positive cases of Covid 19 were reported in the Newry, Mourne and Down District in the week ending January 6.

The official figure of 4,977 represents the highest weekly results of positive testing in the local area.

Some 2,282 cases were reported the 20-39 age group with a further 1,275 in the 40-59 age bracket.

The number of covid related deaths in the District currently stands at 309.

Latest figures published by NISRA show that 18 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in the week 25 December to 31 December 2021. The total number of Covid-19 related deaths that occurred up to 31 December 2021 has now reached 4,024. Of these, 2,806 (69.7%) took place in hospital, 868 (21.6%) in care homes, 16 (0.4%) in hospices and 334 (8.3%) at residential addresses or other locations. The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health (DoH) to 31 December 2021 was 2,928. 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 1,141 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 31 December 2021. This accounts for 28.4% 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 31 December 2021 (week 52, 2021) was 243, 104 less than in week 51 and 57 less than the 5-year average (2016-2020) of 300.

Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate of 14 (5.8%) of the 243 deaths registered in week 52, a decrease of 16 from the previous week. The total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered since the start of the pandemic has now passed 4,000, with 4,013 registered deaths with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate, up to 31 December 2021.

Persons aged 75 and over accounted for 73.5% of the 4,013 Covid‑19 related deaths registered between 19 March 2020 and 31 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 (12.4% and 8.1% 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 (2.2 and 2.0 percentage points lower than their respective share of all deaths).

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