Several milestones for NI as public health data continues positive trend, even as concern builds in GB
The total number of coronavirus vaccinations in Northern Ireland has now passed 1.7 million, new figures from the Stormont health department show.
A total of 1,044,147 first doses and 657,987 second doses have now been administered — meaning roughly 72% of all adults have at least some protection against the virus, with 45% now fully vaccinated.
The vaccine figures come as the latest public health data continues to show a positive trend in Northern Ireland even as concern grows in other parts of the UK.
Northern Ireland recently marked 10 consecutive days with zero new virus deaths reported – the longest spell with no fatalities since last summer.
There was one death reported on Saturday, however, and none again on Sunday, meaning the total number of fatalities recorded by the health department now stands at 2,153.
There were 28 people in hospital with the virus when the latest figures were recorded on Sunday – one of the lowest numbers since the pandemic reached our shores and a decrease of more than 97% on the figure recorded at the peak of the pandemic on January 13, when 1,051 people carrying the virus required hospital care.
Total inpatient numbers fell below the 30 mark on Wednesday for the first time in nearly nine months.
Save for a period last summer that lasted little more than a month, between the first and second waves of infection, patient numbers have been higher than 30 at all times since St Patrick’s Day last year.
The picture is somewhat different in other parts of the UK.
The latest data from England suggests that although hospital admissions are rising in some parts of the country affected by the Indian variant, they remain at a very low level compared with the winter peak.
Between May 19 and 25, 870 people went into hospital with coronavirus, an increase of 23.2% compared with the previous seven days.
Meanwhile, the reproduction number – the R value – for England is 1 to 1.1, up from 0.9 and 1.1 the previous week, suggesting the epidemic is growing.
In the Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, there were 99 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Saturday. Of that total, 38 patients with the virus were in intensive care.