Coronavirus: NI message remains ‘stay at home’

Police Officers in front of stay at home messageImage copyright
Stephen Davison/PSNI/PA

Politicians in Northern Ireland have emphasised the “stay at home message” ahead of the prime minister’s address on Sunday.

Health officials in England have changed their message to “stay alert” with regard to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In NI, the message remains the same.

The Stormont Executive has already extended lockdown in NI until 28 May.

On Sunday, NI First Minister Arlene Foster said the message on the whole remained to “stay at home”.

Mrs Foster said Northern Ireland will have a “road map” for moving out of lockdown at the beginning of the week.

She said people in Northern Ireland had complied with the social distancing regulations although “compliance is beginning to fray”.

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PA Media

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Arlene Foster said the message on the whole remained to “stay at home”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Health Minister Robin Swann both tweeted “stay at home” messages on Sunday.

Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry said that in a cross-party call with the prime minister on Sunday, he had expressed concerns about the “stay alert” message.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said he felt the message “doesn’t make any sense and nobody will understand it”.

“I said very clearly to Boris Johnson, it’s not a burglar we are worried about it’s a virus,” he added.

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Getty Images

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Colum Eastwood said he felt the “stay alert” message “does not make any sense”

Earlier on Sunday Scotland’s First Minister asked the UK government not to advertise its new “stay alert” message north of the border.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage.”

On Sunday, it was reported that five more people diagnosed with coronavirus have died in Northern Ireland.

That brings the number of Covid-19 related deaths to 435, according to Department of Health figures.

They show the number of people with a positive laboratory completed test is now 4,119.

The total number of laboratory completed tests is 38,984.

These figures are one of two sets published in Northern Ireland.

The others are weekly statistics from Northern Ireland’s Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), which cover all fatalities where coronavirus has been recorded on the death certificate.

Figures released by Northern Ireland’s Statistics Agency (Nisra) on Friday showed there have been 516 coronavirus-related deaths recorded overall in NI – including 232 in care homes, and four in hospices.

Official statistics on Friday showed that, for a second week, there were more deaths in care homes (71) than hospitals (39).

Overall, there have been 232 care home deaths related to coronavirus.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has called for universal testing for Covid-19 across all of Northern Ireland’s care homes immediately.

A further 269 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died in the UK it was reported on Sunday, bringing the total to 31,855.

The figures count deaths in hospitals, care homes and the community.

On Sunday, it was reported that a further 12 people with Covid-19 have died in the Republic of Ireland.

It brings the number of coronavirus related deaths in the country to 1,458.

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