Covid death toll in Northern Ireland exceeds 4,000

The number of deaths in Northern Ireland linked to Covid-19 has now exceeded 4,000.

Another 18 deaths were recorded in the week of December 25 to 31, according to data compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

They bring the total number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded by Nisra during the pandemic to 4,024.

Of these, 2,806 (69.7%) took place in hospital, 868 (21.6%) in nursing homes, 16 (0.4%) in hospices and 334 (8.3 %) to residential addresses or other places.

The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health (DoH) as of December 31 was 2,928.

Nisra’s figure is taken from different data sources and is always higher than the Department of Health’s total, as it provides a broader picture of the impact of Covid-19.

The department’s statistics focus primarily on hospital deaths and only include people who test positive for the virus.

Nisra obtains its data from death certificates on which Covid-19 is recorded as a factor by a healthcare professional, regardless of the place of death or whether the patient has tested positive.

The statistics agency reports its Covid data with a lag of one week.

Nisra reported that up to December 31, the deaths of 1,141 nursing home residents were linked to Covid-19, 29% of all coronavirus-related deaths.

The Covid-19 was also mentioned on the death certificates of 14 of the 243 deaths recorded during the week to December 31.

Some of the deaths recorded during the week of December 25-31 may have occurred before this week, as their registration can take several days.

People aged 75 and over represent 73.5% of the 4,013 Covid-related deaths recorded between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, the local government districts of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​and Mid-Ulster recorded higher proportions of coronavirus-related deaths (12.4% and 8.1% respectively ) compared to their share of all deaths in Northern Ireland (10.4% and 6.6% respectively).

Meanwhile, Ards and North Down and Fermanagh and Omagh both have relatively low shares of recorded deaths linked to Covid-19 (2.2 and 2.0 percentage points lower than their respective shares of all deaths).

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