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Six further Covid-related deaths as Chancellor announces £1.6bn a year budget for NI

There have been six further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the past past 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,675, 367 – up one – of which have occurred in the ABC borough, 201 in the NMD district, and 250 in Mid Ulster – no change in the latter two since yesterday.

There have been a further 1,291 cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update.

There were 161 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the second highest in NI. There were 108 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down, while Mid-Ulster recorded 96. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 205 positive cases.

A total of 3,713 individuals were tested in that time.

There are 345 – down 13 – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 33 – down one – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 81 – down five – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 60 – no change – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are eight ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 106% – up 1%.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak says his budget – announced today – will mean an additional £1.6bn a year for public services in Northern Ireland.

Mr Sunak said it represented the largest annual funding settlement for the devolved governments since 1998.

It means the Northern Ireland Executive will be able to produce a multi-year budget for for the first time since 2011-2015, in turn allowing for better planning of services, particularly in health.

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