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Thirteen further Covid-related deaths in NI as all GCSE and A-Level exams set to be cancelled this year

There were 13 further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health today (Wednesday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – takes in the last 24 hours with nine deaths inside that period and a further four recorded outside that timeframe.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 1,397.

There were a further 1,985 cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 271 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 259 in Newry, Mourne and Down. There were 245 cases in Mid Ulster.

A total of 5,971 individuals were tested.

The infection rate (per 100k) remains highest in the BT60 postcode.

There are 592 – up 15 – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 44 – down one – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 18 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland. Hospitals are now operating at 102% of their capacity.

Eighty-seven – down four – patients are in Craigavon. To date, 798 patients have been discharged from the Co. Armagh hospital.

There are 23 – down one – Covid patient in Daisy Hill, with 10 – down two – in Lurgan Hospital.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Peter Weir is expected to, later today, announce the cancellation of all GCSE, AS and A-level examinations in Northern Ireland this academic year.

Some GCSE exams were due to take place next week but it is likely the examinations scheduled for January, February and May and June will not go ahead.

The news comes a day after transfer tests were cancelled in Northern Ireland.

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