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LIVE Health Minister Robin Swann answer question at Health Committee

Health Minister Robin Swann is due to answer questions at the Northern Ireland Assembly Health Committee.

The minister will be answering questions on the impact of Covid-19 on care homes in the country from 1.05pm.

The meeting comes as there are over 250 inpatients in hospital with the virus with fears that could increase over the next few days due to the large increase in positive cases over the past few weeks.

As of yesterday, there were 80 confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks in Northern Ireland care homes and ten suspected ones. In total there have been 310 acute respiratory outbreaks in care and residential homes.

Northern Ireland has started a four week ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown which has seen bars and restaurants close their doors.

Schools are also taking a longer two week mid-term holiday, with the hopes that the measures will be able to bring infection rates down.

More than 1,500 fines have been handed out for breaches of Covid restrictions, with the first person being fined last week for failure to wear a mask in a commercial setting.

Yesterday a further 820 positive cases were reported by the Department of Health – bringing the total number of cases here to 28,040.

There were also six further deaths from the virus, bringing the death toll in Northern Ireland to 621.

Follow our blog below for a recap of updates as they happened.

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