A CLUSTER of coronavirus cases have been identified in vulnerable patients on a cancer ward in County Armagh.
A member of staff on the Haemotology ward has also tested positive, and three other members of staff who have been confirmed as close contacts are now self-isolating.
The ward has been closed for admission following the testing of 12 patients on the ward and the discovery that five have been infected 'and one further haemotology in-patient identified'.
It is understood to be the second cluster identified in the Craigavon Area Hospital in recent weeks, and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has issued an appeal for people to adhere to public health guidelines to prevent a second wave of the disease.
In a statement, the Trust wrote "Covid-19 is rising again in our community. We urgently appeal to everyone to wash their hands, cover their face [and] maintain social distancing."
Craigavon Area Hospital and Trust staff are working closely with the Public Health Agency to manage the situation and ensure the protection of the patients on the ward.
There will be no routine visitation to the ward allowed until further notice 'except in exceptional circumstances', a spokesperson confirmed in a statement.
Due to reduced staff-- with up to 20 believed to be self-isolating due to outbreaks of the virus-- the Southern Trust have warned that people face longer waiting times at the Emergency Department in Craigavon Area Hospital.
“The ED in Craigavon remains open," a spokesperson said, "but is extremely busy and we would urge the public only to attend if there is no other alternative.”
Yesterday, there were 47 new cases of Covid-19 identified in the six counties of Northern Ireland, and no new deaths.