Hospitals in Northern Ireland operating over 100% capacity amid recent surge in Covid-19 cases
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Hospitals in Northern Ireland operating over 100% capacity amid recent surge in Covid-19 cases

MORE than half of all Northern Irish hospitals are operating at over maximum capacity, according to recent figures.

The latest data from the North's Department of Health shows the pressure hospitals are under.

As of October 27, there are 2,979 occupied beds, some 76 over the 2,903 capacity.

Seven hospitals around the country currently have patients awaiting admission.

Facilities in Altnagelvin, Antrim, Causeway, Belfast Mater, Royal Victoria, South West Acute and Ulster are operating over maximum capacity, with 221 patients still waiting for care.

There are 352 Covid-19 patients in hospital around the country, with 44 patients in intensive care - 37 of which are on ventilation.

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According to reports, there are only 13 ICU beds left available.

On Wednesday, 840 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed, as well as nine further deaths, including the youngest so far in Northern Ireland, a patient aged 19 or under.

It comes as the country attempts to deal with a second wave of the virus, and Health Minister Robin Swann urged the Northern Irish people to follow public health guidance to try and curb the spread and ease pressure on the health sector.

"My plea to the public is to rally round our health and care staff, we can and must thank and praise them but they do need more from us so please do everything you can to stop this virus from spreading further," he said.