Personal care treatments

Covid treatments for most at risk expanded as 20 more deaths confirmed

Twenty deaths linked to Covid-19 have been recorded in Northern Ireland in the latest weekly update.

The latest figures released today by NISRA show that as of July 1, 2022, a total of 4,684 Covid-related deaths have occurred here.

Almost 70% (3,263) took place in hospital, with just over a fifth (986) in care homes.

Just under 10% (435) occurred at residential addresses, hospices or other locations.

A separate analysis, based on death registration date, shows that the provisional total number of deaths from all causes in the week ending July 1, 2022 was 347.

This represents an increase of 25 from the previous week and 65 more than the five-year average of 282.

People over 75 accounted for 73.9% of the 4,674 deaths linked to Covid 19 recorded between March 19, 2020 and July 1, 2022.

Meanwhile, the rollout of Covid19 treatments for people at high risk in Northern Ireland has been extended.

The most vulnerable people here have been able to benefit from drugs that neutralize the threat of the virus since December 2021.

It includes monoclonal antibody treatment at a Trust Outpatient COVID-19 center and oral antiviral medicine to take at home.

The Minister of Health said it was “very encouraging” that more than 4,000 NI patients had so far benefited from the “breakthrough” treatments.

“The expanded rollout of treatment to eligible patients in the community provides an additional layer of support for the most vulnerable in society,” said Robin Swann.

The recent publication of a report by an independent advisory group has enabled more patient groups to benefit from the new medicines.

However, Mr Swann warned that this is no substitute for vaccination.

“The vaccination program remains our first line of defense against COVID-19,” he said.

“However, these treatments play an important role in reducing the risk of serious illness and death and in reducing the number of hospital admissions.

“This will help ease pressures on health services during this difficult time.”

The Department of Health strongly recommends that anyone in a group who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment obtain rapid lateral flow tests to keep at home in case they become symptomatic.

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison praised the clinical teams at the HSC Trusts who have worked ‘exceptionally hard’ to identify and deliver more than 4,000 treatments to the most at risk patients in Northern Ireland.

“I urge anyone in a high-risk group to familiarize themselves with up-to-date information on available tests and treatments to ensure they can quickly access appropriate treatments after a positive result.” he added.