ACCORDING to the latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) a total of 516 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred.
In the figures published today (Friday) it is revealed that 115 of these deaths occurred in the week from 25 April to 1 May.
Of these, 39 occurred in hospital, 71 in care homes, one in a hospice and four at home.
Differences between NISRA’s death registration statistics and the daily totals reported via the Department of Health include the fact that the daily updates provided by the Department of Health (DoH) count the number of deaths reported by Trusts, where the deceased had a positive test for Covid-19 and died within 28 days, whether or not Covid-19 was the cause of death.
DoH figures will not capture all deaths that do not meet this definition. These data are important because they are available earlier, and therefore give a quicker indication of what is happening day by day and are broadly comparable with the figures released daily in other parts of the United Kingdom (UK).
The DoH reported 383 deaths associated with Covid-19 by 1 May 2020 (including revisions up to 6 May). Responsibility for reporting these daily updates moved from the Public Health Agency (PHA) to the DoH on 19 April.
Of the 516 deaths reported 253 (49 per cent) took place in hospital, 232 (45 per cent) in care homes, four (0.8 per cent) in hospices and 27 (5.2 per cent) at residential addresses or other locations.
The 236 deaths in care homes and hospices involved 66 separate establishments.
The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health to 1 May was 383. These figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates, completed by medical professionals. They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.
Separate analyses based on the date of death registration, shows that the provisional number of total deaths registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending 1 May 2020 (week 17) was 427, 43 fewer than in week 16, but 107 more than the five-year average of 320.
Over the last five weeks in total, 704 ‘excess deaths’ (deaths above the average for the corresponding period in previous years) have been registered in Northern Ireland.
Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate for 124 (29.0 per cent) of the 427 deaths registered in week 17, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered in the calendar year 2020 to 494.
Males accounted for around half of all registered deaths (48.9 per cent) and Covid-19-related deaths (50.4 per cent) in the calendar year to 1 May. Persons aged 75 and over accounted for two-thirds (66.9 per cent) of all deaths and 77.1 per cent of Covid-19-related deaths registered this calendar year up to 1 May.