The death rate in Northern Ireland is half that of England and Foster’s suggestion comes in a week when the projected death toll from coronaviruses in Northern Ireland was reduced to 1,500. Previous modeling had suggested that a worst-case scenario could see 15,000 deaths.
Health Minister Robin Swann said Thursday: “For the time being, our latest data modeling indicates that no additional intensive care capacity will be required during the first wave of transmission in Northern Ireland. “
A virologist at Queen’s University in Belfast attributed the lower than expected death toll to the low population density of Northern Ireland compared to other parts of the United Kingdom.
There have been 263 deaths in Northern Ireland to date, 14 deaths per 100,000 population, half that of England, which was 30 deaths per 100,000 population based on the latest daily figures for hospital deaths published by the NHS England.
The three small countries all had their first deaths later than England, which may mean that the disease started to circulate later, while less urbanization in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could also be a contributing factor.
But Swann, the health minister for the five-party inter-community coalition in Belfast, has warned against complacency in any move to alleviate the crackdown on social, business, travel and other activities in the coming weeks.
By Thursday 263 people had died since the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland. The latest deconcentrated figures from the Ministry of Health show that 17,236 people were tested, of which 3,016 revealed to have Covid-19.
Foster said the lockdowns would be relaxed when scientific and public health criteria were met “not calendars or dates”.
Foster said on Cool FM radio on Thursday that any lifting of the lockdown should be “canceled and approved” by both the Northern Ireland Executive and the London government.
“And because of that, you may well see different parts of the UK moving at different times to other parts, because it will be based on criteria.
“What do I mean by that – we will have to look at the number of hospital admissions, the ICU admissions, the number of deaths we have, what it means to us terms of science, “said the Prime Minister. added.
Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr. Michael McBride, said local health officials had recorded a flattening of the Covid-19 infection curve in the area.
Dr. Lindsay Broadbent, virologist and researcher at the Wellcome / Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University in Belfast, said there were reasons to be optimistic about lifting some aspects of the local lockdown.
“There may be regional differences to end the foreclosure in the UK and Ireland. It will have to be guided by science, “she told the Guardian.