Two new cases in Northern Ireland

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Two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 18.

The Department of Health made the announcement on Wednesday.

Both cases are adults and their transmissions can be traced to a previously reported case who had travelled from northern Italy.

There have been 246 tests for coronavirus in Northern Ireland, 228 have been negative.

In a statement, the department said the Public Health Agency is undertaking contact tracing for both of the new cases.

The First Minister Arlene Foster told the BBC’s Talkback programme on Wednesday that Stormont needed to “plan for the reasonable worse case scenario”.

“We will move upwards towards the peak. Just how long we can delay that peak into the summer, that’s what we are really trying to do,” she said.

“I don’t want to alarm anybody, but what I do want to say to people is that we are taking all the steps in a proportionate way, led by the science.”

Chancellor
Image captionThe Chancellor said the NHS will receive whatever support it needed to deal with coronavirus

On Wednesday, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced extra support for healthcare and businesses in his Budget.

“Whatever extra resources our NHS needs to cope with Covid-19 – it will get,” he said.

“Whether it’s research for a vaccine, recruiting thousands of returning staff, or supporting our brilliant doctors and nurses… whether it’s millions of pounds or billions of pounds… whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS.”

He also detailed support for businesses with fewer than 250 employees, saying that government will fund Statutory Sick Pay for two weeks.

Source: BBC News

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