The number of people who have died from coronavirus in Northern Ireland has risen by four to 82, according to the latest figures from the North’s Public Health Agency (PHA) published on Thursday afternoon.
The PHA also reported there were 138 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of cases in the North to 1,477. A total of 10,203 people have been tested for the virus.
Meanwhile, the chief social officer for Northern Ireland has insisted that it would be wrong for any hospital or care home staff to put up “do not resuscitate” (DNR) notices for patients without consulting their families first.
Sean Holland made his comment at the Stormont health committee on Thursday after a number of politicians complained that some families were being pressurised to agree to no resuscitation stipulations for their loved ones in Northern Ireland hospitals and care homes.
The matter was raised both at the Assembly health scrutiny committee during discussion on the Covid-19 crisis and separately by Sinn Féin Derry Assembly member Martina Anderson who referred to accounts of such action happening at some care homes.
Such reports were “deeply worrying, against clinical guidance and are simply unacceptable”, she said.
“I have raised this matter with the health minister because elderly, vulnerable people and their loved ones are genuinely worried. Sadly, in some situations DNRs are appropriate but only where genuine and sensitive discussion has been had with patients, or their families, and where their consent has been freely given.”