More than 700 people in Northern Ireland have died as a result of coronavirus, over half of whom were residents of care homes, according to figures released today.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) has published its weekly bulletin.

It says that in the week to last Friday, 22 May, there were 716 Covid-19 related deaths recorded.

The official Department of Health figure on the same day was 504, but the Nisra figures suggest the actual number of deaths was much higher.

Of the 716 deaths recorded by Nisra, 380 (53.1%) were residents of care homes.

It said 318 of the deaths were in care homes while a further 62 care home residents died in hospital.

The two sets of figures are compiled in different ways.

Daily figures produced by the Department of Health include deaths that occurred within 28 days of the deceased testing positive for Covid-19.

The weekly statistics published by Nisra cover all fatalities where coronavirus was recorded on a death certificate.

In many of those cases, the deceased may or may not have been tested for coronavirus, but a health professional believed they had symptoms.

Persons aged 75 or over accounted for nearly 80% of all Covid-19 related deaths registered in Northern Ireland up to 22 May.

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