The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Northern Ireland has been Belfast where there have been 1,324 confirmed cases and 161 deaths recorded by the Department of Health to date.
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The virus originated in the Wuhan province in China at the end of 2019, and the first confirmed case was reported in Northern Ireland on February 27.
By March 21, more than 100 confirmed cases had been reported. On March 25, the number of confirmed cases exceeded 200. On May 8, it topped 4,000.
The first hospital death in Northern Ireland was reported on March 19 and a week later, by March 26, that increased to 10.
And by April 6, there were over 1,000 cases and 70 confirmed deaths. By April 15, the death toll had sadly doubled to reach 140. The death toll in Northern Ireland passed 200 on April 20. On May 1, it hit 365 and exceeded 400 on May 5. It now stands at 542.
On May 26, it was announced that no Covid-19 deaths had been registered in Northern Ireland for the first time since March 18.
According to NISRA, over half of Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 related deaths have come from care home residents since the start of the outbreak.
There was criticism of health authorities for not testing enough people after contact tracing was stopped in March. Testing facilities have since been built around Northern Ireland, and contact tracing has now restarted and has been scaled up.
On April 3 the number of cases around the world hit one million, with over 50,000 confirmed deaths. A week later, by April 10, the official global death toll passed 100,000. According to the Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center, there are now more than almost 8m confirmed cases globally, and more than 444,000 people have died. Almost 4m people have recovered from the infection across the world.
Throughout April the epicentre of the pandemic moved from Europe to the US, where more than 2.1 million cases have been recorded and over 116,000 people have died. In the UK, the death toll has exceeded 42,000, surpassing Italy’s to become the highest in Europe. Over 1,700 people have died in the Republic of Ireland with over 25,000 cases.
At the end of May, Brazil, where more than 45,000 people have died, emerged as a new epicentre of the global pandemic.
This article is regularly updated.