The Department of Health has reported a further five coronavirus related deaths.

According to the latest update four of the fatalities occurred within the current reporting period and one outside of it.

The death toll in Northern Ireland now stands at 2,048, according to the DoH.

Thursday’s dashboard update also reports a further 281 positive cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of positive cases to 111,932 since the start of the pandemic.

Over the past seven days, the Department says 1,834 individuals have tested positive in Northern Ireland.

There are currently 341 Covid-19 confirmed patients in hospital and 44 in intensive care.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s vaccination process is gathering pace as more and more people are called forward to receive their first jab

On Wednesday afternoon it was revealed that over 509,000 vaccines have been administered, of which 478,825 were first doses and 31,345 second doses.

It was announced on Monday that Belfast’s SSE Arena would be used as a vaccination centre for the country’s adult population, with a likely opening date in April.

Speaking at the time, Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The programme is continuing at pace and we are likely to begin vaccinating priority group 7, followed quickly by all other priority groups, starting in early April.

“This will see everyone aged 60 and under being offered the vaccine – a monumental next step in a population-wide vaccination programme.”

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