New coronavirus assessment centre opens in Londonderry

A new centre for assessing suspected coronavirus cases is opening in Londonderry.

It will be based at Altnagelvin Hospital and staffed by GPs.

Patients will be assessed at an out-of-hours urgent care building and if necessary transferred to specialist wards.

Meanwhile, the families of Covid-19 patients in Northern Ireland have criticised the “selfish” actions of those failing to socially distance as the death toll reached five.

The number of confirmed cases rose to 172 on Tuesday when Assembly members voted to approve the introduction of sweeping powers to restrict people’s movement in an effort to halt the spread of the disease.

Stormont Justice Minister Naomi Long told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme on Wednesday that as of Tuesday, there were 165 prison officers in self-isolation.

She said: “Closed communities at present are incredibly vulnerable because once the virus gets into the prison it will make it very difficult to stop the spread.”

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