RAF flies patient from Northern Ireland to England for Covid-19 treatment

A patient has been flown by the RAF from Northern Ireland to England for Covid-19 treatment.

The patient was flown early on Wednesday from Belfast International Airport to East Midlands Airport for transfer to Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.

The transfer was described as being to facilitate treatment for Covid-19 related issues.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said this is the fourth time the RAF has provided assistance to Northern Ireland’s department of health by transferring a patient during the coronavirus pandemic.

The spokesman added: “Defence remains committed to helping when asked.”

The MoD also provided assistance in Northern Ireland to create a large morgue at Kinnegar in Co Down to help the authorities cope in the event of very high numbers of deaths with Covid-19.

In April, Health Minister Robin Swann indicated he had sought military assistance to help with the redistribution of essential life-saving equipment and also to assist with the development of a further Nightingale facility “in the event of an extreme surge of Covid-19 patients”.

However, Northern Ireland has so far escaped the previously feared “nightmare, worst-case scenario” of a death toll reaching 15,000 after introducing social distancing measures.

One further death with coronavirus was recorded in the region on Wednesday, bringing the total reported by the Department of Health to 543.

There were eight new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 4,862 since the pandemic began.

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