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Dungannon hardest hit by Covid

TYRONE recorded 47 Covid-19 related deaths during the pandemic outbreak with over half the deaths occurring in the Dungannon area.

According to new figures released by statistics agency Nisra, the Dungannon area has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 related deaths in Tyrone with 28 deaths occurring in the area.

The figures revealed the number of deaths that took place in each postcode area across the North.

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In total, Tyrone recorded 47 Covid related death with several areas such as Castlederg, Fivemiletown, Clabby Auger, Aughnacloy and Clogher reporting zero deaths.

Dungannon post code BT71 – taking in Coalisland, Moy, Bush, Moygashel, Stewartstown,

Killcolpy, Benburb and Blackwatertown – had 19 deaths.

Another Dungannon postcode BT70 – taking in Ballygalwey, Cappagh, Castlecaulfield, Donaghmore, Galbally, Garvaghy, Pomeroy, Rock and Seskilgreen – had nine deaths.

The figures also revealed that areas of higher deprivation suffered higher rates of Covid-19, and Chair of the Stormont Health Committee, MLA Colm Gildernew explained that Dungannon has historically had persistent  pockets of deprivation. 

Speaking to the Tyrone Herald, he said, “I am very concerned that a potential second wave could hit a town like Dungannon very hard particularly the most deprived and marginalised.

“Areas of deprivation typically provide less opportunity for people to socially distance, and lower incomes often means people do not have the means to access face-masks, sanitisers, and other hygiene needs.

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“This is something local trusts, the Public Health Authority and the various departments need to address immediately.”

Mr Gildernew also believes that migrant workers are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 especially if there is a second wave.

He continued, “Dungannon also has a high number of migrant workers many of whom work in the factories-which have been more susceptible to Covid clusters and who also live in more cramped conditions reducing their ability to socially distance.

“These people and their families will be particularly vulnerable to second wave.

“The Department of Health and PHA must engage proactively with local communities and provide support and assistance to those who need it the most.

“This includes overcoming communication and language difficulties and deliver robust find, test, trace and isolate strategies for vulnerable migrant communities.

The Omagh area recorded the second highest death rate in Tyrone with 12 Covid related deaths.

Omagh BT78 – taking in Dromore, Drumquin, Eskra, Fintona, Killynure, Newtownstewart, Seskanore and Trillick – had seven deaths.

Omagh BT79 – taking in Drumlea, Glengawna, Gortin, Mountfield, Plumbridge, Rosnamuck, Sheskinshule and Sixmilecross – had five deaths.

BT80 taking in Cookstown, Coagh and Tullyhogue recorded four deaths.

In the Strabane area, BT82 – taking in Artigarvan, Clady, Douglas Bridge, Sion Mills, Victoria Bridge, Dunamanagh, Bready and Ballymagorry – had three deaths.

Castlederg postcode BT81 which takes in Killen, Killeter, Scraghey, Spamount, Mournebeg, Aghyaran and Clare recorded zero Covid related deaths.

BT69 Aughnacloy, Clogher BT76, Augher BT77, BT75 taking in Fivemiletown and Clabby also reported zero deaths.

Mr Gildernew warned that the virsus has not gone away, and urged people to abide by the guidelines.

“It is also crucial that we all continue to apply basic good practice of washing hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings where distancing is difficult such as in shops and on public transport,” concluded Mr Gildernew.

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