Stormont funding to fight Omicron enough for ‘two or three weeks’, says Donaldson

North’s department of health reports further 2,148 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has said current funding available to Stormont to combat the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus is enough to last for "two or three weeks" if new restrictions are brought in.

It comes after the Treasury said Northern Ireland is to receive £75 million, on top of a previous £75 million announced last week.

Also on Monday, it was reported that one further patient who previously tested positive for Covid-19 has died in Northern Ireland.

Another 2,148 cases of the virus were also notified by the department of health.


On Monday morning, there were 276 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 34 were in intensive care.

The Department of Finance said last week's announcement was mostly not new money and already featured in Stormont's spending plans.

Mr Donaldson told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme: "The government has committed to double the amount that we have available in terms of supporting our efforts to deal with the Omicron variant.

“But even at that, that just leaves us with £150 million, and, during the last lockdown, on top of the furloughing scheme, the cost to support the economy and deal with the pandemic was running at somewhere in excess of £200 million a month.

“So, at the moment, in terms of what we have to deal with Omicron, we have got enough to deal with about two or three weeks.” – PA