Covid-19: 10 more deaths recorded in Northern Ireland
North reports an additional 357 coronavirus cases while Queen’s introduces rapid testing
A man walks in Belfast on Friday. Northern Ireland has reported another 357 coronavirus cases. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A further 10 people with Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, the North’s Department of Health has said.
The total death toll from the disease recorded by the department now stands at 923.
There were also another 357 confirmed cases of the virus recorded in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour reporting period.
A total of 49,442 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Meanwhile, Queen’s University Belfast has launched a programme of rapid Covid-19 testing for students.
The programme means Queen’s will be the first place in Northern Ireland to conduct asymptomatic testing on a large scale.
The testing at Queen’s will support students who hope to return home for Christmas, with results expected within an hour.
Minister for Health Robin Swann welcomed the news at the university.
“It will help us to understand how asymptomatic testing can be implemented and extended more widely in the future, to other parts of Northern Ireland,” he said.
“It is through undertaking NTIs [new testing interventions] such as this that we can develop fully informed plans for the future, which will benefit everyone in Northern Ireland.”
However, Mr Swann warned that testing alone is “not a panacea” to delivering a normal festive period this year.
“Everyone must continue to adhere to the current restrictions and public health requirements,” he said.
“We must continue to drive down infection rates and ensure that we enter the festive period with as few new cases every day as possible.” – PA