No Covid-19 deaths reported in North for third successive day

More than 825,000 does of vaccine administered as of Friday

Holly Wilson, whose grandmother Ada Wilson died  during the Covid-19 pandemic, is pictured lighting a candle in Belfast Cathedral earlier this week before a remembrance service for those who have died during the pandemic in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Holly Wilson, whose grandmother Ada Wilson died during the Covid-19 pandemic, is pictured lighting a candle in Belfast Cathedral earlier this week before a remembrance service for those who have died during the pandemic in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

 

Northern Ireland reported no Covid-19 deaths for a third successive day on Friday, with four people having died with the disease in the last seven days.

Figures from the North’s Department of Health show the Covid-19 death toll remains at 2,107. It said 181 new cases were confirmed in the North on Friday.

There were 143 patients with coronavirus in hospitals in Northern Ireland, with 13 in intensive care. More than 825,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in the North as of Friday.

Separate figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) showed there were 15 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week ending March 19th. The death toll recorded by Nisra stood at 2,893 as of March 19th, compared to the 2,103 reported by the department in the same period.

The Nisra figures, which are released weekly, provide a broader picture of the impact of Covid-19 as they are based on death certificates on which coronavirus has been recorded as a factor by a medical professional, regardless of whether the death took place or whether the patient had tested positive for the virus.

The data released daily by the department is focused primarily on hospital deaths and includes only people who have tested positive for the virus.

Of the 2,893 deaths recorded by Nisra, 1,901 (65.7 per cent) took place in hospital and 767 (26.5 per cent) in care homes.

Meanwhile, two more grammar schools in the North announced they would not use academic selection as part of their admissions criteria in 2022 due to the continuing uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The boards of governors of St Columb’s College and Thornhill College in Derry said their decision was in response to concern over the pandemic’s continuing impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of P6 pupils who would be due to sit transfer exams in the autumn.

Lagan College and St Mary’s grammar school in Belfast have already announced that they will not use academic selection for their 2022 intake.

The North’s Minister for Education, Peter Weir, has rejected calls to intervene to prevent any academic selection tests being held in the autumn, saying schools have a legal right to use tests if they want to.

Additional reporting - PA.