Daily Covid deaths hit highest level since February

Northern Ireland has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll since February.

By Rebecca Black, PA
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:09 pm

Eleven further deaths of patients who previously tested positive for the virus were notified by the Department of Health on Wednesday.

Another 1,345 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were also notified.

On Wednesday morning, there were 394 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 49 in intensive care.

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Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being prepared.

A further push for take up of the Covid-19 vaccine has been planned for the weekend.

Students are among those being urged to come forward on the Big Jab Weekend before the larger vaccination centres, including the SSE Arena in Belfast, close.

The vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer, and Ulster University Professor Paul Bartholomew issued a joint statement on Wednesday.

They said: “Our shared focus is on the resumption of a full on-campus teaching and research experience and we look forward to re-connecting with staff and students.

“To that end, we strongly encourage all staff and students to take up the vaccine.

“We welcome the NI vaccination programme’s Big Jab Weekend initiative to boost vaccination uptake and make it as easy as possible to take this simple step.

“Getting vaccinated is by far the best way to protect the entire NI community and to ensure that our return to full campus operations is on a permanent basis.”

NUS-USI president Ellen Fearon has also encouraged students to get the jab.

“If you haven’t got the vaccine yet and you’re heading to campus in September, then get down to the Big Jab Weekend,” she said.

“This year it’s one of those essential parts of your fresher’s checklist and it’s so easy to do with all the vaccine centres offering first jabs on a walk-in basis.

“Students everywhere have seen their lives turned upside down by the pandemic and this is one of the quickest ways we have to seeing the social side of education returning.

“I’ve got my jab and I would encourage everyone to get theirs too.”

A total of 2,384,396 vaccines have been administered in Northern Ireland.