No deaths with Covid-19 in last 8 days in Northern Ireland

Another 66 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the latest Department of Health dashboard has revealed.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 3:01 pm

That means 540 people have tested positive in the last seven days.

In total 122,348 people have tested positive for the virus in Northern Ireland.

There have been NO deaths with Covid-19 in the last 24 hours - and none in the last eight days.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However 2,152 people have died after testing positive in NI.

To date 1,660,981 vaccines have been administered in total in NI.

There are now 28 people with Covid-19 in NI hospitals - and two of that number being treated in ICU.

Meanwhile there are now 4 people with Covid-19 in NI Care Homes.

A phial of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

The news comes as a four-nation coronavirus recovery summit has been postponed because the Scottish and Welsh governments need “more time to prepare”, Downing Street has said.

Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford had written to the Prime Minister calling for the talks planned for Thursday to be a “meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes”.

The first ministers of Scotland and Wales asked Boris Johnson for more clarity and substance around the proposals.

Downing Street said Thursday’s summit has been cancelled but will be rescheduled “as soon as possible”, though no date has been set.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We had scheduled for this meeting to happen tomorrow.

“As the PM set out, we need to overcome the significant challenges of the Covid recovery with the same spirit of unity and co-operation that we’ve seen during the fight against the pandemic.

“It is disappointing that the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government would prefer to delay this meeting so they have more time to prepare, especially given the scale of that challenge, but we remain committed to that spirit of co-operation.”

In the letter, copied to Northern Ireland first and deputy first ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, Ms Sturgeon and Mr Drakeford criticised Mr Johnson’s office for sending “a very rough proposed agenda” with key issues in the discussions seemingly yet to be agreed.

They also made a case for “further discussion” to take place ahead of the summit, which would see such an event delayed but still held “perhaps as early as next week”.

News of postponement of the talks comes as Dominic Cummings told MPs that Mr Johnson initially believed coronavirus was like “swine flu” and he claimed people died unnecessarily because of Government failings during the pandemic.

Mr Cummings, the PM’s former adviser who left Downing Street last year after a behind-the-scenes power struggle, told MPs on Wednesday: “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me, fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its Government in a crisis like this.

“When the public needed us most, the Government failed.

“I would like to say to all the families of those who died unnecessarily how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made and for my own mistakes at that.”

While Mr Cummings was giving evidence, Mr Johnson was facing Prime Minister’s Questions. He said: “None of the decisions have been easy, to go into a lockdown is a traumatic thing for a country. We have at every stage tried to minimise loss of life.”