Swann: More proof battle far from over

The highest number of daily coronavirus deaths since February shows that the “battle” against the virus is “far from over”, Health Minister Robin Swann has said.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 7:57 am
Handout photo issued by Press Eye of Health Minister Robin Swann during a press conference in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast.

There were a total of 11 deaths reported yesterday — 10 of which occurred within 24 hours, with one having occurred earlier without being reported by Mr Swann’s department.

That is the highest total since February 16, as the winter surge began to tail off following a strict lockdown imposed from Boxing Day onwards.

Mr Swann said: “The ongoing loss of life to this virus is heartbreaking and my thoughts are very much with the families and friends of those who have died.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The battle against Covid is far from over – today’s figures underline that.”

The minister urged people to take up the offer of vaccination if they haven’t already done so.

Vaccination remains our best defence against Covid-19,” he said. “I would again urge people who have not yet got their vaccine to do so without delay.

“It is also vital that we remember the basics and keep following public health advice.

“Please do all that you can not to spread infection. Social distancing, face covering and hand washing all have a role to play. Avoid busy and cramped indoor settings where ventilation is poor. And if you have Covid symptoms, self isolate and book a PCR test.”

Mr Swann added: “I would also encourage people to listen to the compelling testimonies of individuals who have become seriously ill from Covid and regretted not getting vaccinated.”

Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride issued a plea specifically to young people to come forward for vaccination.

“I would ask them to make an informed decision, based on information from trusted sources,” he said.