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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Death of woman (32) confirmed as new Covid-19 cases surge by 74

  • One further death and 74 more cases confirmed - "A stark reminder that this virus has not gone away", says Robin Swann
  • Peter Weir grilled by Education Committee as A-level exams fallout continues
  • Three NI pubs fined for breaching lockdown rules
  • France among six countries added to UK quarantine list
  • Scroll down to follow today's live blog

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There has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid cases in NI. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

There has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid cases in NI. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Daniel McCrossan during a meeting of Stormont's Education Committee on Friday

Daniel McCrossan during a meeting of Stormont's Education Committee on Friday

There has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid cases in NI. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

One further person in Northern Ireland has died after testing positive for coronavirus - while 74 more cases of the virus have been diagnosed marking a significant spike.

The fatality, who was a woman aged 32, happened on Thursday in the Mid and East Antrim area. It brings the official death toll to 558.

Some 5,597 tests have been carried out on 4,164 people in the last 24 hours, resulting in the 74 positive cases. This brings the number of cases confirmed in the last seven days to 242 and the overall tally to 6,299.

There are seven Covid patients in Northern Ireland's hospitals, with one person in intensive care.

Three care homes are currently dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

Separate figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show that there have been 859 coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland since the outbreak began.

The figures also show that four deaths happened in the week ending August 7.

It comes amid ongoing controversy over A-level results, with Stormont's Education Committee passing a motion calling on Peter Weir to award students their AS-level grade, their teacher-assessed grade or their CCEA grade, whichever is highest.

Committee chairman Chris Lyttle urged the minister to intervene, stating that we are in "unprecedented times."

Mr Lyttle said he was aware of a school that had seen its A*-C attainment rate fall from 90% last year to 60% under the calculation model.

He said the minister was "increasingly isolated" in refusing to use the teacher assessments to allocate the grades.

Mr Weir responded by insisting that if teacher predictions were used without standardisation, the results would not have "any level of credibility" because the results would be so much higher than those achieved in previous years.

All exams this year were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic with grades instead calculated through teacher assessments and a computer "standardisation" model.

It has emerged however, that more than a third of A-level grades predicted by teachers were lowered by CCEA.

Meanwhile, SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said a GP had contacted him stating that three pupils who had missed out on university places had presented with suicidal thoughts.

Were you affected by yesterday's A-level results? Contact us at newseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk


"This model failed, it failed our children and it failed our young people. As the result of this pandemic, they should not pay the price," he said.

"We are talking about children and young people, who for the last day I have seen in tears, whose dreams have been shattered, confidence battered and families are very worried and concerned for their wellbeing and their health, and mental health.

“I have seen teachers in tears, in shock, they are numb, angry, frustrated and feel patronised. Children have been failed by this system, they've been failed by the Department of Education, they have been failed by the processes of CCEA.”

Follow our live blog below for all the latest coronavirus developments:

Belfast Telegraph


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