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Northern Ireland education sector thanked for big efforts in helping fight coronavirus pandemic

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Produced by Strathearn School, the shields have been donated to a number of hospitals initially to protect ophthalmologists carrying out face-to-face eye examinations in emergency departments across Belfast

Produced by Strathearn School, the shields have been donated to a number of hospitals initially to protect ophthalmologists carrying out face-to-face eye examinations in emergency departments across Belfast

Produced by Strathearn School, the shields have been donated to a number of hospitals initially to protect ophthalmologists carrying out face-to-face eye examinations in emergency departments across Belfast

Colleges and universities in Northern Ireland have been praised for their significant contribution to the fight against coronavirus.

Health Minister Robin Swann and Economy Minister Diane Dodds hailed the education sector for creating personal protective equipment (PPE) and joining the research to find a vaccine for the virus, while students have volunteered for the health service workforce.

Mrs Dodds said the Southern Regional College, North West College and South West College are working together to manufacture facial visors for health service staff.

Belfast Met is also making PPE and South Eastern Regional College has made reusable face masks being donated to care homes. Meanwhile, many other colleges are gathering PPE they have on campus and donating it to local health trusts.

Mr Swann also welcomed the contribution of medical and nursing students from universities. "Around 500 final year medicine and nursing students at Queen's University have agreed to join the frontline and support the NHS directly," he said.

"Final year adult and mental health student nurses at Ulster University have also entered the healthcare workforce as part of emergency plans to assist with the Covid-19 response."

Elsewhere, an east Belfast grammar school has produced a series of bespoke medical shields, designed specially to protect frontline NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Produced by Strathearn School, the shields have been donated to a number of hospitals initially to protect ophthalmologists carrying out face-to-face eye examinations in emergency departments across Belfast.

Andrew Atkinson, head of technology at Strathearn, explained that the concept came about following a discussion with a family friend who is an ophthalmologist.

Belfast Telegraph