Covid: Scottish exam changes continue and no sharing of vaccine know-howon April 29, 2022 at 7:03 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning.

1. Covid exam changes to continue in Scotland

Changes to the way pupils were assessed during the pandemic will continue next year, the Scottish Qualifications Authority says. It modified National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher assessments, as well as some National 3 and 4 courses, in a bid to reduce the volume of assessment and ease the workload of pupils and teachers. The exams body said it was retaining the changes because effects of the disruption would not go away after the summer.

Aerial image showing an invigilator walking between desks of pupils taking an exam

Image source, PA Media

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2. Call for answers on care home testing

Families of care home residents want a “Northern Ireland-specific” inquiry to look into why guidance allowed hospital patients to be admitted to homes without being tested for Covid. It comes after the High Court ruled UK government policies on discharging untested hospital patients into care homes were unlawful. Stormont’s Department of Health said: “While this court ruling relates to policy and practice in England, the department will obviously wish to closely consider its findings.”

David Clarke
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3. Vaccine makers see off push to share know-how

Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna have seen off efforts to make them share the know-how to make their Covid vaccines. A group of investors put to the companies’ annual shareholders meetings that sharing intellectual property would speed up vaccine rollout, but were voted down. The drug-makers say they are making doses faster than they can be used. While more than 11.4 billion vaccine doses have been distributed worldwide, a third of the global population has not had a single dose, the World Health Organization says.

A medical worker fills a syringe with a Covid vaccine

Image source, Getty Images

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4. ‘I reported on Covid – then it came for my father’

With millions of people around the world grieving the loss of loved-ones during the pandemic, many in India have been marking the first anniversary of the deaths of relatives when their country was hit by a catastrophic second wave of Covid. Journalist Barkha Dutt, who was chronicling the pandemic, lost her father to the virus in April 2021. She writes about her loss, and other daughters who suffered the same fate.

Barkha Dutt family

Image source, Barkha Dutt

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5. Plaque honours key workers who died

A plaque honouring key workers who died with Covid has been added to the Workers’ Memorial statue in Liverpool. The plaque, put up by the Unite union, says those who died “sacrificed their lives in order to save others”. According to the European Public Services Union, a total of 931 health and social care workers died in the UK from March 2020 to March 2021.

Key workers plaque

Image source, unite

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And don’t forget…

Short of breath, got diarrhoea or lost your appetite? Any of these could be a sign of Covid, according to the updated list of 12 symptoms. Remind yourself what they are.

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

chart showing various covid metrics
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YQA logo

Image source, BBC

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