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New UK variant of Covid-19 confirmed in Ireland while 1,025 new cases and two further deaths confirmed

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Dr Tony Holohan has warned ‘concern continues to escalate’

Dr Tony Holohan has warned ‘concern continues to escalate’

Dr Tony Holohan has warned ‘concern continues to escalate’

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan has today confirmed that the new UK variant of Covid-19 has been detected in Ireland today.

This comes as 1,025 new cases and two further deaths of the disease were confirmed by Nphet.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “I can confirm that we have detected the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 by whole genome sequencing at the National Virus Reference Laboratory in UCD.”

“Further testing in the coming days and weeks will establish the extent to which it is present here. In the meantime, it is vitally important that we each stay at home, avoid social contact and avoid all forms of non-essential travel.”

“It is particularly important that those who have arrived from the UK strictly self-isolate for a full 14 days following arrival. They should not interact with others, visit others, socialise or go shopping. The HSE is making arrangements to test recent arrivals from the UK.”

In recent days Nphet have issued further advice to government recommending that all non-essential retail be closed from St Stephen’s Day, due to the growing concern at the rapidity of the spread of the disease among all age groups.

The reproduction ‘R’ number of coronavirus in Ireland is currently estimated between 1.5 and 1.8, which is the highest it has been since April.

This means the virus is spreading at an exponential rate within the community.

Government and public health officials have pleaded with the public to keep Christmas celebrations and gatherings to an absolute minimum over the coming days in an effort to slow down the growth of Covid-19.

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