New data suggests the novel Covid-19 variant identified in the UK is present in Ireland.
At a media briefing of this evening, Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory said that preliminary data would suggest, based on a selection of samples analysed from the weekend, that the novel variant from the UK is present in Ireland.
However, he added that “given the timeline of the samples analysed, it would seem that the novel variant is not solely responsible for the recent increase in case numbers seen in Ireland.”
The National Public Health Emergency Team met earlier today where they reviewed the current epidemiological situation.
At the briefing this evening, Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said that the epidemiological situation reviewed today “is the most serious” it has been since last March.
“People should act at all times as if they or those they come into contact with are infectious. The disease has spread across all parts of the country and all age groups, we must act now to protect each other,” he added.
“It is inevitable that people will get sick and die as a result of this escalation, but it is not too late for all of us to do all we can to minimise that impact and to protect as many people as possible,” he said.
It comes as latest data shows 938 new cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Ireland, 110 of which are in Cork, as of midnight last night.
Thirteen additional Covid-19 related deaths have also been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) today.