Three cases of a new variant of Covid-19 have been identified in Ireland by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
The new variant of Covid-19 (‘P1’), was first identified in Brazil. All of the cases identified are directly associated with recent travel from Brazil and the cases are being followed up by public health teams and enhanced public health measures have been put in place, in line with guidance.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Dr Ronan Glynn said: “Anyone who has recently travelled from Brazil, or any of the other 19 countries recently designated by the Minister for Health as ‘Category 2’, is required by law to quarantine at home for 14 days.”
Dr Glynn said the P1 variant is not yet known to have a different transmission rate and further studies are needed to determine if the variant is likely to affect the vaccine effectiveness or infection severity.
“Detection of this variant in Ireland does not change the fact that our best defence against all forms of COVID-19 is to stick with the public health measures that have proved to be effective in reducing the incidence of disease in our communities.
“We must continue to wash our hands well and often, wear a mask, cough and sneeze into our elbows, keep two metres social distance from others and avoid crowds, and always remember that it is imperative to phone your GP at the very first sign of COVID-19 symptoms.”