Northern Ireland is dealing with 125 situations of the so-called ‘Delta Plus’ variant of coronavirus, the Public Health Agency has revealed.
he agency said the numbers of the new strain, which is a mutation of the existing Delta variant, were detected on October 27.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), formerly Public Health England, has designated it a “Variant Under Investigation”, but it is not currently deemed to be a variant of interest or concern.
According to the PHA, the new variant does not appear to cause a more harsh infection and is not believed to be immune to the current vaccines obtainable.
Dr Brid Farrell, deputy director of public health at the PHA, said: “Identification of a case or situations of this variant in Northern Ireland was unavoidable at some point, particularly as society has opened up in recent months and most restrictions have been lifted.
“Our genome sequencing capabilities are also ahead of those of most other countries so it is not surprising that the UK has identified situations.
“This development underpins the need for continued vigilance and adherence to the public health guidance for Covid-19 – currently there are no additional measures that the public need to take on the back of this, but it is basic that people continue to work within the regulations and advice.”
She additional: “We ask that the public keep vigilant, continue to exercise caution. use a disguise and continue appropriate distance when required, when meeting people indoors, open windows and doors to ventilate the room.
“Vaccine uptake is also an important method of securing protection against Covid-19 infection.
“The coming weeks will be very busy, with a meaningful escalation of the booster programme, along with the school-based programme and the current provision of first and second doses.
“We would popularity to everyone to get vaccinated if you are eligible. The meaningful benefits of vaccination are clear. It protects you and those close to you.”
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