Seven confirmed cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant have been detected in Northern Ireland

Seven confirmed cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant have been detected in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:34 pm

The DoH was notified by the Public Health Agency of seven confirmed cases of the VUI B.1.617.2 (India).

These are the first confirmed cases of this variant in the province.

The DoH is working closely with the PHA and the Regional Virology Laboratory in relation to the investigation and assessment of these cases.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Seven cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant have been detected in Northern Ireland it has emerged.

Incident management protocols have been activated. A detailed health protection risk assessment will be part of the public health response, as will contact tracing.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “This news is not entirely unexpected and plans are in place for such an eventuality.

“While preventative measures – including travel restrictions – are very important, the assessment is that these will delay rather than permanently prevent the spread of variants already detected elsewhere on these islands.

“Confirmation of these cases does not mean this variant is going to become the most prevalent or the dominant strain in Northern Ireland.

“It does, however, highlight why caution is still essential in relation to COVID-19.

“The most effective way to stop variants developing or spreading is to keep pushing down infection rates and transmission of the virus in our community.

“All variants spread in the same way. We protect ourselves and others by following public health advice and getting vaccinated when our turn comes.

“Social distancing and limiting the number of contacts we have are still vitally important. So too are wearing a face covering and washing hands well and often. Also, please always remember the particular risks from indoor settings, especially those that are crowded and have poor ventilation.”

---

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe

Editor