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Dr Gerry Waldron, head of health protection at the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland PA

Half of Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland now indicative of Delta variant

The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of Covid in the UK.

NORTHERN IRELAND’S PUBLIC Health Agency (PHA) has identified a further 612 confirmed or probable cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The PHA said that around half of Covid-19 positive cases sampled in Northern Ireland are now indicative of the Delta variant.

The variant was first identified in India, and is now dominant in the UK.

Up to Monday, a total of 449 people were tested in Omagh and 689 were tested in Ballymoney after a number of probable cases were identified in the two towns.

Early analysis of results shows a total of 31 positive cases of Covid were detected, the PHA said.

All positive cases have been contacted and advised to self-isolate in line with public health guidance.

The PHA said that no additional public health interventions are required at present.

Dr Gerry Waldron, head of health protection at the PHA, said: “The spread of the Delta variant underpins the need for continued vigilance and adherence to the public health guidance – it is essential that people continue to work within the regulations and advice.

“We ask that the public remain vigilant, keep their interactions with others down, continue following the health advice to limit the spread of Covid-19, and engage with the Contact Tracing Service if identified as a confirmed case or a close contact, and follow the advice given.

“There is a range of testing sites across Northern Ireland, so if you develop symptoms or are asked to get a PCR test because you are a close contact, please book one as it will help reduce further spread and assist us in identifying any additional variants.

“We have also activated enhanced testing in areas where we have identified a number of probable cases of the Delta variant.

“In order to help slow down the transition of the variant, we have been asking asymptomatic people to get tested in selected, targeted neighbourhoods where cases have been identified.

“We would urge anyone who is invited to get tested under one of these localised programmes to do so.”

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