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Three cases of new Covid-19 variant, first identified in Brazil, reported in Ireland

All of the cases identified are directly associated with recent travel from Brazil.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THREE CASES OF the new variant of Covid-19 (‘P1′), first identified in Brazil, have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

This is the first time cases of this variant have been confirmed in Ireland. 

All of the cases identified are directly associated with recent travel from Brazil, according to the Department of Health. 

All cases are being followed up by public health teams and enhanced public health measures have been put in place, in line with guidance.

“This P1 variant has previously been identified in a small number of European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said. 

“While there is currently no microbiological or epidemiological evidence of any change in transmissibility of P1, this is plausible. Further studies are required to determine whether this variant is likely to have an impact on vaccine effectiveness or infection severity,” he said. 

“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 incidence of disease in our communities,” Dr Glynn said. 

“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.”

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Dr Glynn outlined that anyone who has recently travelled from Brazil, or any of the other 19 countries designated by the Minister of Health as Category 2, is required by law to quarantine at home for 14 days. 

“In addition, any such passengers should phone any GP or GP out-of-hours service to arrange a free Covid-19 test. The test should be done five days after you arrive in Ireland or as soon as possible after those five days. Whatever the result of the test, you must complete the 14-day period of quarantine,” he said. 

All passengers from overseas, regardless of originating country, are required by law to quarantine at home for 14 days. 

Full details of advice and procedures on how to quarantine are available on the HSE website. 

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