Case of Omicron variant confirmed in Ireland

Tests have confirmed {that a} case of the Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in Ireland.

The assessments had been carried out on the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

Laboratory director Dr Cillian de Gascun advised a technical briefing of the National Public Health Emergency Team that 14 samples had been analysed over the weekend.

Eight of the samples underwent complete genome sequencing and one of these eight was confirmed as having the Omicron variant yesterday.

Dr De Gascun mentioned it’s a journey related case to at least one of designated nations, which have confirmed circumstances of Omicron.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan mentioned the NPHET Epidemiological Surveillance Team will proceed to watch the scenario.

The case was recognized in the final week, and is a present case moderately than an older case.

Dr Holohan mentioned the unfold of an infection in Ireland has slowed, with the reproductive, or 'R', quantity now estimated to be at 1.

However, Dr Holohan mentioned there continues to be a rise in Covid circumstances amongst younger folks, notably in these aged between 5 and 12 years, nevertheless positivity charges have dropped throughout most age teams.

He credited the roll-out of the booster vaccines as one issue chargeable for the decline.

The briefing heard that the demand for testing is matching ranges reached in September after faculties returned, and that general, testing is up for these beneath 18, and folks aged between 35-44.

It additionally heard that scientists will not be conscious of any further circumstances related to the confirmed case and there’s no proof of group transmission of the variant up to now.

The "tipping point" as to when a brand new variant turns into dominant normally takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

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So far, the European Centre for Disease Control has mentioned that every one circumstances of the variant discovered in Europe have been both gentle circumstances, or in folks with no signs.

The World Health Organization has mentioned it would take a number of weeks to evaluate the menace posed by Omicron.

It comes because the Department of Health has confirmed 3,793 new circumstances of Covid-19.

Separately, the Health Service Executive mentioned there was a difficulty with the Covid-19 check portal earlier this morning, which meant that some folks had issue once they had been attempting to guide a PCR check.

It mentioned it has now been resolved and the web system is working usually.

The HSE has suggested these individuals who obtained verification that their appointment is booked, that they don’t must re-book and that their appointment is confirmed.

But it has requested those that didn’t obtain a verification code, to re-book an appointment.

Additional reporting Fergal Bowers

primarily based on web site supplies

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