Dublin: The Department of Health has confirmed that a new variant of COVID is spreading rapidly in Ireland.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has stated that there is a new wave of the COVID variant spreading, but the government does not think that restrictions are as necessary now as they were before.
According to the HSE, the spread of the newly discovered Eris variant indicates that it is more contagious than other strains, but there is no evidence that it causes more severe disease.
“Ireland is in a very different situation than it was when COVID first started.
People are now benefiting from the ‘immunity’ gained through vaccinations and previous COVID-19 waves. A large amount of immunity has developed because the virus was present earlier, survived and recovered from it, the Prime Minister said.
“This is a new virus that we will be dealing with in the future, and it will continue to fluctuate, just like the flu virus.” The Prime Minister stated.
The HSE confirmed today that the Eris variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Ireland.
The Department of Health said this variant is more contagious than previous strains and has been detected in Irish hospitals.
The variant, one of a group descended from the Omicron strain that has caused an increase in COVID-19 cases around the world, was discovered late last month in England and spread rapidly.
The HSE noted that there is no evidence to suggest that the variant causes more severe disease.
The Department of Health also stated that unless a person is in a specific risk group or setting, they will not be tested for COVID-19 unless advised to do so by a GP or healthcare.
Current advice is to stay at home for at least 48 hours after symptoms of COVID-19 have stopped.
Immunology professor Christine Loscher told The Journal that declining immunity from past infections, declining vaccination rates among the general public, outdoor travel, and increased indoor socialising due to bad weather all contribute to the current rise in COVID. There are currently 19 cases in hospitals.
The World Health Organisation has upgraded Eris to a ‘special variant’ and revealed that it may become the dominant presence of the virus globally.
However, the WHO currently classifies the Eris variant as having a low public health risk because there is no evidence to suggest that it makes people more seriously ill.
The hospital currently has 408 virus cases, which is three times the number of cases admitted two weeks ago.
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