Nphet aware of Covid-19 variants in Ireland not linked to travel

Nphet Aware Of Covid-19 Variants In Ireland Not Linked To Travel Nphet Aware Of Covid-19 Variants In Ireland Not Linked To Travel
"Complex contact tracing" is ongoing to try to limit the spread of Covid-19 variants.
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Covid-19 variants with no known link to international travel have been identified in Ireland, described by public health officials as being "of concern".

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) mentioned the matter in a meeting last month and was noted in the minutes, according to The Irish Times.

"Complex contact tracing" is ongoing to attempt to halt the spread of variants, with Dr Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory highlighting the need to "ensure that there aren’t ongoing networks of transmission of these variants in the community that we don’t know about".

On Firday, Dr de Gascun said an undetected case in a care facility, workplace or school was the "greatest concern" as it could lead to a super-spreader event.

"The problem is if we don’t contain it, it is only a matter of time before it gets into a super-spreading event," he added.



Dr de Gascum said walk-in test centres have also been set up in some areas, one of the aims of which is to attempt to detect variants of the virus.

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The inability to link the new variants to international travel suggests there is "some transmission within the community" a public health source said.

The minutes of the Nphet meeting show some members continue to advocate for a broader approach to mandatory hotel quarantine, suggesting "uniform quarantine measures to all countries".

However, earlier this week, the update of the Government's Category 2 list - the countries from which passengers are required to complete hotel quarantine - failed to add any EU countries or the US.

EU countries such as Italy, Germany and France seemed likely to be added to the 'high-risk' list due to soaring case numbers, following a recommendation of the Travel Expert Advisory Group, but no action was taken due to concerns about the legal ramifications of infringing on the EU's freedom of movement between member states.

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