LATEST: Kilkenny among 264 new cases of virus, concern as new variant of Covid identified in UK
A further two people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 264 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 2,126. There has now been 76,449 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The breakdown of the latest cases is as follow: 79 are in Dublin, 24 in Donegal, 19 in Kerry, 18 in Limerick, 14 in Kildare, 14 in Wexford with the remaining 96 cases are spread across 16 other counties, including 10 more infections in Kilkenny.
The latest cases in Ireland were confirmed as the British Government earlier confirmed a new variant of Covid-19 has been identified in England.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons: “Over the last few days, thanks to our world-class genomic capability in the UK, we have identified a new variant of coronavirus which may be associated with the faster spread in the South of England.”
Mr Hancock said the numbers of the new variant of coronavirus “are increasing rapidly”, adding: “Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants.
“We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas.”
Mr Hancock added: “I must stress at this point that there is currently nothing to suggest that this variant is more likely to cause serious disease and the latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine, but it shows we’ve got to be vigilant and follow the rules and everyone needs to take personal responsibility not to spread this virus.”
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