Health officials identify 111 probable or confirmed cases of Delta variant in NI

By PA news

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has identified 111 probable or confirmed cases of the Delta Covid variant in Northern Ireland.

Of these, 28 are in the Co Down town of Kilkeel, where the PHA has been surge-testing people after a number of potential cases of the variant first identified in India were detected.

A number of mobile testing units have been in Kilkeel this week to accommodate testing.

Dr Brid Farrell from the PHA said on Thursday that more than 2,100 residents participated in the targeted testing.

She added: “Examination of the data from before and during the enhanced testing reveals that since Monday May 30, there have been 50 Covid-19 positive cases (in Kilkeel). Of these, 28 are probable or confirmed cases of the Delta variant.

“The situation in the area is stable and no additional public health interventions are required at present. This will be kept under review.”

Ms Farrell added: “Given the spread of the Delta variant across the UK, we are seeing a general increase in the number of cases in Northern Ireland.

“As of Wednesday our surveillance systems are indicating that 111 probable and confirmed cases of the Delta variant have been detected throughout all 11 local council areas in Northern Ireland.

“So, the message for everyone remains that it is essential that we all continue to stick to the important public health actions of good hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, wearing a face covering where required and keeping rooms well ventilated to help stop the spread of Covid-19, regardless of the variant.

“We need to continue these measures in the coming weeks and over the summer.

“We would also urge everyone to get tested when appropriate and to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 or are a close contact of a positive case. And, of course, get your Covid-19 vaccine as soon as you can and make sure you get your second dose.”

Today the Department of Health reported 109 new positive Coronavirs cases  in Northern Ireland in past 24 hours.

However there have been no new Covid-linked deaths.

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