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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Omicron variant likely already in Ireland, says health expert

A public health expert has said the new Covid-19 variant is likely already in Ireland.

Professor Anthony Staines said while no cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the country, this is likely due to a lack of genetic sequences.

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Staines said: “We don’t have a very substantial genetic sequencing programme in Ireland.”

“So, we were sequencing around 10% of our cases, which is not really enough to be confident about whether it’s here or not.”

He said it is “probably here already”.

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The first two cases of the Omicron variant were detected in the UK on Saturday.

IMAGE – “State Public Health Laboratory in Exton Tests for COVID-19” by governortomwolf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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