Ireland confirms UK coronavirus variant present

An empty shopping street is seen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dublin, Ireland

Ireland confirmed on Friday the presence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant whose presence in the United Kingdom has brought travel bans from a number of countries.

“I can confirm that we have detected the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 by whole genome sequencing at the National Virus Reference Laboratory” in University College Dublin, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said in a statement.

“Further testing in the coming days and weeks will establish the extent to which it is present here,” he added.

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