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Small number of suspected cases of Indian Covid-19 variant identified in NI

The Public Health Agency is asking people in certain areas of Kilkeel to come forward for testing.

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The Public Health Agency is asking asymptomatic people to get tested in selected areas (PA)

The Public Health Agency is asking asymptomatic people to get tested in selected areas (PA)

The Public Health Agency is asking asymptomatic people to get tested in selected areas (PA)

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is asking asymptomatic people in some areas of Kilkeel to get tested for Covid-19 after a small number of suspected cases of the Indian variant were identified.

The PHA said the results were suggestive of the variant, also known as Delta, but it has not yet been confirmed.

The PHA said the precautionary testing is in advance of confirmation of whether the variant is present and to reduce the risk of spread in the community.

Testing is opening to everyone in these areas over the age of five. Households in the areas that this testing covers will be contacted directly by PHA in the coming days.

We encourage all those eligible in the neighbourhoods identified by the agency to present for testingDr Stephen Bergin, PHA

Dr Stephen Bergin, interim director of public health at the PHA, said: “This testing in the Kilkeel area is a precautionary measure to identify asymptomatic cases and prevent community spread.

“We encourage all those eligible in the neighbourhoods identified by the agency to present for testing.

“This is a reminder to everyone through Northern Ireland to continue to carry out all public health measures to help stop the spread of Covid-19.”

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New coronavirus cases involving the Delta variant have increased by 79% across the UK compared with last week.

It is now believed to be the dominant strain in the UK.

There are now 12,431 confirmed cases of variant in the UK, up from 6,959 last week.

Early evidence from Public Health England (PHE) published on Thursday suggests this version of Covid-19 may lead to an increased risk of being admitted to hospital compared with the previously dominant Kent variant.


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