CM – Justice Minister says the mandatory hotel quarantine could return because of the new Covid-19 variant

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THE Justice Minister has said that mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland could be reintroduced after the announcement of a new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa.

Speaking at Newstalk Breakfast, Helen McEntee said that while we were still learn about the new variant, « the first signs would show that this is potentially more transmissible and possibly better able to bypass the vaccination ».

« If we have to move here quickly – be it with the introduction of the Hotel quarantine – then I think that’s something we have to do, « she said.

 » When something like this happens, we’ve seen how fast variants travel and move – and what impact that had. We have learned from this pandemic over time. « 

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe also said he believes » we need to make changes « to the mandatory hotel quarantine when he spoke to Claire Byrne from RTÉ this morning / p> He added that when we need it, « it will have a different scope of & than what we were there last time ».

This happened when the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU wants to stop air traffic from southern Africa to counter the spread of the new variant.

After the announcement, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on social media that a decision will be taken later today the suspension of flights from southern Africa should be taken.

In a tweet, Coveney said that the Foreign Office was working with the Ministry of Health, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan and the European Commission would advise on this issue.

He added that « it is important to move forward quickly, coordination within the EU is important to be effective ».

It is important to move forward quickly here, coordination within the EU is important to be effective. @dfatirl consults with @roinnslainte @CMOIreland & @EU_Commission to make decisions about international travel. Expect confirmation of the decision today. https://t.co/E4iajgk3nS

HSE boss Paul Reid told Morning Ireland the variant was « an obvious cause for concern ».

« In the UK or in the EU, like us understand no cases have been identified yet, but in South Africa I believe around 59 cases were identified yesterday, and particularly in one province where the positivity rate was around 1%. to 30% in about three weeks, « he said.

Reid also said the World Health Organization (WHO) met with South African authorities today, adding that HSE and the Ministry of Health will monitor the variant.

It comes after the Minister of Health said he was « deeply concerned » about the announcement of the new variant.

South Africa officially announced yesterday that it has discovered a new strain of Covid-19 that scientists fear that it could torpedo efforts to combat the pandemic.

No cases have been identified in Europe, but Stephen Donnelly is concerned about the occurrence.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said it was « in the last few days monitored the appearance of a new variant (B.1.1.529) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. This variant has been identified in a number of countries in southern Africa and Hong Kong. « 

 » The department is aware of UK government action, including the suspension of flights from a number of African countries, « it said .

« No cases of this variant have been reported in Europe, but the Minister of Health is deeply concerned.

 » The department has been in contact with colleagues in Northern Ireland and we will continue to work with the UK authorities.

« The ministry’s advice to the minister will continue to be informed by relevant guidelines from ECDC and WHO. » Scientists are now working to understand the effects of the new, highly mutated strain that is feared to be more contagious is the delta that brought the world to its knees again a year after the virus first appeared in central China.

“This is the most important variant, the we have encountered so far and there is urgent research to find out more about their communicability, severity and susceptibility to vaccines, « said UK Health Authority chief Jennie Harries in a statement.

Dr. WHO’s Mike Ryan said the threat or risk of the variation has not yet been fully assessed I don’t want people to spend their lives worrying every day. « 

Before scientists announced yesterday in South Africa, countries across Europe were accelerating booster campaigns, enforcing stricter restrictions and targeting the unvaccinated as the cases multiplied to a record level.

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WHO said it was « closely » monitoring the reported variant and expected to decide whether it should be classified as « interesting » or « worrying » variant.

Scientists have said that the new B.1.1 .529 variant has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta or three for Beta.

« The concern is that so many mutations can affect the behavior of the virus, » said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director for Covid-19, at a virtual press conference.

The finding made British scientists « deeply concerned », said Health Minister Sajid Javid, because it could make current vaccines less effective.

In the first international step to protect against its expansion, Britain said it would ban travel from six countries in southern Africa.

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