An infectious disease expert has said the new variant of Omicron is “a cause for concern” and is likely to come to Ireland.
The government has put an emergency brake on travel from countries in southern Africa to prevent the new mutant tribe from reaching our shores.
Omicron has gained a foothold in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and neighboring countries, with cases already discovered in the UK.
Dr. Cillian de Gascun, Mitglied des National Public Health Emergency Teamsaid Brendan O’Connor of RTE that it is possible that Omicron is already in Ireland.
He added, “The concern is that even in people who were previously infected, we will see more reinfections and affect the effectiveness of the vaccine because it is so far removed from the original virus.”
Dr. However, De Gascun said he believes vaccines against Omicron will continue to be effective in preventing serious diseases.
He added, “There are a lot of unknowns at the moment, but I think we are entitled to be concerned because when we look at Omicron it is far more different than any variant we have seen before.
“We have seen Alpha and Delta and they are also quite different and they are very far from the original virus, but we know that the vaccines we have still protect against serious illness and hospitalization.
“There is currently no evidence that the vaccines are not effective against this variant – there is concern, but there is no evidence.”
It came when an additional 4,791 cases were confirmed on Saturday.
On Saturday, 8 a.m., there were 536 Covid-19 patients in hospitals – 35 fewer than the day before.
118 people are in intensive care units across the country.
He told the Anton Savage Show, “I’m honest, I was scared yesterday it was a blow, I thought if we put these boosters out in the next few weeks we will be in better shape and we will. ..and the prospect of you having something that bypasses the vaccine, let’s face it, it’s been the most daunting thing since this started. “