Covid-19: 111 probable and confirmed cases of Delta variant in NI

A total of 111 probable and confirmed cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus have been detected across Northern Ireland, according to the Public Health Agency.

The figure comes as the agency concludes its enhanced testing work in the Kilkeel area of Co Down.

More than 2,100 residents have been tested amid concerns around the number of cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant, first detected in India and now thought to account for over 90% of Covid-19 cases in the UK.

Dr Bríd Farrell, Assistant Director of Service Development, Safety and Quality at the PHA, said of the situation in Kilkeel: “Examination of the data from before and during the enhanced testing reveals that since Monday 30 May, there have been 50 Covid-19 positive cases.

“Of these, 28 are probable or confirmed cases of the Delta variant.

“The situation in the area is stable and no additional public health interventions are required at present. This will be kept under review.”

Dr Farrell added: “Given the spread of the Delta variant across the UK, we are seeing a general increase in the number of cases in Northern Ireland.

“As of yesterday (Wednesday 9 June) our surveillance systems are indicating that based on Reflex Assays, 111 probable and confirmed cases of the Delta variant have been detected throughout all 11 local council areas in Northern Ireland.”

Although plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions are going ahead, people are being urged to stick to public health guidelines around social distancing, hygiene, and wearing face coverings.

“We need to continue these measures in the coming weeks and over the summer,” Dr Farrell said.

“We would also urge everyone to get tested when appropriate, and to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 or are a close contact of a positive case.

“And of course, get your Covid-19 vaccine as soon as you can and make sure you get your second dose.

“Each of these steps will help prevent the spread of Covid-19, including the Delta variant, and help keep you and your community safe.”