Leading GP warns Covid-19 infections 'here with a vengeance'

A leading GP in Northern Ireland has warned Covid-19 infections are back "with a vengeance".

Dr Francis O'Hagan said the reduced self-isolation period from 10 to five days should be used with caution.

"Many people are surprised, a lot of people think 'oh that's gone away' - but it hasn't, it's here and it's here with a vengeance at the minute," she told UTV.

Meanwhile the chief scientific advisor, Professor Ian Young, says currently more than one in 25 people here are infected.

He expects numbers to rise, but says we're close to the peak of this wave.

"Covid cases have been on the rise for the last few weeks, that's a result of some new variants of the virus appearing," Prof Young told UTV.

"They probably spread more easily and the immunity we have from previous infection or vaccination, while it remains really good at protecting against severe disease, we are very possibly going to find more people becoming re-infected with these new forms of the virus."

Prof Young has urged caution and warned people to be aware of new symptoms.

"The symptoms we saw at the beginning, the cough and high temperature, loss of taste and smell are still relevant," he explained.

"But there's a broader range of symptoms now and there's a detailed list of them on the NI Direct website."