Northern Ireland confirmed a positive test for the highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that appeared in the UK on Wednesday.
The Northern Irish Ministry of Health said in a statement that the variant was likely to have been present in the UK-run region for a period of time.
There is no evidence that the variant causes a more serious illness, higher death rate, or affects vaccines and treatments, she added.
The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the UK and is causing great concern among its European neighbors, some of whom have disrupted transport links.
“While a virus mutation is not uncommon, the potential of this new strain to spread rapidly is of serious concern,” Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer said in the statement.
Last week, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, announced that almost everyone would face the highest restrictions after Christmas as it enters into a six-week lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases.
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