The World Health Organisation says there's a 'real chance' the Delta variant will become the dominant strain of Covid-19 in Ireland.
It comes as the chief medical officer says there's been a 'concerning increase' in cases of the strain here.
Dr. Tony Holohan says about a fifth of infections in the past week involved this variant, first discovered in India.
A total of 284 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed here yesterday.
Dr. David Nabarro, from the W-H-O, says the Delta variant is very concerning.
"There is certainly plenty of evidence the Delta variant is more easily transmitted among people," says Dr. David Nabarro from the World Health Organisation.
"It does seem as though it does like to move around so there's a real chance it might become dominant in Ireland, as well as other European countries."
In a tweet, the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan warned that today’s cases included a “concerning increase in transmission of the Delta variant in Ireland.”
Today’s data show a concerning increase in transmission of the Delta variant in Ireland.
We estimate that Delta accounts for up to 20% of cases reported in the last week.
We have also seen a number of outbreaks associated with this variant reported in the last week.
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) June 21, 2021
“We estimate that Delta accounts for up to 20% of cases reported in the last week,” he said
“We have also seen a number of outbreaks associated with this variant reported in the last week.”
Meanwhile, anyone socialising in Athlone in county Westmeath by the River Shannon on Friday is being urged to get a Covid-19 test.
Health officials fear there may be an outbreak in the areas as a result of the Delta variant.
There are also reports of house parties in the area on that night.