The first case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has been identified in Ireland.
Health officials say eight samples were sent for testing, and ONE case of the strain has been confirmed.
The case is linked to travel to a country in southern Africa and was identified from a sample taken within the last week.
The National Public Health Emergency Team says while only one Omicron case has been detected so far, there may be more cases here which have not been discovered yet.
No exact location has been confirmed but Dr Cillian De Gascun, Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory and member of NPHET, said it is a “current case“.
Dr De Gascun said that genome sequencing was carried out on eight cases, with the Omicron variant detected in one of these.
He said: “It is a travel-associated case (from one of the countries affected). “It was identified in the last week, so it is a current case.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed the news in the Dail; ”There is one case (that) has been confirmed and the CMO has issued a statement in respect of that. One case has been confirmed from those s-gene deletion cases that were spoken about yesterday. In that context obviously we will keep the economic support interventions under review.”