Ireland confirms the presence of the UK version of the coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a restaurant in the midst of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Dublin, Ireland, on November 22, 2020. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland on Friday confirmed the presence of a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus whose presence in the United Kingdom has brought travel bans from a number of countries.

“I can confirm that we have discovered a new British variant of SARS-CoV-2 by sequencing the entire genome at the National Virus Laboratory,” at University College Dublin, Chief Physician Tony Holohan said in a statement.

“Further testing in the coming days and weeks will determine the extent to which it is present here,” he added.

Reporting Conor Humphries; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne