Speaking to RTÉ this week, Fianna Fáil Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the new Brazilian covid variant, though causing serious concern, has not stopped over 1,500 Brazilian migrants from entering the Republic of Ireland in the last 2 weeks.
The new strain, which was discovered recently and appears to be significantly more infectious than the original covid-19 variant, would drive spikes and surges in the virus far quicker than they currently occur. Though this new virus has not yet been detected in the country, Donnelly says that it is “absolutely inevitable” that it will end up here.
“It is absolutely inevitable,” Donnelly told the Irish Sun.
“At some point, somebody will wind up in Ireland with the Brazilian virus. And that’s not the end of the world if we’re controlling the infection. But if the virus is running around the country unimpeded it’s the makings of a disaster – a real disaster. Because we don’t we don’t know a lot about this strain.”
He requested that the 1,500+ individuals who have arrived in Ireland from Brazil over the last two weeks get a covid-19 test and limit their movements. However, there are stilnumerous flights taking place from Brazil to Ireland at the time of writing this article.
Other more infectious strains have also been identified, including a South African variant, a UK variant, and a Nigerian variant. Travel from all of these countries, with some restrictions, is currently allowed as per the government’s travel list.