Roundup: UK variant nears 50% of Irish cases, snow disrupts Spain jab rollout

Madrid Desk, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Irish officials on Monday said the contagious variant of coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom now accounted for almost half of all new Covid-19 cases in the Republic of Ireland while British authorities announced that 2.5 million vaccinations have been administered so far.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germans are facing a tough stage of the second lockdown with no definitive end in sight amid concerns about the economic effects of the measures while in Spain unusually wintry weather caused a hiccup in vaccine distribution.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin has urged citizens to wear face masks in public at all times amid an uptick in Covid-19 infections and the arrival of virulent coronavirus variant that has already become the dominant cause of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland’s neighbor, the UK.

The Irish government has decreed a new lockdown, which is to last at least one month, from Wednesday.

The Irish National Public Health Emergency Team said the UK variant of the coronavirus, which appears to be more contagious, accounted for more than 45% of Covid-19 cases being detected in the country.

The latest official figures on Sunday said 6,888 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in 24 hours.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization published by Bloomberg, Ireland has the highest infection rate per million people in the world.

Martin nonetheless defended his government’s plan to de-escalate tough restrictions ahead of the Christmas holiday season when cases were less than 200 per day despite some observers warning it was too soon.


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