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Covid-19 information leaflets to be handed out at Ireland's ports and airports

To date, health officials have not identified “a single confirmed case” of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Feb 26th 2020, 4:42 PM 14,963 26

LEAFLETS AND POSTERS about Covid-19 will be distributed to the country’s ports and airports in a bid to “step up” awareness about the virus and to keep Ireland in the “containment phase”. 

Speaking at a press briefing today, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the most important part of the Department of Health’s strategy is for the public to act on the basis of its advice.

To date, health officials have not identified “a single confirmed case” of Covid-19, keeping Ireland in the containment phase

Holohan said that health officials want individuals to feel safe enough to self identify and report their symptoms on entry. 

“As a place in which people will both see and receive information that’s relevant to them, that could give them information about where they have come from if that’s an area of concern,” Holohan said.

“If individuals feel that they’re not the position to report symptoms it reduces the chance that we can detect those cases and put in place the containment measures around them.”

Several regions of Italy have been badly affected by the coronavirus, with over 200 people diagnosed so far.

The Department has advised Irish citizens to avoid travel to areas of Italy which have been declared ‘red zones’ for Covid-19 outbreaks- Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano (which are in Lombardy) and Vo’ (which is in Veneto).

Despite the warning, Holohan said it does not mean “that every person coming or travelling from that region in Europe cannot or should not travel here”.

“That’s the reason that we have airport information and other information to the public to give people guidance as to what they do when they travel here from an affected area.” 

Holohan said that there have been a number of situations where people have come through the airport, have been symptomatic and have been appropriately dealt with by both airport and health authorities.

“So those procedures, those procedures have worked,” he added. 

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Holohan previously advised people to “self-isolate” if they return from a region affected by coronavirus and are displaying symptoms.

In a bid to reduce pressure on hospitals, Holohan said that the government had decided that an individual who has been tested for coronavirus in an Irish hospital can be asked to “go home and self-isolate”. 

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a cough, fever and shortness of breath. The HSE will be publishing guidelines on self-isolation on its website.

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