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Coronavirus: Two new cases in Republic of Ireland - both through community transmission

This evening, five new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Northern Ireland.

A leaflet forming part of the public awareness campaign for Covid-19.
A leaflet forming part of the public awareness campaign for Covid-19.
Image: PA

Updated Mar 8th 2020, 10:34 PM

TWO NEW CASES of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland by health officials this evening, both by community transmission. 

There are now a total of 21 confirmed cases in the Republic. One further case was confirmed yesterday evening.  

The cases confirmed are one female in the east of the country and one male in the south of the country. 

Both cases have been confirmed as infected through community transmission. There are now three cases associated with community transmission in the Republic. 

The male is confirmed to be associated with the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork and a risk assessment is underway.

The HSE is trying to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread. 

This evening, health officials in Northern Ireland confirmed five more cases of coronavirus – bringing the total number of cases there to 12.

In total, there are now 33 confirmed cases on the entire island. 

Bon Secours

Bon Secours Hospital confirmed this evening that a patient who has tested positive for Covid-19 is being cared for in the hospital.

The patient is in a single room and contact precautions have been in place since their arrival. 

Coronavirus response teams have been in place at the Bon Secours Health System for some time, the hospital said. 

The majority of the cases confirmed so far in the Republic are related to travel from northern Italy. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said Ireland “remains in containment phase”. 

“Most people who become infected with Covid-19 experience a mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for some,” Holohan said in a statement today. 

“Every individual needs to be aware of how to protect their own health and the health of others.” 

Reports

There are now more than 105,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide and 3,584 deaths, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).  

Earlier today, CEO of the HSE Paul Reid said he “can’t dispute” figures that suggest 1.9 million people in Ireland could contract Covid-19.  

The figures, first reported in the Business Post today, were based on estimates by Irish health authorities. The figures suggest that around 40% of Ireland’s population could contract the virus.  

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised all Irish citizens to not travel to the Italian region of Lombardy and all other areas placed in isolation in its online travel advice.

Italy has the most deaths from Covid-19 of any country outside China.

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Last night, it was reported that the Italian government would be putting millions of its citizens under lockdown to prevent further spread of Covid-19. 

In Irish politics, there have been calls for all political parties to form a temporary “national government” until September to tackle the threat from the disease in Ireland.

It was reported in the Irish Daily Mail today that Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart has suggested forming a national government between all parties, as the current caretaker government has lost its mandate. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics, Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan said that he wouldn’t rule any party in or out, and that his party was perhaps to quick to dismiss Sinn Féin during the election.

Information 

The HSE has said the risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low to moderate but this may change. 

Covid-19 is spread through sneeze or cough droplets. It may take up to 14 days for symptoms of the coronavirus to show. 

Symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties

Those who have symptoms and have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, or who have been to a place where there is a spread of coronavirus, will need to be tested for the disease. 

Further resources:

  • The HSE: Official advice on the coronavirus in Ireland. This is being updated based on the number of confirmed cases and how (or whether) the virus spreads in Ireland.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs: Official advice on where to avoid travelling to; also a resource for those who are abroad.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO): The UN agency on global public health publishes statements and daily situation reports based on the latest data.
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): The EU agency on the number of cases, deaths and how it’s spreading in Europe. 
  • The Johns Hopkins University map: A heat map of the confirmed cases across the world.

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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