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Coronavirus: One new case in Republic of Ireland and three in the North

There are now 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press briefing earlier this week.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press briefing earlier this week.
Image: Sam Boal

Updated Mar 7th 2020, 8:00 PM

ONE FURTHER CASE of the Covid-19 coronavirus has been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland this evening by health officials. Three more cases have been confirmed in the North.  

The case in the Republic is a male in the east of Ireland associated with travel from northern Italy. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic of Ireland to 19.  

Five new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday evening in the Republic, three as a result of travel. 

It has been a week since the first confirmed case in the Republic was announced. The majority of the confirmed cases so far are related to travel from northern Italy.

Three new cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland this evening, bringing the total to seven confirmed cases. The all-island total is now 26 cases. 

The three cases have been given presumptive positive results for coronavirus. The cases are all in adults who had recently travelled from Italy and are linked to a previously confirmed case.

Public Health Agency staff are working to identify contacts of the individuals. These presumptive results will be sent to Public Health England laboratories for verification. 

The advice to the public in Northern Ireland remains unchanged and the North is still in the containment phase, the NI Department of Health confirmed this evening.

In the Republic, the National Public Health Emergency Team met today to consider guidance from the Expert Advisory Group on managing healthcare workers who are close contacts of a confirmed case. 

This guidance has been developed after a recent diagnosis of a patient in Cork University Hospital which has led to a significant number of close contacts with healthcare workers. 

Just one case of community transmission has been confirmed so far in Ireland in a male patient at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Chair of the Expert Advisory Group Cillian de Gascun said there is a “risk to patients of acquiring Covid-19 from an exposed healthcare worker”. 

Healthcare workers who have been in close contact with a confirmed case and have developed symptoms should be excluded from work, de Gascun said today. 

Healthcare workers who have been in close contact, who have not developed symptoms and are deemed to be essential workers may work “provided they observe strict adherence to infection prevention and control precautions”.

Workers in this situation are also asked to undergo twice daily active monitoring for 14 days after contact with a confirmed case. 

Speaking after today’s meeting, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said Covid-19 creates risk to patient care through the transmission from an infected healthcare worker and the risk of serious impact on patient care by loss of essential staff.  

“The National Public Health Emergency Team has decided to adopt the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group, to be implemented in Cork University Hospital and Limerick Hospital immediately,” Holohan said today. 

HSE senior management are currently meeting with staff in these hospitals, offering guidance and support.

There are over 100,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world. 3,488 people have died from the virus so far, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties  

The HSE’s main advice page on the coronavirus says:

The risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low to moderate. This may change. However, most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual.

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