Efforts to trace those exposed to coronavirus patient

29 Février, 2020, 02:40 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • First case of COVID-19 in Ireland confirmed       One school to close for 14 days

More than 83,000 people in almost 50 countries have been infected with the virus and close to 3,000 people have died. She is now being treated in isolation at a hospital in Belfast.

While there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Northern Ireland, 52 people have been tested.

It can take up to 14 days for the symptoms of coronavirus to appear.

"The person would need to be ill or the medical practitioner would need to suspect they are ill, perhaps through a initial presumptive test".

The adult patient had been in Italy and travelled north from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said.

It is unclear how symptomatic the infected woman was on the plane and whether she was coughing and sneezing during the flight. They have now been contacted and the Dublin-Belfast train that the patient is thought to have taken has been sanitised as a "precautionary measure".

'Members of the public who have visited affected regions and have symptoms are advised to self-isolate at home and contact their GP in the first instance.

"This would ensure the health and social care service as a whole can respond".

The woman, who is now being treated in isolation, had recently travelled from Italy via Dublin.

Mr Harris said that public health experts have been working for months to prepare for any cases of Covid-19 in the Republic.

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"This is not a surprise. We've been prepared for this eventuality", he said on RTE last night.

Authorities in the Republic of Ireland have been informed of the patient's movements, he said.

As for fellow passengers aboard the as-yet unidentified flight, he said the airline involved has the passenger manifest that would be handed over to health officials.

It said: "Tonight, the agency will be making direct contact if they have identified the contacts who sat within two rows of the individual concerned".

But he said operations at the airport will remain as normal. "It doesn't give us cause for surprise", he said.

"Covid-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person's body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on".

"If someone has direct face-to-face contact with someone for a prolonged period. where they could have, perhaps, been coughed or sneezed upon are the people of greatest interest, but also people who are roughly within a two-metre distance for a period in excess of 15 minutes".

Earlier the HSE said the coronavirus may already be circulating in Ireland but it has not been picked up.

The public health emergency came as senior civil servants warned Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs that coronavirus could have a devastating impact on the economy.

While the World Health Organisation has said that the outbreak has reached a "decisive point" and has "pandemic potential".

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