Sun, 01 Mar, 2020
First case of coronavirus hits South of Ireland

The first case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in the south of Ireland, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre said yesterday.

The patient is a man who returned to Ireland from Northern Italy and is from the eastern part of the country.

The man was identified and tested in line with established protocols for the investigation of suspect cases of Covid-19.

Efforts are now under way to identify people who came into close contact with the man - known as the 'tracing process' - but DSr John Cuddihy, Director of the HPSC , said it is "too early to know the detail" of how many people came into close contact with the patient.

The case is associated with travel from an affected area, rather than contact with another affected person, according to Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health.

Dr Holohan went on to add that ther will be further cases expected
"We have a high likelihood of containing the cases"

However, Professor Sam McConkey, Associate Professor of International Health/Tropical Medicine at RCSI, said he believes a higher level of planning, including the re-allocation of staff and funds to negotiate what is happening with coronavirus, is required.

Tags: Coronavirus   Ireland