Eoghan Murphy in self-isolation for past six days 'as a precaution' against Covid-19

Eoghan Murphy in self-isolation for past six days 'as a precaution' against Covid-19

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is in self-isolation for precautionary reasons after visiting family abroad.

He is the first member of the government to self-isolate as the confirmed numbers of cases continues to rise across the country.

The Irish Examiner can reveal that he has been in self-isolation for almost a week. His officials said that the minister had "not been in direct physical contact with any colleagues".

Emergency measures were agreed today to ban evictions and rent rises as the number of people contracting the virus continues to rise across the country. However, Mr Murphy did not attend Cabinet where those new rules were discussed.

Cabinet members met in a different room than their usual one in government buildings and sat apart, with their names on designated seats.

Mr Murphy later appeared on a TV news bulletin by video link.

His spokesman has confirmed to the Irish Examiner that the minister is in self-quarantine.

“He is, as a precaution. He is keeping a full work schedule like many across the country.”

The spokesman added that Mr Murphy had been in self-isolation since last Friday.

The HSE is advising people with virus symptoms, similar to the flu, to remain in self-isolation for up to two weeks before seeking a test. Health authorities are also asking people who may be vulnerable to self-isolate where necessary.

The minister's spokesman said he had not been tested for the virus.

The spokesman said the minister is self-isolating as a precaution after coming back from visiting family abroad.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, he added: "He traveled before any travel advice was issued. He has maintained a full work schedule via phone and teleconference like many across the country at the moment. He has not been in direct physical contact with any colleagues."

However, one Cabinet member has confirmed this evening that senior ministers had not been told Mr Murphy is in self-isolation for precautionary reasons.

"I didn't know. We weren't told anything. I must send him a text," said a member.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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