The HSE has begun delivering personal protection packs to GPs as part of coronavirus preparation measures in Ireland.
The health authority's chief executive Paul Reid tweeted that the first of the packs for GPs were “ready to roll” from Monday.
It will take between a week to 10 days for the health authority to distribute the packs to around 4,500 different sites.
The packs include a gown, gloves, mask and goggles to be worn by doctors if a patient who may have the virus comes in to see them.
Meanwhile, a 4th person has tested positive for coronavirus in Britain.
England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said the patient had been transferred to a specialist centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
“We are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible spread of the virus,” said Prof Whitty.
He said the patient followed advice from the National Health Service by self-isolating rather than going to a hospital emergency department.
Mr Reid has sought clarification from the Department of Health on the policies that would apply on both sides of the border if cases occurred in Ireland.
The HSE is anxious to know the arrangements that would be made in areas where cross-border co-operation in health is well-established.
Many of the symptoms of coronavirus can be treated. The type of treatment will be based on the patient's clinical condition.
According to the HSE, what is known so far is the majority of cases have had a mild illness.
More severe symptoms have occurred in 20% of cases and those who have died have mostly been in the older age groups and those with underlying chronic conditions.
A consultant in infectious diseases has outlined three possible scenarios for Ireland in dealing with a potential outbreak.
Prof Sam McConkey said in the best-case scenario, between 50 and 200 suspected cases of coronavirus would be promptly detected and isolated.
Should one or two patients test positive, Ireland is well prepared to care for them in isolation until they recover, he wrote in a Sunday newspaper.
In a situation where the suspected case numbers ere small and the virus detected and diagnosed quickly, there would be no real risk to the population.
However, Ireland could be hit with the equivalent of another flu season, and he was concerned about the ability of the health service to cope with the extra pressure.
The “worst possible” outcome would be if the spread of the virus in Ireland mimics that of China, infecting up to 20% of the population.
In most cases, patients would experience mild symptoms like that of the flu – a fever cough, runny nose and a headache.
However, a small number might experience significant symptoms and require specialised medical care, such as oxygen therapy.
“This scenario would be the most disruptive of all and likely to cause a temporary halt to typical daily life for Irish people as we attempt to corral the spread of the virus," he warned.