Simon Harris attends emergency meeting in Europe on coronavirus

Simon Harris attends emergency meeting in Europe on coronavirus

Minister for Health Simon Harris is attending an emergency meeting of European Health Ministers in Brussels today to discuss the coronavirus outbreak.

Minister Harris said that, although there are no confirmed cases in Ireland, we must remain vigilant.

It comes after the death toll in China jumped dramatically to over 1,300 while the total number of infections in the country is now close to 60,000.

Last night, a spokesperson for the European Commission told Parliament that it has mobilised its services and agencies and is working on all fronts to tackle the outbreak.

Dublin MEP Clare Daly spoke during the debate to say: "She did say that there was a coordinated approach across the EU and member states at points of entry.

"There have been some serious stories about the lack of presence in Ireland, in terms of some of the activities, so I would be hoping that that has improved, but overall we did make the point that in Ireland we have in excess of 2,000 winter deaths every year.

"1,000 people have died of this, it's very tragic, but we have to have a sense of proportion and work with the scientists to contain it."

Meanwhile, an Irish man who was quarantined in Liverpool for the past two weeks after travelling from Wuhan is expected to return home to Kildare today.

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