Second confirmed case of Covid-19 virus in Ireland

A second case of coronavirus (Covid-19) was

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confirmed in Ireland last night.

Second confirmed case of Covid-19 virus in Ireland

A second case of coronavirus (Covid-19) was

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The individual is a female who travelled home to the east of Ireland from northern Italy, where the first confirmed case had visited before they too returned home.

The people in the two cases are not known to each other and had not been in contact.

Department of Health officials, who said last night that they expect the number of isolated confirmed cases will increase further, were informed around 6pm.

Department of Health chief medical officer Tony Holohan later told reporters: “We’re confirming Ireland has diagnosed one new case of Covid-19.

“The case arises in a female in the east of the country and is associated with travel from northern Italy. We have now 397 people in total who have been tested as of Monday, March 2.”

Health chiefs said as soon as they discovered the second case yesterday evening, they interviewed the woman and specifically asked her with whom she had been in contact. She was also asked to trace exactly where she had been and to give an idea of where she may have come into contact with other people.

They said public health officials will then make contact with everybody she can identify, but they were unwilling to say how many people have had to be approached. As a result of this latest development, there will be a senior official’s group meeting of a new committee that the Cabinet decided to establish yesterday.

Dr Holohan said this would be to “strengthen the national response in relation to coronavirus”. There will also be a meeting of the previously-established expert advisory group.

Dr Holohan said that the Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice.

For Italy, the department is now “advising against non-essential travel to the regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna”.

A shortage of antibacterial hand sanitizer on the shelves at a supermarket. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
A shortage of antibacterial hand sanitizer on the shelves at a supermarket. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Dr Holohan said the health service chiefs expect to see more “isolated” cases but they are also preparing for worse-case scenarios.

And he reiterated advice issued on Monday by the EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. This stated: “The risk for people from the EU/EEA and the UK travelling/resident in areas with more widespread local transmission is currently considered to be high.”

Dr Holohan said: “We continue to expect to see isolated cases like the ones we have had. We don’t necessarily plan on the basis that it is going to be confined to that. Into our planning assumptions, we build the risk assessment the ECDPC published on Monday.”

He reminded reporters that this advice “says the risk of widespread community transfer transmission happening within weeks is a possibility somewhere else in the European region”.

However, he added: “We are not necessarily saying we believe that is going to be in this country.

“There is no evidence of local transmission or community transmission having taken place in this country.”

He was asked about social media reports about a letter to a young band warning them to self-isolate that the HSE said was a hoax but that Health Minister Simon Harris had to later admit was “not a hoax”.

Dr Holohan was also asked about large gatherings, like St Patrick’s Day parades.

He said that, “as things appear at the moment”, he didn’t see why there shouldn’t be parades and events like it.

“Our advice in relation to mass gatherings may well change depending on the status of the infection.

“Our response will be guided by international advice but as things now stand, we see no reason why that wouldn’t take place.”

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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