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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - Tuesday 11 February

Published: 11 February 2020
From: Department of Health

65 suspected cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) tested in Ireland.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland.

Note: The World Health Organization has confirmed the official name of Coronavirus disease to be 'Covid-19'. All communications regarding 'Coronavirus (2019-nCov)' will now refer to 'Covid-19'.

Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health, Dr. Tony Holohan said:

"We remain prepared for a confirmed case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
"The Irish health system is currently operating a containment strategy in line with global practice, and all our efforts are focused on identifying suspected cases as they arise and initiating measures to prevent onward transmission of the virus. The National Public Health Emergency Team continues to coordinate response efforts between the Health Service and other government departments and agencies, to ensure a comprehensive response in the event of a confirmed case.
“Anyone returning from China in the last 14 days, and experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19 (Coronavirus), is instructed to self- isolate and contact the health service via phone or email.”

Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid said:

"The HSE has been working closely with the Department of Health, and as a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team, over recent weeks in response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus). I would like to acknowledge the work of frontline staff in the health service in dealing with this emerging situation.
"All hospitals have plans in place to deal with any increase in demand due to a viral threat, including Covid-19 (Coronavirus). A lot of preparation work has been done and a range of options are being looked at to deal with all scenarios.
"Over 4,800 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packs have been distributed to GP Out of Hours Services, Public Health Departments and GP Practices. A further 1,200 PPE packs are due to go out to GP practices today. The National Ambulance Service also has detailed plans in place and is working closely with other agencies to ensure a co-ordinated response to possible cases."

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Chair of the Coronavirus Expert Advisroy Group, a sub group of the National Public Health Emergency Team, said:

"We're continuing to monitor reported transmission events in the UK, Singapore, and Germany but the number of confirmed cases in the EU remains low, and no new countries have reported cases in the last 24 hours (per WHO SitRep 10/2)."

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is spread through contact and droplets so good cough and sneeze hygiene, with regular hand washing, is the best way to keep well.

The general public is encouraged to inform themselves on prevention measures issued by HSE and to follow HPSC for regular daily updates.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

No information will be provided about individual activations of these plans or about individual cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) other than confirmed cases.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre website is updated daily at 1pm with the latest information about Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Visit HPSC.ie.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) to show.

Symptoms may include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)

Coronavirus can also cause more severe illness including:

  • pneumonia
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • kidney failure

Things you can do to protect yourself from getting Covid-19 (Coronavirus) include:

  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze

Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:

  • after coughing or sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food
  • if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
  • if your hands are dirty
  • if you have handled animals or animal waste

Read a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash your hands and help avoid infection.

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