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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - Friday 13 March

Published: 13 March 2020
From: Department of Health

The HPSC has been informed of 20 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland:

  • 6 cases are associated with travel
  • 12 are associated with contacts of confirmed case; 4 of which are healthcare workers
  • 2 cases are associated with community transmission

There has been one confirmed death of COVID-19 in Ireland.

There are now 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

The National Public Health Emergency Team met last night (Thursday 12 March) to review Ireland’s response to COVID-19 preparedness.

The following decisions were made:

  • case definition updated: Symptoms of new onset fever of 38 degrees or more, or chills or symptoms of respiratory tract infections including cough will be considered when assessing the requirement for testing
  • all people returning from areas identified on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website for avoidance of non-essential travel, should restrict their movements for 14 days
  • discharge criteria for self-isolating confirmed cases, as recommended by the Expert Advisory Group, has been approved for implementation
  • EAG will consider travel restrictions for healthcare workers

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

“The National Public Health Emergency Team will continue to monitor the ongoing threat of this virus and will take actions where necessary.
“For people returning from areas affected by COVID-19, we strongly encourage the individual to restrict their movements."

The National Public Health Emergency Team recommended new measures this week in response to the change in Ireland’s evolving experience with COVID-19 and in consideration of medical guidance from the ECDC and the WHO. One of these measures was to recommend the closure of schools until 29 March, pending further review.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:

"We appreciate these measures have a significant impact on the daily lives of families. However, they are necessary for the public good.
“Parents should try and avoid arranging play dates for groups of young children at this early stage of the outbreak.
“However, rather than staying indoors, consider outdoor activities such as playing football in the open in small groups of 3 or 4 while maintaining social distancing of 2 metres.
“This is a time to be mindful of the public health guidelines and apply these measures to your daily lives.”

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