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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - Wednesday 4 March 2020

Published: 4 March 2020
From: Department of Health

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has this evening been informed of four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland.

The patients are all associated with travel from the same affected area in Northern Italy.

There are two male and two female patients, from the western part of the country.

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

“Tonight we can confirm there are now 6 cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Contact tracing is underway for these 4 new cases.”

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

“There is still no evidence of widespread or sustained community transmission in Ireland, as seen in some other EU countries.
“While we now have 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, we continue our containment efforts, central to which is that the public know what to do in the event they have symptoms.”

COVID-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person’s body fluids (for example, droplets from coughing or sneezing). It is also spread by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on, which is one of the reasons why it is so important that people wash their hands regularly, practice respiratory etiquette, and try to avoid touching their face.

The general public is advised to follow advice from the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre to protect their health.

Any person who has traveled from an affected area in the last 14 days, or has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days AND are concerned that they may have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their GP by phone.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

The Department of Health has developed public health advice posters available for public to download and display their premises.

The National Public Health Emergency Team case definition includes Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran and four regions in northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) alongside mainland China.

  • anyone who has been to an affected region (mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran and four regions in northern Italy) in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and call their GP
  • anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call their GP
  • anyone who has been to an affected region (China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Iran and four regions in northern Italy) in the last 14 days, and are well, should visit www.HSE.ie for advice

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)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can also cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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

  • wash your hand 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 and sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food

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